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Reds rally after Rockies dig into Graves

5/20/2004

CINCINNATI (AP) -- With the bases loaded in the bottom of the
10th inning, D'Angelo Jimenez made a guess and won the game.

Jimenez anticipated where the pitch would be, then singled to
right field through a drawn-in infield to give Cincinnati a 4-3
victory Wednesday over the Colorado Rockies.

Danny Graves blew a chance for a record-setting save before the
Reds pulled out their fourth victory in five games.

Sean Casey started the rally with a single off Brian Fuentes
(1-1), and Austin Kearns drew a one-out walk. Fuentes hit Adam Dunn
with his first pitch, loading the bases, and Jimenez went to bat
expecting a pitch on the outside part of the plate.

"Every time I've faced him, he's thrown me outside," Jimenez
said. "I was looking to get good contact."

He pumped his fist when his grounder made it through for his
fourth hit of the game. Teammates mobbed him at first base, and
they hopped in unison at the end of a long night.

John Riedling (2-0) pitched a perfect 10th, helping the Reds'
bullpen overcome a late meltdown.

Jose Acevedo struck out a career-high 11 in seven shutout
innings, but the Rockies tied it with their third set of
back-to-back homers in the series.

"I'm not mad," said Acevedo, who hasn't won since April 20.
"I'll take it. What happened tonight could happen to anybody."

Vinny Castilla hit a two-out, two-run shot in the eighth off
Todd Jones, his 11th of the season. Graves relieved with a chance
to set a Reds record for career saves, but blew it on his first
pitch.

Jeromy Burnitz his 13th homer into the stands in right-center,
the third time he was involved with back-to-back homers during the
series.

Burnitz and Matt Holliday pulled it off twice in the Rockies'
8-3 victory on Tuesday night. Burnitz has taken a liking to Great
American Ball Park -- five homers in five games over its first two
seasons.

It was the first time this season that Graves entered a game in
the eighth inning. Despite his failure to hold the lead, he still
tops the majors with 17 saves in 21 chances.

Graves remained tied with John Franco for the club record with
148 saves.

Acevedo was in position to snap out of the worst slump of his
career until the bullpen let him down. He gave up five hits and
didn't walk a batter in seven innings.

His 11 strikeouts were the most by a Reds pitcher since Ron
Villone fanned 16 on Sept. 29, 2000, at St. Louis.

"We were down 3-0, but it seemed like a lot more than that,"
said Rockies manager Clint Hurdle, who was ejected in the seventh
by plate umpire Marvin Hudson for arguing ball-and-strike calls.
"Acevedo absolutely lit us up. He was electric."

Jason Jennings was erratic. He walked five in the first two
innings, then settled down and gave up three runs and five hits
overall in six. Jimenez had an RBI double and scored a run.

"I made it a little too stressful early," said Jennings, who
is 2-5 in nine starts with an 8.50 ERA. "Those were probably three
of the worst innings I've pitched since I've been a Rockie, and the
last three innings were probably the best I've pitched all year."

His manager emphasized that Jennings has to start doing better.

"My grandfather used to tell me, 'You either fish or cut
bait," Hurdle said. "It's time for him to start fishing."

Jennings didn't get off on the right foot with the mound at
Great American Ball Park.

The right-hander caught his left cleats during a first-inning
pitch to Barry Larkin, and dropped to his knee without letting go
of the ball. He had a bemused grin as he got up and got ready to
throw again.

It was Jennings' first encounter with the mound, considered one
of the flattest in the majors.

Game notes
Rain held the game up for 1 hour, 12 minutes in the middle
of the second inning. The game itself took 3 hours, 13 minutes. ...
Kearns was activated off the DL and went 0-for-3 with a pair of
walks. Kearns cracked a bone just above his left wrist when he was
hit by a pitch on April 26. ... Acevedo's previous career high was
10 strikeouts against the Mets last July. ... The four hits matched
Jimenez's career high. ... It was Hurdle's second ejection of the
season. ... The Rockies are 0-4 in extra innings.