Griffey breaks slump; Reds beat Minnesota

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 15, 2000

The Associated Press

Sarasota, Fla.

Wednesday, March 15, 2000

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Sarasota, Fla. – Ken Griffey Jr. broke an 0-for-10 slump with a double and Michael Tucker had a tiebreaking single in the seventh as the Cincinnati Reds beat the Minnesota Twins 4-2 Tuesday night in a split-squad game.

Griffey, who sat out Monday’s game, reached on an error in the first inning and struck out in the third against Sean Bergman before doubling into the right-field corner in the sixth.

Griffey is 5-for-24 (.208) in 10 spring training games, but is tied with Eddie Taubensee for the team lead with three homers.

Bergman gave up three hits and two runs over four innings, including Taubensee’s solo homer and Hal Morris’ run-scoring groundout in the second inning.

Cincinnati starter Pete Harnisch gave up six hits and a pair of runs over 4 2-3 innings. Brian Richardson went 3-for-3 and scored on both of Cristian Guzman’s singles off Harnisch.

Tucker broke the tie with a two-out single in the seventh off Jason Ryan that scored Jason LaRue, who had doubled. An error by left fielder Chad Allen led in another run in the eighth.

After the game, the Reds assigned left-hander Heath Murray and infielder D.T. Cromer to Triple-A Louisville.

They also designated pitchers Andy Larkin and Joe Hudson for assignment to the minor league camp, leaving them with 39 players in camp.

Phillies 8, Reds (ss) 6

CLEARWATER, Fla. (AP) – Prime Time was back on the diamond Tuesday.

Playing in a baseball game for the first time since 1997, Deion Sanders started in center field and was 0-for-3 as a Cincinnati Reds’ split squad lost to the Philadelphia Phillies 8-6.

Sanders, in camp as a non-roster player, had his spring debut delayed while he recovered from knee and ankle surgery in January to repair injuries sustained with the Dallas Cowboys last year.

Sanders played five innings before being replaced by Kimera Bartee. In the leadoff spot, Sanders grounded out twice and struck out.

Cincinnati has five established outfielders – Dante Bichette, Ken Griffey Jr., Alex Ochoa, Michael Tucker and Dmitri Young – and Bartee also is a candidate, leaving Sanders fighting for a spot.

Philadelphia took a 5-1 lead after four innings and held on. Rico Brogna was 2-for-3 with a two-run double in the third and an RBI single in the fourth.

Chris Brock, 3-0 with a 1.38 ERA this spring, allowed one run and three hits in four innings. Cincinnati’s only run against Brock came on a wind-blown homer in the first by Sean Casey.

Randy Wolf, projected to be the Phillies’ No. 4 starter, had his second consecutive shaky outing, allowing three runs and three hits.

Osvaldo Fernandez, a long shot to win the No. 5 spot in the Reds’ rotation, gave up six runs and nine hits in four innings.

Guillermo Garcia’s two-run homer pulled the Reds to 7-6 in the eighth. Jalal Leach homered off Scott Winchester leading off the bottom half.