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Hatteberg, Phillips atone for errors with key hits in Reds' comeback

April 21st, 2007 6:24 pm by Associated Press



CINCINNATI - Two players who almost cost the Cincinnati Reds a game ended up winning it for them.


Scott Hatteberg hit a two-out, solo homer that tied it in the ninth, and Brandon Phillips singled with the bases loaded in the 10th inning Friday night, sending the Cincinnati Reds to a 2-1 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies.


Both of them had an error on the same play in the fifth inning, giving the Phillies a 1-0 lead that held until the two Cincinnati infielders got another chance.


"It seemed like we were asleep most of the game," Hatteberg said. "It was good for us to get that miracle. The object of the game is to drive in more than you let in. I let one in, so I owed us one."


One out away from finishing a combined one-hitter, Tom Gordon (0-1) gave up Hatteberg's homer on a 3-1 breaking ball that got too much of the plate, the closer's second blown save.


"It's definitely a hard game to swallow," said Gordon, who has a 5.68 ERA. "To get to that point where it's right there - it's a tough one."


An inning after he lost the lead, Gordon lost the game, too. He walked Javier Valentin with one out in the 10th, Ryan Freel followed with a single, and Adam Dunn walked. Phillips then singled to left field to finish it.


"Honestly, in my mind and heart, when the game is on the line, I want to be the guy up at the plate," Phillips said. "Everybody wants to be that hero. I want to be that hero, too."


Jon Coutlangus (1-0) got the victory with one hitless inning.


It was an especially painful setback for the Phillies, who have the NL's worst record (4-11) and are 0-4 in extra innings this season, a product of their rickety bullpen.


"We're a little snake-bit right now," said Jon Lieber, who left the bullpen and returned to the Phillies' rotation in style Friday. Lieber allowed only one hit - Alex Gonzalez's double - and one walk in 5 2-3 innings. He had his usual uncanny control during his first start since he replaced Brett Myers in the rotation.


The right-hander's style - work fast, keep the ball down, don't walk anyone - has stumped the Reds for years. The right-hander has won six of his last seven decisions against the Reds, including a 2-0 victory at Great American Ball Park last May 13.


CHICAGO - Reliever-turned-starter Braden Looper allowed five hits in seven innings and Preston Wilson hit a long two-run homer in the seventh Friday as St. Louis snapped a four-game losing streak.


In just his fourth major league start, Looper (3-1) outdueled Ted Lilly (1-2) in the start of a series featuring a marquee managerial matchup between Lou Piniella and Tony La Russa. Jason Isringhausen pitched the ninth for his fourth save in as many chances.


Isringhausen was helped when pinch-runner Ronny Cedeno was called out at second on a bizarre play for the second out. With Cedeno running, a 3-2 pitch to Jacque Jones was called a ball but Yadier Molina threw to second and shortstop David Eckstein tagged Cedeno when he overslid the bag.


Eckstein and LaRussa both argued Jones should be out, and after conferring, the umpires agreed. Matt Murton then popped out to end the game.


Lilly (1-2) shut the defending World Series champs out on three hits for 6 1-3 innings. But after he walked Jim Edmonds with one out in the seventh, Wilson followed with his first homer, a line drive that cleared the left-field bleachers for a 2-1 lead. Lilly gave up four hits and two runs in seven innings.



MILWAUKEE - Craig Biggio hit his first grand slam in 13 years with one out in the ninth and Houston extended its winning streak to five.


It was Biggio's first grand slam since July 24, 1994, against Pittsburgh. His other came in 1989.



MIAMI - Chris Snelling singled off first baseman Mike Jacobs' glove to score Ryan Church from second in the 14th.


Church singled to right off Lee Gardner to lead off and stole second. On Snelling's two-out single, second baseman Jason Wood quickly retrieved the ball off Jacobs' glove and fired home, but Church slid in safely when Matt Treanor couldn't handle the throw.


Jesus Colome (2-0) picked up the win for the Nationals with three scoreless innings. Saul Rivera recorded his first save.



