Caseys mighty bat wins for Reds

Posted: Monday, April 07, 2003

CINCINNATI Sean Casey's tiebreaking solo homer off Mark Guthrie (0-1) in the eighth inning sent the Cincinnati Reds to a 5-4 victory Sunday over the Chicago Cubs, completing a discouraging first homestand in their new ballpark.

The Reds' clubhouse was still subdued before the game, the aftermath of Ken Griffey Jr.'s severe shoulder injury. The center fielder dislocated his right shoulder while diving for a ball in the Cubs' 9-7 victory on Saturday.

Tests found no fracture or damage to the rotator cuff. A team doctor said Sunday that Griffey will try to rehabilitate without surgery and could be back in six-to-10 weeks.

The Reds rallied from a 4-0 deficit against Kerry Wood to finish their first homestand at Great American Ball Park 2-4.

After Braves ace Greg Maddux was pounded for three homers and nine runs in only two innings of a 17-1 loss Saturday night, the Braves responded quickly against Florida starter Brad Penny (0-1).

Benson (2-0), who allowed one unearned run in 6 1-3 innings in a season-opening win against Cincinnati, gave up six hits and a walk. He struck out six.

Mike Williams pitched the ninth for his third save for the Pirates, who are off to a 5-1 start for the second straight year.

Benitez (0-1) entered with a 5-4 lead provided by Tony Clark, who hit a go-ahead, two-run shot in the sixth inning in his Mets debut.

Scott Stewart (1-0) pitched one hitless inning for the win, and Rocky Biddle got three outs for his second save.

Giants manager Felipe Alou held Barry Bonds, Ray Durham, Benito Santiago and J.T. Snow out of the starting lineup, but the makeshift team that played was good enough to defeat the Brewers, who are 0-6 for the first time in franchise history.

Heltons homer highlighted a four-run first inning against Schilling (0-1). He and teammate Randy Johnson are a combined 0-2 after two starts apiece this season.

The two-time defending NL West champions have lost four straight and are 1-5, equaling the worst start in their six-year history. The Diamondbacks also opened 1-5 in their inaugural season of 1998.

Colorados Jason Jennings (1-1), last seasons NL Rookie of the Year, went five-plus innings, allowing six hits and three runs.

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