Series: Game 1 of 4

Cincinnati leads 1-0 (as of 9/16)

Game 1: Monday, September 16
Cincinnati 4Final
Pittsburgh 3
Game 2: Tuesday, September 17
Cincinnati 3Final
Pittsburgh 11
Game 3: Wednesday, September 18
Cincinnati 2Final
Pittsburgh 3
Game 4: Thursday, September 19
Cincinnati 5Final
Pittsburgh 4

Reds 4

(74-76, 36-36 away)

Pirates 3

(65-85, 32-40 home)

    7:05 PM ET, September 16, 2002

    PNC Park, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 

    123456789 R H E
    CIN 001100110 4 - -
    PIT 102000000 3 - -

    W: J. Silva (1-0)

    L: M. Lincoln (1-4)

    S: S. Williamson (5)

    Taylor snaps tie with eighth-inning RBI

    PITTSBURGH (AP) -- Ken Griffey Jr. got a big hit for the Cincinnati Reds on Monday that required no tape measure.

    Reggie Taylor's third single of the game broke an eighth-inning tie and helped the Reds beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 4-3 Monday night.

    The Reds avoided mathematical elimination from the NL Central race with their sixth win in nine games.

    Jason LaRue drew a one-out walk from Mike Lincoln (1-4) in the eighth. Griffey beat the Pirates' defensive shift by chopping a pinch-hit single through the vacant shortstop position, sending LaRue to third.

    ''That was huge. Huge,'' Manager Bob Boone said. ''You can ask him but I know he did it on purpose, too.''

    Griffey said he was aiming for the opening the alignment provided.

    ''I haven't had a lot of at-bats in the last couple of weeks and I'm just trying to take advantage of the opportunities that are given to me,'' Griffey said. ''Right now I'm just trying to get on base, get some hits.

    ''The home runs are going to come. I just have to get comfortable being in the batter's box first,'' he said.

    Griffey hasn't started a game since Aug. 29 because of a sore hip. He's been limited to seven pinch hitting appearances, which have produced two hits.

    He's been on the disabled list twice this year because of knee and hamstring injuries. Monday's at-bat was just his 168th of the season.

    After Griffey's single, Taylor lined a single to center off Ron Villone, who had come in to face Griffey. Taylor was 3-for-5, drove in two runs and scored one.

    Jose Silva (1-0) picked up the win with two scoreless innings of relief. Scott Williamson pitched the ninth for his fifth save.

    Williamson wound up in a 13-pitch battle with Adrian Brown. Brown hit seven consecutive foul balls before he popped out to end the game.

    ''I was keeping him on the defensive, going at him really hard,'' Williamson said. ''He was doing a great job and looking for me to make that mistake. I was fortunate enough that I didn't make a mistake and let him take a really good hack at it.''

    The Pirates lost for the sixth time in eight games as their offense failed again.

    ''They never really hit us with that knockout punch but they got a number of key hits,'' Pirates manager Lloyd McClendon said. ''We didn't get that hit when we really needed it.''

    The Reds scored the tying run in the seventh. Taylor and Jose Guillen hit singles off Kip Wells to start the inning. Reliever Joe Beimel walked Todd Walker to load the bases and Aaron Boone hit a sacrifice fly off Lincoln.

    Ruben Mateo, LaRue and Taylor singled for a run in the fourth.

    Pokey Reese hit a two-run homer off Elmer Dessens in the fourth. His fourth of the season broke a 1-1 tie and came after Rob Mackowiak doubled.

    The Reds' first run was unearned. Walker hit a two-out single and advanced to second on left fielder Brian Giles' error. Boone then doubled.

    In the Pirates' first, Reese doubled, advanced on Jack Wilson's sacrifice and scored when Giles grounded out.

    Game notes

    LaRue and Walker each extended hitting streaks to 12 games. ... Dessens came into the game with a 2-5 career mark against the Pirates while Wells was 0-3 against Cincinnati. ... Dessens is winless in seven starts since he beat the Mets on July 21. He spent 20 days on the disabled list with a groin strain. ... The crowd of 10,752 was the smallest in the Pirates' two seasons at PNC Park. The previous low was 12,795 on April 11. ... Griffey has three hits in his last 28 at-bats. ... The Reds are 51-30 against teams with losing records. ... Giles was hitless in three at-bats and is in a 1-for-19 slide.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press