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Stinnett's first career slam dooms Pirates

9/19/2002

PITTSBURGH (AP) -- Kelly Stinnett made his presence felt in a
rare start Thursday night.

Stinnett hit his first career grand slam with two outs in the
ninth inning to lead the Cincinnati Reds to a 5-4 victory over the
Pittsburgh Pirates.

The first order of business after all the handshakes was sorting
out the memorabilia. The Reds were able to recover the ball and
Stinnett also tucked the bat away for safekeeping.

"I'm retiring the bat, too,'' he said. "I'm going to take the
bat and the ball and have it mounted. It's going to be pretty
cool.''

Stinnett was playing in just his 28th game of the season and
making his 20th start. He spent more than three months on the
disabled list from April to July with a right elbow injury.

Jason LaRue usually catches for the Reds but he was hobbled by a
right calf injury sustained in a home plate collision during
Wednesday's game.

"I'm just trying to finish on a strong note to go into next
year,'' Stinnett said. "I'm not going to sulk or anything like
that.''

The Reds trailed 3-1 when Ken Griffey Jr. opened the ninth with
his fourth single of the game. After Jose Guillen popped out, Mike
Williams walked Adam Dunn and Barry Larkin. Pittsburgh manager
Lloyd McClendon argued that Larkin didn't hold up on the swing.

"It sure looked to me like he went around,'' said McClendon,
who slammed his cap to the floor of the dugout and waved his arms
while yelling at plate umpire Tony Randazzo and first-base umpire
Ed Rapuano.

Reggie Taylor struck out on three pitches before Stinnett lined
a 0-1 pitch just inside the left-field foul pole for his second
homer of the season and the 50th of his career. It was the Reds'
ninth grand slam, extending a team record.

"I moved up in the box against him,'' Stinnett said. "I
haven't had any success against him at all, so I was just trying to
get a ball up and I did. I hit it good. It stayed fair and that was
big. I knew I hit it good but it started hooking at the end. I was
saying, 'Just stay in' and it did. That was nice.''

Williams (2-6) has blown four saves in 47 chances.

"You know it's going to happen eventually but it still stinks
when it does,'' Williams said.

Joey Hamilton (4-9) got the win. Scott Williamson pitched the
ninth for his sixth save, allowing an RBI single by Craig Wilson.

The Pirates had a 1-0 lead when Jason Kendall led off the third
with a single against Ryan Dempster. Brian Giles' single moved
Kendall to third. When Stinnett threw wildly on Giles' steal
attempt, Kendall scored and Giles wound up at third.

Dempster struck out two batters before Kevin Young hit an RBI
single to make it 3-0.

Brian Meadows' sacrifice fly drove in the Pirates' first run.
Rob Mackowiak opened the second with a single and advanced on
Young's single and an infield out.

Game notes
The Reds acquired four pitchers during the season to try to
shore up their staff. The four -- Dempster, Brian Moehler and LHs
Shawn Estes and Bruce Chen -- have a combined 7-12 record with
Cincinnati. ... Dempster is 1-2 with a 8.02 ERA in four starts
against the Pirates this year. His road record is 2-10 this season.
... Giles walked for the 128th time, breaking Barry Bonds' 1992
club record for a left-handed hitter. The overall record is Ralph
Kiner's 137 walks in 1951. ... Opponents are hitting .184
(19-for-103) against Meadows in the first three innings and .314
(37-for-118) after the third inning. ... Pirates 3B Aramis Ramirez
is hitless in his last 23 at-bats. ... Pirates SS Jack Wilson broke
a 0-for-13 slump with a ninth-inning single. ... Pirates CF Tony
Alvarez, a September callup from Double-A, was 2-for-4. He had been
1-for-5 in eight other games this month. ... 2B Pokey Reese was
10-for-19 in the four-game series against his former team.