Dunn slams Braves in grand fashion, 7-6

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 27, 2003

ATLANTA - Looking to give his team the lead with a simple sacrifice fly, pinch-hitter Adam Dunn did much more than that.

Dunn came through with a grand slam in the 11th inning, leading the Cincinnati Reds past the Atlanta Braves 7-6 Monday to snap a four-game losing streak.

It was Dunn's 18th homer this season, most in the majors.

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''I was just trying to get the ball deep enough to score the run,'' Dunn said. ''I don't go up there trying to hit a home run. In that situation, you just try to get a pitch you can drive to the outfield.''

Helped by left fielder Jose Guillen's two-run error, Atlanta got three in the 11th to cut the lead to 7-6. Chipper Jones drove in a run with an infield single, but Felix Heredia struck out Andruw Jones with a runner on to end it.

''My heart was in my stomach,'' Cincinnati manager Bob Boone said. ''They made a rally. They made it real close.''

John Smoltz struck out two in a hitless ninth, but the Braves lost a game in which he appeared for the first time since May 29, 2002, a 4-3 defeat against Montreal. Atlanta had won 73 consecutive games in which Smoltz pitched, a major league record.

Kelly Stinnett singled leading off the top of the 11th. Felipe Lopez bunted, and third baseman Vinny Castilla tried to get Stinnett at second. The throw was low for an error, allowing Stinnett to slide in safely.

Rainer Olmedo sacrificed both runners up a base and Aaron Boone was intentionally walked, bringing up Dunn. He hit a 1-1 pitch from Roberto Hernandez (4-2) into the seats in right.

''Bases loaded, nowhere to put him,'' Hernandez said. ''The way this game was going, whoever made the first mistake was going to lose.''

Last Tuesday, Jason LaRue hit a two-run, go-ahead homer off Hernandez in the eighth inning in Cincinnati. On Sunday against the New York Mets, Hernandez gave up a tying solo shot to Jeromy Burnitz in the eighth, but the Braves eventually won 3-1.

Cincinnati has won three of four against the Braves.

Gabe White (2-0) got out of a bases-loaded jam in the 10th.

''I was going a million miles an hour inside,'' White said. ''You always want to make good pitches. These are the best hitters in the world.''

The Braves rallied from a 3-0 deficit with three runs in the eighth off Chris Reitsma. Rafael Furcal tripled and scored on a groundout by Marcus Giles. After Gary Sheffield struck out, Chipper Jones singled and moved to third on a double by Andruw Jones.

Robert Fick brought them both home with a single to right, costing John Riedling his first victory as a starter.

The right-hander held Atlanta scoreless over 6 2-3 innings - the longest outing of his career - and left with a 3-0 lead. He gave up five hits, struck out four and walked two.

''Babe Ruth is dead, and Mark McGwire's retired, so I just throw strikes,'' Riedling said. ''I threw all four of my pitches and throw them for strikes. I'm getting confident with my changeup.''

Guillen went 3-for-6 for the Reds, including a first-inning homer off Mike Hampton, and Ryan Freel added two hits.

Riedling moved out of the Cincinnati bullpen earlier this month and has made five straight starts after 88 appearances as a reliever. His previous longest outing was six innings, but for once, Riedling didn't try to talk Bob Boone out of removing him.

''He usually doesn't talk when he comes out,'' Riedling said. ''If he does talk to me, I try to talk him out of it. But I was tired.''

Riedling left with a runner on in the seventh, but Kent Mercker relieved and retired pinch-hitter Mark DeRosa.

Hampton nearly lost for the second time in five days to the Reds. Last week, he lasted just 3 2-3 innings and allowed six runs on five hits. He labored through six innings in this one, giving up three runs on six hits and throwing 119 pitches.

He walked two and struck out nine, and hasn't won in three starts.

Furcal went 3-for-5 with a double and a triple, but also made two errors at shortstop.


When Mercker, a left-hander, came in to replace Riedling, the right-handed DeRosa took Franco's spot. … Aaron Boone, mired in a 5-for-42 slump (.119), didn't start but entered in the eighth inning. He finished 0-for-1.