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Sheets pitches eight shut out innings

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- The Cincinnati Reds are hoping Ken Griffey
Jr.'s latest injury doesn't keep him out of the lineup long.

Griffey strained his right hamstring in Cincinnati's 5-0 loss to
the Milwaukee Brewers on Saturday night while trying to run down
Brady Clark's flyball in the fourth inning.

The Reds said the All-Star outfielder will return to Cincinnati
to have an MRI on Sunday to determine the severity of the injury.

"He seemed to walk off the field OK," Cincinnati manager Dave
Miley said. "Other than that, I don't have any information on it.
Hopefully, we get good news."

Ben Sheets threw eight shutout innings in frustrating the Reds,
who were focused on Griffey after the game.

Griffey, 20th on the career home runs list with 501, chased down
Clark's hit into the right-center field gap. As Griffey neared the
warning track in a full sprint, the ball bounced off his glove and
ended up as a triple.

Griffey appeared to hurt his leg as he landed on it, but
continued to track down the ball and walked off the field
immediately after the play with no apparent limp.

Griffey, voted an All-Star starter for the 12th time last
weekend, missed more than a month with a torn hamstring that
bothered him throughout the 2001 season. He spent two long stints
on the 15-day disabled list with a torn patella tendon and a torn
right hamstring in 2002, then went to the DL twice again last year
for a dislocated right shoulder and torn ankle tendon.

"Just when you think he has turned the corner as far as health
is concerned -- it's very frustrating," shortstop Barry Larkin
said. "I saw him take that last step and he pulled up."

Sheets (9-5), headed to his second All-Star game, allowed five
hits -- all singles -- and struck out eight and walked one to win his
third consecutive start. He lowered his NL-leading ERA to 2.26.

"Today was a lot of fun," said Sheets, who hasn't allowed a
run in the last 16 innings. "I'm enjoying (the first half). It's
been a whole lot of fun so far."

Luis Vizcaino pitched a perfect ninth to complete the shutout,
Milwaukee's sixth.

Milwaukee manager Ned Yost was asked if any other pitcher in the
league is better than Sheets right now.

"It'd be hard to imagine," Yost said. "He's just been
phenomenal, and against good offensive teams, too. What can you say
about his performance up to this point? It's a redundant
redundancy."

In the fourth, Clark hit a one-out triple off Cory Lidle (6-7),
and Griffey was injured trying to make the play. On the next pitch
after Griffey left and was replaced in center field by Wily Mo
Pena, Bill Hall attempted a suicide squeeze. Cincinnati called for
a pitchout, but catcher Javier Valentin allowed Clark to score when
his throw sailed over the head of third baseman Brandon Larson.

Lidle, who allowed five hits and walked four in six innings,
allowed a leadoff single to Lyle Overbay in the second and an RBI
double by Clark one out later.

In the third, Scott Podsednik drew a leadoff walk and scored on
a groundout by Geoff Jenkins to make it 2-0.

Milwaukee took a 4-0 lead in the sixth when Keith Ginter led off
with a double and scored on a groundout by Chad Moeller with one
out.

Hall added a run-scoring double in the eighth.

Game notes
Ryan Freel was examined in Cincinnati on Saturday after he
left Wednesday's game with a deep bruise on the undersurface of his
left kneecap. Although his status has improved, he won't join the
Reds in Milwaukee. ... Lidle made his 200th major league
appearance. ... Sheets joined Doug Davis for the team lead with
nine victories. It's the first time Milwaukee has two pitchers with
at least nine victories before the All-Star break since Don August
and Chris Bosio in 1989. ... Milwaukee's four stolen bases were a
season-high and matched the Brewers' NL club record, set on Sept.
28, 2001, at Colorado. ... Milwaukee reached the 1 million mark in
attendance in its 44th home game. The Brewers needed 53 games to
reach the total last season.