Griffey failed to homer Tuesday night for the second straight
game and remained stuck at 498 career homers, and the Reds lost
The Reds could've used some help from Griffey -- who's two homers
away from becoming the 20th player with 500 -- against the A's, who
won their fourth straight.
"I don't think I'm pressing," Griffey said. "It just hasn't
happened yet. I just have to be patient about it. I'm just trying
to get a good pitch to hit, one that I can drive."
Griffey singled in the first off Barry Zito (4-3), then went
hitless his last four at-bats with two strikeouts.
"Our approach is not to let him beat us," A's catcher Damian Miller said. "You've got to make good pitches against him."
Miller was the hitting standout Tuesday, matching a career high with five
RBI, including a bases-clearing three-run double in a five-run
first inning off Jung Keun Bong (0-1).
All the runs allowed by Bong -- the Reds' first left-handed
starter since John Bale last Sept. 18 -- were unearned after third
baseman Tim Hummel booted Jermaine Dye's two-out grounder for an
error. The A's sent nine men to the plate in the first inning and
10 in a four-run fourth highlighted by Miller's two-run double.
The A's 77-47 record in interleague play, including 5-0 against
the Reds and 14-0 against the NL Central, is the best in the
The A's have pummeled Reds pitching for 23 runs and 29 hits in
the first two games of this three-game series. The outburst was
more than enough cushion for Zito, who won for only the second time
in 10 starts dating to April 18. Zito gave up five runs in five
innings on eight hits, including homers by Barry Larkin and Jason LaRue.
Arthur Rhodes got four outs for his ninth save in 13 chances.
Larkin left in the bottom of the fourth when he felt pain in his
lower left abdomen while fielding an infield single. The Reds said
the 40-year-old shortstop would fly back to Cincinnati to be
examined by team physician Dr. Timothy Kremchek. Larkin said after
the game that the slim chance he has a hernia led to making the
Despite losing, the Reds maintained their one-game lead in the
NL Central over St. Louis, which also lost.
Larkin, Sean Casey and Griffey gave the Reds a 1-0 lead in the
first with consecutive singles.
Trailing 5-1, the Reds struck back quickly on Larkin's three-run
homer in the top of the second.
Bobby Crosby led off the third with his ninth homer, but LaRue
narrowed it to 6-5 with a solo homer in the top of the fourth.
Miller doubled home two more runs in Oakland's half of the
inning, putting the A's on top 10-6 and chasing Bong.
A's reliever Jim Mecir had to leave in the eighth when he
tweaked his right knee running over to make a play at first base.
... Miller also drove
in five for Arizona on May 9, 2000, against Los Angeles. ... This
was the 70th anniversary of the first plane ride for a major league
baseball team, the Reds from Cincinnati to Chicago. ... Bong is the
fifth Korean-born player in major league history.