Dodgers win seven of last nine

CINCINNATI (AP) -- The news that Ken Griffey Jr. would be out for
the rest of the season spread quickly through the Reds dugout,
devastating an already down Cincinnati squad.

The Reds were falling behind the Los Angeles Dodgers early
Wednesday night when they received word that their All-Star center
fielder required surgery, and ended up losing 11-1.

"Knowing he's going to be out for the year, it's a really big
blow," Reds closer Danny Graves said. "Nobody really suspected
anything. To find out in the middle of the game was very

Manager Dave Miley said he learned of the seriousness of
Griffey's injury "in the third or fourth inning," when the game
was already out of hand.

An MRI showed that Griffey was more seriously injured than
originally suspected when he hyper-extended his right leg last week
in San Francisco on a play in the outfield. It was his first action
in nearly four weeks since tearing his hamstring.

"He had a complete rupture of the hamstring off the bone,"
said the Reds medical director, Dr. Timothy Kremchek.

Griffey will undergo surgery on Monday to reattach the hamstring
and should be able to participate in spring training, Kremchek

The NL West-leading Dodgers won for the seventh time in nine
games. Jose Hernandez had a bases-loaded triple and a two-run
homer, and Shawn Green added a three-run shot as Los Angeles built
an 11-0 lead after the top of the fourth.

The Dodgers jumped to a 4-0 lead in the first when Reds starter
Brandon Claussen walked four, hit a batter and gave up Hernandez's

"He's better than he pitched tonight," Miley said. "He got
into trouble trying to be too fine."

Claussen (1-3) threw 49 pitches in the first inning, had a 1-2-3
second, then gave up consecutive home runs to Hernandez and David
Ross, his fourth, in the third. Hernadez's 10th homer of the season
was a two-run shot.

"I'm up here to learn, and I appreciate the opportunity," said
Claussen, who was making just his sixth major league start.

The first seven runs scored on just four hits, as Claussen
walked five and struck out two in three innings.

Todd Van Poppel didn't fare much better. He took over for
Cincinnati in the fourth and gave up an RBI single to Steve Finley
and a three-run homer to Shawn Green, his 16th.

Jeff Weaver (10-10) allowed four hits. He struck out seven and
walked none for his third straight win since readjusting his
pitching style to make his sinker more effective.

"Dropping down from 92 mph to 87-88 and getting movement is the
key," Weaver said.

It was the second time in three starts that the Dodgers scored
in double figures to support Weaver.

"When he gets run support, he turns it up a notch," Dodgers
manager Jim Tracy said.

Duaner Sanchez allowed a double in the ninth to complete the

The Reds only run came in the fourth when Barry Larkin doubled
to lead off the inning and eventually scored on a groundout by Adam

In recent years, Griffey has been plagued by injuries. He missed
more than a month with a torn hamstring that bothered him
throughout the 2001 season, and spent two long stints on the 15-day
disabled list with a torn knee tendon and a torn right hamstring in

Griffey went on the DL twice again last year for a dislocated
right shoulder and torn ankle tendon.

Game notes
With the left-hander Claussen starting for Cincinnati,
Hernandez was in the lineup at second base for the Dodgers rather
than Alex Cora. Hernandez was hitting .329 against lefties, and
Cora was .267. "I think since the beginning of the year I've known
my role is to come off the bench and play against left-handers,"
Hernandez said. ... Dodgers RHP Brad Penney will miss a start
Saturday with a strained biceps. He is alternating ice and heat
treatment and will be able to throw "when the nerve calms down,"
he said. An MRI showed no structural damage. ... Reds OF Austin
Kearns reinjured his right thumb while on rehab assignment with
Triple-A Louisville. He was examined by a hand specialist Wednesday
in Cincinnati and was told not swing a bat for a few days.