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Reds Win On Single In 9th


Aaron Boone was looking for a high pitch. Mike DeJean threw one up around his stomach.

Just that fast, it was over.

Boone hit a tiebreaking single with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth inning Tuesday night, giving the Cincinnati Reds a 2-1 victory over the Colorado Rockies.

Cincinnati won for the eighth time in 10 games by escaping a threat in the top of the ninth and then taking advantage of a wild DeJean (2-4) in the bottom of the inning.

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Game Summary

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  • The game was tied at 1 after seven innings as Colorado's Jamey Wright and Cincinnati's Pete Harnisch were equally stingy. That left it up to a couple of bookend bullpens Cincinnati's leads the NL in earned run average, while Colorado's is last.

    DeJean came on with one out in the ninth and walked Greg Vaughn, gave up a single to Barry Larkin and walked Eddie Taubensee to load the bases, leaving him in a predicament.

    "Walk, hit, walk. That's the game right there," DeJean said angrily, still upset with himself 15 minutes after the game ended.

    Boone, who had raised his average over .300 for the first time this season by going 5-for-11 in the last three games, was 1-for-3 when he came to bat looking for a high pitch.

    Slider. Fastball. It didn't matter, as long as it was above the belt.

    "I felt good up there all night," Boone said. "I knew all I needed was a fly ball. I just wanted to make him get a pitch up that I could at leasget in the air. He did and I was fortunate to get enough of it."

    Boone lined the first pitch to left for a game-winning single, the final frustration in a game full of them for Colorado.

    The Rockies wasted a chance in the top of the ninth against Scott Williamson (10-4). Brian McRae stretched a grounder up the middle into a double with one out and took third on Williamson's ninth wild pitch.

    With the infield playing in, Terry Shumpert struck out for the third time. Williamson also fanned Henry Blanco to end the threat.

    The Rockies are 2-2 at the start of their 12-game road trip. All four games have been decided by one run.

    "We had a lot of chances," manager Jim Leyland said. "We just didn't put the ball in play. That's the ballgame. We held them to one run for 8 1-3 innings; you're supposed to win."

    Colorado had numerous opportunities against Harnisch, but stranded four runners in scoring position during his seven innings.

    The Rockies got runners to first and third with one out in the second, but failed to score. They loaded the bases after Dante Bichette's RBI single in the third, but McRae flew out.

    After the first two Rockies reached in the fifth, Larry Walker grounded into a double play and Bichette grounded out.

    Harnisch, who has been pitching with a sore shoulder that may need surgery after the season, said it felt a little better Tuesday once he got warmed up.

    "It has felt better the last three games," said Harnisch, who went seven innings for the first time since June 1. "I hope it's going in the right direction. There was a stretch there where it was really bad and I questioned whether I should be going out there."

    Wright had only one bad inning out of six as he made an impressive return to the majors. Barry Larkin singled with two outs in the fourth and came around on Taubensee's double over McRae's head in center.

    Wright, who was demoted to the minors on May 4 after four starts, was recalled before the game and made his most effective start of the season. He was a lot more aggressive than earlier in the season and it showed in his results five strikeouts, no walks.

    "I was trying to challenge people, to throw the ball by people," Wright said. "That's a good feeling to have. I had it tonight."

    The game matched the top two hitters in the National League. Walker went 0-for-4, dropping his average five point to .362. Cincinnati's Sean Casey was 1-for-4, dropping his average one point to .353.

    Walker stole a hit from Casey in the fourth inning, diving to catch his sinking liner in right. Casey grabbed Walker's line drive in the eighth.

    Notes:

  • McRae, obtained from the Mets as part of a five-player trade Saturday, singled in the second inning for his first hit with the Rockies.
  • Curtis Leskanic got his 400th career strikeout, the most in Rockies history.
  • Shumpert was 0-for-4, ending his hitting streak at a career-high 10 games.
  • Cincinnati's Steve Avery may need surgery to repair a partial tear in the rotator cuff. The left-hander went on the disabled list July 24 and an MRI has found the tear. He'll get a second opinion Wednesday from Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Ala.
  • The Reds optioned catcher Jason LaRue to Triple-A Indianapolis to open a spot for pitcher Juan Guzman, obtained from Baltimore in a trade Saturday.
  • When home plate umpire Paul Nauert called Dmitri Young out on strikes in the third inning, a fan yelled, "Hey, ump, I hope you resigned!" Nauert is one of 13 NL umpires whose resignations were accepted.

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

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