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Reds pitching falls apart again

4/3/2003

CINCINNATI (AP) -- A group of architects panned Great American
Ball Park before it opened, finding it disjointed and
disappointing. The Pittsburgh Pirates don't understand the bad
review.

After two games, they like it a lot.

Kevin Young and Jason Kendall hit two-run homers in the eighth
inning, and the Pirates kept the Cincinnati Reds winless in their
new ballpark by rallying for a 7-4 victory Wednesday night.

Austin Kearns and Ken Griffey Jr. homered as the home team
finally cozied up and took its first lead, 4-3. But it ended the
way every other game has at the Reds' new place -- with the visiting
team celebrating.

"I like it,'' said Kendall, who homered in both games. "It's
legit all around. It's a great ballpark.''

Not for the home team.

The Reds lost two exhibitions to Cleveland and their first two
games against the Pirates, including a 10-1 drubbing in the season
opener. They finally got a lead on Wednesday, but reliever Josias
Manzanillo (0-1) gave up the homers that set up another
disappointing finish.

Manzanillo, who pitched for three years in Pittsburgh, tipped
his cap sarcastically as he walked off the field to catcalls.

"I definitely didn't want to get booed in my first game out
there, but we still have 160 to play,'' Manzanillo said. "I have
to find a way to make a positive out of it.''

All of the positives belong to the Pirates, who are 2-0 for the
first time since 1998 and showing a lot more depth and balance.

"Right now, we're just swinging the bats and things are
happening,'' said Young, who got into the game in a late
double-switch. "We can do a lot of things.''

That's a noteworthy change. The Pirates had the NL's worst
offense the last two years, and haven't had a winning record since
1992.

They added veterans in the offseason -- Young is now sharing
first base duties with Randall Simon -- and opened without a rookie
on the roster for the first time since 1991.

"The bottom line is what you do to help this team be
successful,'' said Young, in the last season of a $23.5 million,
four-year contract. "I'm at the point where I just want to see
this organization get over the hump. It's been a long run here
where we haven't gotten over the hump.''

Young hit a two-out, full-count homer off Manzanillo to put
Pittsburgh up 5-4. Manzanillo then threw wildly to first on Kenny
Lofton's slow roller for an error, and Kendall hit his second homer
to set off the crowd.

All seven of Pittsburgh's runs came on homers -- Simon hit a
three-run shot in the first off Ryan Dempster. The Pirates have hit
six in the first two games.

"We didn't do much offensively last year,'' manager Lloyd
McClendon said. "I guess it was a given that if we showed up, we
were going to hit more home runs than last year.''

The Reds are wondering when they're going to get that first win.

"It will be nice to get that out of the way,'' manager Bob
Boone said. "The fans are expecting it.''

Salomon Torres (1-0) got the win with one inning in relief of
Kip Wells. Mike Williams pitched the ninth for the save.

Griffey, who doubled for the first hit at the new ballpark
Monday, tied the game at 3 with a wind-blown solo homer in the
third. It was Griffey's 469th career homer, leaving him 24th on the
career list. Willie Stargell and Stan Musial are tied at 475.

Austin Kearns had a two-run homer in the first, and gave the
Reds their first lead in the ballpark by reaching on an infield
single and eventually scoring on Brandon Larson's single in the
sixth.

After selling out the two exhibitions and the season opener at
the new park, the Reds drew 22,878 for Wednesday's game.

A fan delayed the game in the top of the fifth by running onto
the field with Kendall on first and Aramis Ramirez at bat. The man
tried to step on first base and headed for second as stunned
players stood in place and watched.

A police officer tackled the man from behind as he got halfway
to second, tearing off the fan's red shirt as he tried to wriggle
away. Two other officers helped to hold him on the ground until he
was handcuffed and led away.

Game notes
Reds RHP Pete Harnisch will join Triple-A Louisville and
start Sunday at Toledo. Harnisch, making a comeback from
reconstructive elbow surgery last year, threw 75 pitches to minor
leaguers during extended spring training Tuesday in Sarasota, Fla.
... Reds right-handers Ricardo Aramboles and Luke Hudson are out
for the season with torn labrums. Aramboles had surgery Tuesday,
and Hudson has been diagnosed with the same problem.