CINCINNATI (AP) -- The final series at Cinergy Field got off to a
miserable start for the home team. Boos filled a nearly empty
stadium as Barry Larkin booted a game.
The first game of a makeup doubleheader had a sparse crowd,
little sense of history and no drama until the last three innings.
Adam Dunn's solo homer put Cincinnati ahead 3-2 in the eighth, but
Bobby Abreu tied it with a one-out shot in the ninth.
The Phillies then won it in the 10th with the help of two errors
by Larkin, who has a long history of brilliance on his hometown
"I misplayed two balls. You saw it,'' said Larkin, a Cincinnati
native who joined the Reds in 1986.
Larkin failed to come up with Placido Polanco's grounder up the
middle for his first error. After Tomas Perez singled off Scott
Williamson (3-4) and Marlon Anderson struck out, Larkin dropped a
potential double-play grounder by Johnny Estrada.
Rollins hit a soft double to right, drawing boos from what was
left of the crowd of 13,821. Larkin then got a sarcastic cheer for
fielding a grounder cleanly.
"I've seen that guy play,'' said Phillies manager Larry Bowa, a
Gold Glove shortstop during his 16-year career. "He was as good as
I've seen play. It's just one of those things.''
The series had been scheduled to start on Friday night, but a
rainout resulted in the first day-night doubleheader in the
stadium's 32-year history. The Reds are to move into Great American
Ball Park next season.
The Reds sold 36,940 tickets for Friday's game, which was
supposed to include a fireworks show. Few fans returned for the
makeup game, which coincided with Ohio State's game against the
University of Cincinnati at neighboring Paul Brown Stadium.
Many of the fans left after the Reds failed to win it in the
ninth inning, which ended about 20 minutes before Ohio State's
The Phillies hope things go better when they close Veterans
Stadium after next season.
"Hopefully, we'll have a bigger crowd than what showed up
today,'' Rollins said. "I hope we won't have to compete with a
college football crowd. It's tough when you've got college football
right around the corner.''
A young fan suffered a broken nose when he was hit by a foul
ball that ricocheted off the lower-level seats. The boy was carried
from his seat by an usher, examined at a first-aid station, then
taken to a hospital for treatment.
The game was tied at 2 in the eighth when Dunn broke out of a
long slump with a two-out homer, his 26th, off Adams. It was his
first homer since Aug. 24 and his first RBI in 16 games.
Williamson, who has taken over as the Reds' closer, gave up
Abreu's 20th homer with one out in the ninth. Williamson has blown
four of 10 save chances.
Larkin then helped the Phillies take the lead with his 11th and
12th errors of the season.
"I could probably figure out what was going on,'' said Rollins,
who also plays shortstop. "The infield got real choppy real fast
when it dried up. He stayed back on the balls and they took a
little funny skip or hop.''
Larkin was unusually terse after the game, declining to go into
detail about the gaffes.
Elmer Dessens singled home a run and took a 2-1 lead into the
sixth, but couldn't hold it as he remained winless since July 21.
He gave up two runs and 10 hits in six innings.
Hector Mercado gave up only three hits and struck out a
career-high six batters in 4 2/3 innings, but hurt himself by
walking five batters. He gave up RBI singles by Kelly Stinnett and
Dessens in the second.
In three starts this season, Mercado has gone 0-1 and given
up five runs in 12 2/3 innings. He's hoping to get a chance to
start next season. ... Ken Griffey Jr. made his third start since
being out of the lineup for 17 games with a sore leg. He struck out
twice, flied out twice and fouled out. ... Dunn's fourth-inning
double snapped an 0-for-14 slump. ... The Reds fell to 38-41 at
Cinergy, clinching a second straight losing season at home. Last
year, the Reds lost a franchise-record 54 home games.