<
>

Gonzalez's two-run homer sparks D-Backs

8/13/2003

CINCINNATI (AP) -- Cincinnati manager Dave Miley had no regrets
about having lefty Felix Heredia face Luis Gonzalez in the eighth
inning Wednesday night.

Neither did the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Gonzalez hit a two-run homer off Heredia, capping an
eighth-inning rally that sent the Diamondbacks to their 16th
consecutive win over Cincinnati, 3-1.

Gonzalez was 0-for-3 before his 21st homer capped a three-run
inning and led Arizona to its fourth win in a row and seventh in
eight games.

"We went with one of our best against one of their best, and
their guy was a little better tonight," Miley said. "We had the
matchup we wanted. If that situation comes up tomorrow, Heredia
will be facing Gonzalez."

The Reds avoided their third straight shutout, but lost for the
seventh time in eight games. They have not beaten Arizona since May
21, 2001.

Cincinnati led 1-0 when pinch-hitter Quinton McCracken led off
the eighth with a double, the game's first extra-base hit after 14
singles. Craig Counsell sacrificed McCracken to third and Matt Kata
hit a tying sacrifice fly.

Alex Cintron followed with a single and Gonzalez homered. All of
the runs came against Heredia (5-2).

"(McCracken) didn't try to pull the ball," Arizona manager Bob
Brenly said. "He stayed with it and Counsell, who always plays the
game right, got him over. We have to manufacture runs."

Stephen Randolph (7-0) pitched a scoreless seventh inning. Matt
Mantei worked the ninth to earn his 17th save in 19 opportunities.

Cincinnati's John Bale, making his second major league start in
20 appearances, blanked Arizona on three hits for six innings. His
innings and nine strikeouts were career highs, but the Arizona
comeback cost him his second career win.

"Their starting pitcher threw well the whole game," said
Gonzalez, whose homer extended his streak of reaching base to 29
games. "We were just missing. We were talking about that on the
bench. It seems like, lately, we've had more success against
bullpens."

"It's been frustrating for everybody here," said Bale, who
lowered his ERA to 0.71 in three appearances since being called up
from Triple-A Louisville on July 30. "I haven't been here long
enough to have much input on that. All I can say is you've got to
keep battling."

The Reds broke their scoreless streak at 22 innings with a run
in the fourth against Miguel Batista.

Adam Dunn, in a 3-for-28 slump, and Jason LaRue, in a 2-for-18
skid, started the inning with singles. With one out, rookie Ray
Olmedo blooped an RBI single.

Batista struck out the last batter he faced, pinch-hitter Kelly
Stinnett, to leave the bases loaded in the sixth. He allowed nine
hits and two walks while striking out six.

The Diamondbacks, in second place in the NL West, kept pace with
Florida and Philadelphia in the wild-card race. The Marlins beat
Los Angeles to stay on top, a half-game ahead of second-place
Philadelphia and 1 1-2 games ahead of Arizona.

Game notes
The last time the Reds were shut out in three straight
games was April 18-21, 1989. ... Batista is 1-3 in his last nine
starts. ... Cincinnati OF Reggie Taylor has gotten at least one hit
in four consecutive games since snapping a career-worst 0-for-26
slump. ... Taylor's eighth-inning grand slam Saturday in San Diego
was Cincinnati's last homer. ... Arizona's Shea Hillenbrand is
hitless in his last 15 at-bats.