Final

Series: Game 3 of 3

Philadelphia won 3-0

Game 1: Friday, September 20
Philadelphia Postponed
Cincinnati
Game 1: Saturday, September 21
Philadelphia 5Final
in 10
Cincinnati 3
Game 2: Saturday, September 21
Philadelphia 5Final
in 11
Cincinnati 4
Game 3: Sunday, September 22
Philadelphia 4Final
Cincinnati 3

Phillies 4

(78-78, 39-39 away)

Reds 3

(75-81, 38-43 home)

1:15 PM ET, September 22, 2002

Cinergy Field, Cincinnati, Ohio 

123456789 R H E
PHI 011010010 4 - -
CIN 100100010 3 - -

W: B. Duckworth (7-9)

L: J. Rijo (5-4)

S: J. Mesa (44)

Reds nostalgic playing final game at Cinergy Field

CINCINNATI (AP) -- Rose and Morgan, Bench and Perez, Seaver and Browning, the Nasty Boys and the Big Red Machine.

Nostalgia washed over the Cincinnati Reds as they closed their '70s-era ballpark Sunday with a wave of feel-good memories and another reality-check loss.

Reds

Jose Rijo, right, and Barry Larkin take a curtain call during the Reds final game at Cinergy Field on Sunday.

The Philadelphia Phillies held on for a 4-3 victory, giving them a sweep of the final series at Cinergy Field. Not even a start by 37-year-old Jose Rijo could close it out on an upbeat note.

The ballpark opened with a loss in 1970 as Riverfront Stadium and closed with another loss under a different name.

"There was so much history and tradition here, you wanted to go out and win it,'' said Ken Griffey Jr., who was 0-for-11 in the series. "We just didn't do it. When you see all the guys who came before us walking around the stadium and doing all the fun things, that means something.''

After Todd Walker grounded out to second base to end an era, the Reds introduced 52 luminaries from their Riverfront days on the field. Missing was Pete Rose, who got record-setting hit No. 4,192 at the stadium in 1985 but is banned from baseball for life for gambling.

He wasn't forgotten by the crowd or his contemporaries.

Tom Browning, who pitched a perfect game here in 1988, got a can of red spray paint and put Rose's No. 14 on the mound after the game. The crowd of 40,964 chanted "Pete! Pete!'' as home plate was dug up and driven next door to Great American Ball Park.

Rose is supposed to play in a celebrity softball game at Cinergy on Monday.

"You could sense the crowd wanted some sort of acknowledgment of Pete, so I went and got some spray paint,'' Browning said. "He's going to be here tomorrow, but it would have been nice today to see him be a part of this. I don't think it would have taken too much to get him to be part of this.''

The Reds asked baseball for permission to include Rose in the ceremonies, but were turned down. Chief operating officer John Allen said the club would have faced major penalties, such as a fine, firings or loss of draft picks, if it had defied baseball and included Rose.

"We didn't suspend him, we can't unsuspend him,'' Allen said.

Bobby Abreu had a pair of hits, extending his hitting streak to a career-high 16 games, and scored the go-ahead run in the fifth on Travis Lee's double off Rijo (5-4), who lasted 4 2-3 innings.

Brandon Duckworth (7-9) gave up two runs in seven innings. Jose Mesa got his third save of the series, setting a club record with 44.

"Any time you think of the Cincinnati Reds, you think of the Big Red Machine and all the history that's gone on here,'' Duckworth said. "It's unbelievable. It kind of holds you a little speechless.''

The outcome was quickly relegated to a footnote. The Reds and Phillies were more absorbed in the end of a shared era.

The two franchises have traded stars -- Rose, Joe Morgan and Tony Perez left the Big Red Machine and went to Philadelphia as the "Wheeze Kids,'' leading the Phillies to the 1983 World Series. The cities also are linked by their "cookie-cutter'' stadiums, which were in the forefront of baseball's move into the turf era.

Now, they're coming down in quick succession.

Riverfront had the first wall-to-wall turf and sliding pits when it opened in June 1970. Three Rivers Stadium opened in Pittsburgh later that season, and Veterans Stadium opened in Philadelphia in 1971.

Three Rivers is gone, Riverfront will soon become parking space, and the Vet will come down after next season. Phillies executives accompanied the team to Cincinnati to get some ideas for their stadium farewell.

"I know what a lot of fans think and how they'd like to see these stadiums blown up, but a lot of sentimental things have gone on in both stadiums,'' Phillies manager Larry Bowa said.

Hall of Fame manager Sparky Anderson threw a ceremonial first pitch -- three, actually. His first lob from the mound bounced past Hall of Fame catcher Johnny Bench.

Bench moved in front of the plate for a retry, and Anderson threw it over his head. Finally, Anderson got next to the plate and made a clean, short toss that drew a loud ovation.

It was a reminder of a time when Riverfront Stadium was the place to be.

"If you didn't play in Cincinnati, you didn't play in the major leagues,'' Anderson said. "The people supported these players like you've never seen. There was excitement every night.''

Former Reds owner Marge Schott -- the focus of many of the franchise's worst moments in the 1990s -- gave players from both teams a peck on the cheek and a pat on the chest during pregame introductions.

Manager Bob Boone was loudly booed when he came out to replace Rijo and shortstop Barry Larkin as part of a double-switch in the fifth. Rijo and Larkin got a curtain call.

"That was awesome,'' Rijo said. "We're the only two players left from the 1990 World Series team.''

Rijo pitched some of the most historic games at the stadium, winning the World Series MVP award as he led the Reds to a sweep of Oakland.

There's been little to cheer in the last two years, when the stadium got grass and was reconfigured to make space for the new ballpark. The Reds lost a franchise-record 54 home games last year, and finished this season 38-43 at Cinergy.

Game notes


The first hit at Riverfront Stadium was a single by Rose. The last was Jason Michaels' infield single in the ninth. ... The first homer was by Hank Aaron, who tied Babe Ruth's career homer mark at Riverfront four years later. The last homer was Aaron Boone's solo shot in the eighth. ... One red rose was left on the field behind home plate during the game in honor of Rose.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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