DENVER - Adrian Gonzalez homered and matched his career high with four RBIs and Chris Young continued his mastery of Colorado in a win.


Young (2-1), whose loss Sunday at Los Angeles snapped his major league record-tying mark of 25 straight starts on the road without a defeat, stopped the Rockies' bats just like he did last year when he won both of his starts at Coors Field.



ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Travis Hafner hit a two-run homer and drove in the go-ahead run on a ninth-inning single to help Cleveland beat Tampa Bay.


Andy Marte doubled and Grady Sizemore walked to open the ninth off Juan Salas (0-1). Al Reyes replaced Salas and struck out David Dellucci before Hafner singled to center.


Hafner went 3-for-3 with two walks. He has 11 hits in his last 15 at-bats.


Roberto Hernandez (1-1) threw a perfect eighth. Joe Borowski pitched the ninth for his sixth save in six chances.


Tampa Bay got a home run from B.J. Upton.


C.C. Sabathia was bidding to become the first Cleveland pitcher to win his first four starts of a season since Chad Ogea in 1995. He gave up three runs and seven hits in seven innings.



BALTIMORE - Nick Markakis singled in the winning run in the ninth inning to cap Baltimore's rally against Toronto.


The Orioles trailed 4-2 in the eighth but came back against Toronto's beleaguered bullpen, which is without injured closer B.J. Ryan.


Corey Patterson led off the ninth with a single off Victor Zambrano (0-1). After a sacrifice bunt by Paul Bako, Brian Roberts was intentionally walked. Melvin Mora then drew a walk to load the bases for Markakis, who grounded a single to right-center against the drawn-up infield.


Chris Ray (2-1) got the win despite allowing two hits in the ninth.



DETROIT - Darin Erstad's tiebreaking single in the seventh inning lifted Chicago over Detroit.


Juan Uribe and Tadahito Iguchi homered for Chicago and helped Nick Masset (1-0) earn his first major league victory.


David Aardsma, Matt Thornton, and Mike MacDougal combined to retire six in a row in the seventh and eighth innings, and Bobby Jenks pitched the ninth for his fifth save in six opportunities.



ARLINGTON, Texas - Rookie Travis Buck hit his first career homer and drove in a career-high five runs to help Oakland stretch its winning streak to four games with a victory over Texas.


Buck added a three-run double, and Bobby Crosby doubled in two more during an eight-run second inning, when the A's chased Rangers starter Brandon McCarthy (1-3) after he gave up four runs.


Shannon Stewart and Nick Swisher added homers for Oakland, which had scored 26 runs in its previous eight games before breaking out with a season-high total against Texas.


The bottom five hitters in the A's starting lineup - Milton Bradley, Buck, Crosby, Jason Kendall and Mark Ellis - went 10-for-16 with 10 RBIs and 12 runs scored.


The Rangers lost for the fifth time in six games.



KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Mark Grudzielanek's home run keyed a five- run fifth inning and carried Kansas City to a come-from-behind victory over Minnesota.


Mike Sweeney and Reggie Sanders also homered for Kansas City, which entered the night with the worst record in the majors at 4-11.


Down 4-2 in the fifth, the Royals got hits on four straight pitches from Sidney Ponson (1-2), starting with David DeJesus' leadoff single. Grudzielanek then hit his first home run in 133 at-bats, and Mark Teahen and Sweeney singled on the next two deliveries.


Odalis Perez (1-2) went five innings for his first win, giving up four runs and seven hits, with a walk and two strikeouts.


ANAHEIM, Calif. - Virginia Tech alumnus Joe Saunders, wearing a Hokies cap, scattered seven hits during his six scoreless innings for Los Angeles.


Vladimir Guerrero, back after missing two games with a bruised right wrist, hit a solo homer and went 3-for-5 to help the Angels end a six-game losing streak.


Saunders (2-0) walked two and struck out one. The only former Hokies player currently in the majors, he also wrote VT on his cleats and scribbled Virginia Tech in the dirt back of the mound in memory of the 32 victims shot to death on the campus last Monday.


He received special permission from commissioner Bud Selig to wear the Virginia Tech cap during the game.


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