<
>

D-Backs beat Reds for 15th straight time

CINCINNATI (AP) -- Curt Schilling was in peak form. The
Cincinnati Reds remained stuck in a rut.

Schilling struck out 11 and Steve Finley homered as the Arizona
Diamondbacks beat slumping Cincinnati for the 15th straight time,
2-0 Tuesday night.

Schilling (6-6) allowed six hits and walked one in seven sharp
innings, winning for the first time since July 17. He had been 0-2
in his last four starts.

"That was vintage Schilling," Reds shortstop Barry Larkin
said. "When he struck me out, he threw me a (split-finger) that I
swore was a fastball."

The Diamondbacks opened a seven-game road trip with their third
consecutive victory and sixth in seven games. Their 15-game winning
streak against the Reds is the longest current string by any major
league team against another.

"It was more vintage Jack Morris tonight," Schilling said. "I
threw 70 splitters (out of 113 pitches). I tried to throw strikes
when they were taking and balls when they were swinging."

The slumping Reds have lost seven of eight and haven't scored in
19 innings. They were shut out for the second consecutive time and
third in four games.

"Schilling can pitch," said interim Reds manager Dave Miley,
who fell to 5-8 since taking over for the fired Bob Boone on July
29. "We knew that coming in. We just can't seem to get a run when
we need it."

Cincinnati hasn't beaten Arizona since May 7, 2001. The losing
streak is its longest against one team since dropping 16 in a row
to the Chicago Cubs from 1944-45.

Schilling also earned his fourth consecutive win over the Reds
in his first start against them since last Aug. 21. He is
undefeated against the Reds since joining the Diamondbacks during
the 2000 season. His last loss to Cincinnati was in 1998, with
Philadelphia.

Eddie Oropesa and Jose Valverde got through the eighth without
allowing a hit. Matt Mantei struck out two in a perfect ninth for
his 16th save in 18 opportunities. He has converted a season-high
nine consecutive chances.

Sean Casey was the only Reds runner to get past second against
Schilling when he moved from first to third on Adam Dunn's one-out
double in the sixth. Schilling responded by striking out Brandon
Larson -- for the third time -- and Russell Branyan.

"I had to make those pitches," Schilling said. "The sixth
inning was the ballgame. I consciously went for those two
strikeouts."

Schilling and Paul Wilson (6-10) matched zeros until the fifth,
when Finley led off with his 12th homer on an 0-2 pitch.

"It wasn't a horrible pitch," Finley said. "I was just able
to get my hands inside it."

Finley, who homered against the Mets on Saturday, went into the
game hitting .196 (10-for-51) in his last 15 games.

"The ball Finley hit was a mistake," Wilson said. "It was
supposed to be in, but it got out over the plate. Sometimes, you
can get away with one mistake. Tonight, I couldn't."

The Diamondbacks added an insurance run in the ninth when Matt
Kata led off with walk, moved to second on Craig Counsell's
sacrifice and scored on Luis Gonzalez's single to center.

Wilson allowed just four hits and one walk in seven innings but
lost for the sixth time in seven decisions since a three-game
winning streak.

Game notes
Schilling, who had exactly seven strikeouts in each of his
last four starts, had that many in four innings Tuesday. ... Reds
2B D'Angelo Jimenez extended his streak of consecutive chances
without an error to 148 in 30 games since joining the Reds. ...
Gonzalez has reached base at least once in 28 consecutive games.
... John Riedling has not allowed a run in 17 consecutive innings,
the longest streak by a Reds pitcher this season. ... Professional
tennis player James Blake threw out the ceremonial first pitch ...
Larkin left after eight innings when a groin problem that started
bothering him last week flared up again.