Final

Series: Game 3 of 3

Pittsburgh won 3-0

Game 1: Monday, March 31
Pittsburgh10Final
Cincinnati1
Game 2: Wednesday, April 2
Pittsburgh7Final
Cincinnati4
Game 3: Thursday, April 3
Pittsburgh7Final
Cincinnati5

Pirates 7

(3-0, 3-0 away)

Reds 5

(0-3, 0-3 home)

    12:35 PM ET, April 3, 2003

    Great American Ball Park, Cincinnati, Ohio 

    123456789 R H E
    PIT 014020000 7 - -
    CIN 102000200 5 - -

    W: J. Fogg (1-0)

    L: J. Anderson (0-1)

    S: M. Williams (2)

    Pirates dismantle Reds again to complete sweep

    CINCINNATI (AP) -- The first guests at Great American Ball Park made off with everything but the towels.

    First homer. First win. First series sweep. The Pittsburgh Pirates left town with all of the ballpark's breakthrough moments packed away.

    Reggie Sanders went 4-for-5 with a pair of homers, and the Pirates kept the Cincinnati Reds winless in their new ballpark with a 7-5 victory Thursday.

    The Pirates hit eight homers overall -- three by Sanders -- as they improved to 3-0 for the first time since 1993 and ruined a big moment for baseball's first professional team.

    "We all know what baseball is like when you get that first hit and you can relax,'' said Sanders, who was 7-for-11 in the series with seven RBI. "With where we are right now, things are going extremely well, so I'm trying to enjoy the moment.''

    The only good moment for the Reds came way back in the first inning of the opener, when Ken Griffey Jr. doubled for the ballpark's first official hit.

    After that, it was one disappointment after another.

    "Every day was like Opening Day again,'' said left fielder Adam Dunn, who was 1-for-11 in the series. "I just think we put too much pressure on ourselves. We wanted to do good to give the fans something to cheer about. You're not going to win a game all year if you play like that.''

    The Reds are developing a habit of flopping in big series. They closed Cinergy Field last September getting swept by the Phillies in front of capacity crowds. They opened the new ballpark over the weekend by losing both exhibitions against Cleveland, then got drubbed in the first three games that mattered.

    The new ballpark was designed with a close right-field wall to help their left-handed lineup, but the Reds have been outscored 33-12 in the five games, including 24-10 against Pittsburgh.

    "They pounded on us pretty good, no question about that,'' Reds manager Bob Boone said. "When you give up 24 runs in three games, I'm big-timed concerned.''

    By contrast, the Pirates' offense -- the NL's worst over the last two seasons -- felt quite at ease in the new place.

    "That was good baseball for us,'' manager Lloyd McClendon said. "We had it all going, for the most part.''

    Sanders, who hit the first homer on Opening Day, singled home a run in the second and had a three-run homer off left-hander Jimmy Anderson in the third that put Pittsburgh ahead 5-1.

    He barely missed another homer in the fifth, when the wind pushed his drive just wide of the left-field foul pole. Undaunted, Sanders hit Anderson's next pitch into the seats in left-center for a 7-3 lead.

    Anderson was determined to prove that the Pirates did him wrong by demoting him to the bullpen last season, then letting him go. Instead, he made them look good, giving up eight hits and seven runs in 4 2-3 innings.

    "Everything I got up, they made me pay for it,'' said Anderson, who relies on his sinker.

    Josh Fogg, one of Anderson's closest friends on the Pirates, gave up five runs in 6 2-3 innings, including two-run homers by Sean Casey and Aaron Boone. McClendon unsuccessfully argued that Boone's homer in the seventh hit the top of the wall in left field and bounced back.

    Cincinnati native Scott Sauerbeck got two outs, and Mike Williams retired two batters for his second save in two days.

    Sanders, a mainstay on the Reds' 1995 playoff team, was delighted to get the ballpark's first homer, and plans to add the ball to his collection of memorabilia.

    Sanders has the baseballs from his first hit and first three homers with the Reds. He's also got an autographed Pete Rose baseball, and a ball from the game in which Barry Larkin became the first shortstop to hit 30 homers and steal 30 bases.

    Game notes


    It was Sanders' 19th two-homer game. His career high is three homers with the Reds against Colorado in 1995. It was his ninth four-hit game, the last one coming July 3, 1999, at Colorado. ... The 3-0 start isn't necessarily a sign of good things ahead for the Pirates. Their identical start in 1993 resulted in the first of 10 straight losing seasons. ... The last time the Reds started 0-3 was 1999, when they won 96 games and eventually lost a wild card playoff game to the Mets. They haven't been in the postseason since 1995, when they opened 0-6. ... Sammy Sosa gets to try for the ballpark's first historic homer -- his 500th -- over the weekend. Sosa is 6-for-24 career without a homer off Danny Graves, who will start for the Reds on Friday.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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