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Reds Rally For Win Over S.F.


Robb Nen was already in trouble. Dmitri Young left him in even worse shape.

Young hit a go-ahead, two-run single in the ninth inning off the Giants' bullpen ace and the Cincinnati Reds rallied past San Francisco 7-6 Saturday.

"Bases loaded, top of the ninth, facing one of the best relief pitchers in baseball. In that situation I was just looking to put a ball in play and it found the hole," Young said. "I just tried to make something happen and it did."

Scott Williamson (9-4) picked up the win by pitching two hitless innings, tying Wayne Granger's 1969 franchise record for relief wins in a season. The Reds beat the Giants for the first time in five tries this season.

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Game Summary

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  • "It's taken us a long way to get them, but we finally got them," said Cincinnati manager Jack McKeon, whose Reds also withstood a two-homer, four-RBI effort by Ellis Burks. "Like us, they keep battling back."

    Marvin Benard homered off Dennys Reyes to lead off the ninth and, one out later, hit Barry Bonds with a pitch. Danny Graves relieved and got the final two outs on a double play for his 15th save.

    Nen (3-4) came in to try to protect a 5-4 lead, but wound up with his sixth blown save.

    Nen, who missed the last eight games before the All-Star break with a sore right elbow, has been erratic recently. He allowed a homer to Jason LaRue while picking up a save Friday night, but blew a save July 15 against Oakland when he was tagged for a three-run homer by Olmedo Saenz.

    "Robb is going through a tough time," San Francisco manager Dusty Baker said. "He's searching and he'll find it. You stick with your closer because who else do you have that could strike out the side? I don't think there is anything the matter with him. His velocity is fine."

    Young said Nen appeared to be pitching just as well as he has in the past.

    "I don't think there's anything the matter with him. You look up at the clock and he's still throwing 95-97 mph," Young said.

    Mark Lewis, who had a three-run homer earlier, led off the ninth with a double nd was replaced by pinch runner Chris Stynes. Nen failed to handle Mike Cameron's comebacker for an error and then walked LaRue to load the bases.

    Young, batting for Williamson, then lined a two-run single to right to put the Reds in front and Cincinnati added another when shortstop Rich Aurilia misplayed Sean Casey's grounder for the Giants' second error of the inning.

    Before the loss, San Francisco moved to gear up for the stretch drive by sending two minor leaguers to Florida for right-hander Livan Hernandez, the 1997 World Series MVP.

    "I'm happy about the trade. We need a lift," Burks said.

    Hernandez will fill an immediate need. The Giants also learned Saturday that right-hander Chris Brock will be lost for six to eight weeks with a torn left knee ligament, an injury he suffered Friday night when he tripped and fell over first base while legging out an infield single.

    Hernandez will take Brock's place in the rotation, making his first start for San Francisco on Wednesday against St. Louis.

    Burks continued his hot-hitting since returning June 26 from a two-week stay in the disabled list because of sore knees, wracking up 10 homers and 31 RBIs in that 19-game span.

    He connected for a solo shot off Pete Harnisch leading off the fourth to pull San Francisco to 4-2.

    Bill Mueller singled to lead off the fifth and Bonds hit into a fielder's choice. One out later, J.T. Snow walked ahead and Burks followed with his team-high 17th homer and second of the day off Harnisch to put San Francisco in front.

    Harnisch went six innings and allowed five runs on seven hits while striking out three and walking four.

    Bonds, who turned 35 Saturday, had a first-inning sacrifice fly for the Giants.

    Cincinnati took the lead with a four-run fourth. Casey singled and Vaughn walked ahead of Barry Larkin's RBI single. Lewis followed with a home run, his fourth.

    Notes:

  • Bonds was doubled off first in the ninth to end the game.
  • Burks had his 16th multihomer game and the second of this year. He also had two homers on June 29 against Colorado.
  • The Reds have hit 42 homers in their last 26 games in San Francisco. Cincinnati has won 25 of its past 33 road games.
  • Gardner has given up at least one homer in 10 of his last 13 starts.

    ©1999 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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