Jr. Plates No. 100, Reds Win

Ken Griffey Jr. has an interesting note for the Moeller High School alumni newsletter.

Griffey Jr. reached 100 RBIs for the fifth straight season Saturday, driving in fellow Moeller grad Barry Larkin for the milestone as the Cincinnati Reds beat the Chicago Cubs 3-0.

Jason LaRue homered twice and Scott Williamson pitched seven shutout innings, striking out Sammy Sosa three times in a row.

"There are a bunch of guys on base and you get some hits," Griffey said, shrugging off his achievement. "That's something you guys look at. I'm just trying to help the club.

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  • "It just happened that another Moeller High School guy was on when I hit it."

    Griffey, who returned home to Cincinnati this year after spending his first 11 seasons in Seattle, graduated from Moeller in 1987. Larkin, who signed a three-year, $27 million extension so he can stay in his hometown, graduated in 1982.

    The victory was the Reds' fourth in five games, and they beat Chicago for the second consecutive day. It's only the second time since the All-Star break that the Cubs have lost a series and lost two in row.

    The Reds made Williamson (5-7) a reliever last season after he spent two years in the minors as a starter, then converted him back to a starter last month. He's still trying to get his bearings, and he gave up a career-high six runs in his last outing.

    He decided before the game he was going to show more emotion on the mound, and it worked. He gave up four hits including a double to Mark Grace in the sixth. He struck out seven and walked five.

    "Striking out Sosa in those two situations pumped me up," Williamson said. "(In the seventh) as soon as it left my hand, I knew he was going to swing at it. I gave him a lot of different looks, really had him off guard."

    Relievers Scott Sullivan, Ron Villone and Danny Graves completed the combined five-hitter.

    The Cubs didn't help themselves as they stranded 13, including two in the ninth. Graves walked Gary Matthews Jr. to start the inning and Eric Young followed with an infield single. The runners moved up on a grounder and Graves retired Sosa on a comebacker.

    Graves then got Grace on a fly ball for his 20th save in 23 chances.

    "They were giving us opportunities," Cubs manager Don Baylor said. "We were still in the ball game at 2-0, but we just could not find a base hit anywhere."

    Daniel Garibay (2-5) was solid, giving up two runs and six hits in seven innings. But he made a couple of mistakes, and the Reds took advantage of them.

    LaRue, hitting just .125 since being recalled from Triple-A Louisville on Aug. 1, connected in his first at-bat for his first home run of the season. He put a 0-1 pitch over the left-field wall to give the Reds a 1-0 lead in the second.

    LaRue homered again to left in the ninth off Tim Worrell. LaRue has only four hits since being recalled.

    "I'm on top of the world right now," LaRue said. "Over the past month I've been searching, trying to find my swing again. As soon as I got here, we went to work on my swing. We've been working on trying to shorten it up."

    Griffey doubled off the wall in the fifth to drive in Larkin, playing his second game after missing five with a sprained knee.

    Griffey, in his first season in the National League, had seven 100-RBI seasons with Seattle.

    "I was trying to make it difficult for him, but every time he came up, he had men on bases," Garibay said. "I just let that pitch stay there, and he hit it."

    Notes

  • LaRue's homer was his first since last Sept. 18 at Pittsburgh.
  • The crowd of 40,625 was the season's largest and put the Cubs over the 2 million mark in home attendance this season.
  • The Reds have won eight of their last 11 road games.
  • Cubs pitchers have allowed 16home runs.
  • Garibay's No. 76 is the second-highest number worn by a Cubs player. Bill Voiselle wore No. 96 in 1950.

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