Reds rally in ninth, trip Tribe

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 28, 2003

CLEVELAND -- Rookie Rainer Olmedo's RBI single capped Cincinnati's two-out, two-run rally in the ninth inning Saturday as the Reds came back again with a 5-4 interleague win over the Cleveland Indians.

Olmedo had four RBIs for the Reds, who have won a major league-leading 20 games in their final at-bat. Cincinnati also has a major league-best 18 wins by one run.

The Reds were down to their final strike in the ninth off Danys Baez (0-6) when Adam Dunn doubled. Russell Branyan, traded by Cleveland to Cincinnati last season, followed with a double to almost the same spot to tie it 4-4.

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Olmedo, who entered the game with one RBI, followed with a bloop single to left as the Reds won for just the second time in eight games.

Chris Reitsma (7-2) pitched the eighth and Scott Williamson worked the ninth for his 18th save.

Matt Lawton homered twice for the Indians.

Lawton's two-run homer, his second of the game and No. 100 in his career, gave the Indians a 4-3 lead in the seventh. He also homered in the first, Cleveland's first homer since June 19.

Ken Griffey Jr. made two excellent defensive plays in center and Austin Kearns made another one in right for the Reds, who have dropped 10 of 13.

Leading 3-1, Reds starter Ryan Dempster gave up a leadoff double in the seventh to rookie Victor Martinez, making his season debut after being called up from Triple-A on Friday night.

One out later, Dempster was replaced by Felix Heredia, who walked pinch-hitter Brandon Phillips. Coco Crisp popped out, but Martinez scored on a passed ball by catcher Kelly Stinnett.

Phillips hustled all the way to third on the play, but only had to trot home when Lawton drove a 3-1 pitch into the seats in right for his 10th homer.

Olmedo, Cincinnati's No. 9 hitter, gave the Reds a 2-1 lead in the fifth with a two-run double off Indians starter C.C. Sabathia. Olmedo put Cincinnati ahead 3-1 with an RBI single in the seventh.

Griffey ran down Jody Gerut's drive to make a lunging catch in front of the Indians' bullpen in the fourth. In the sixth, Griffey raced back to the wall, timed his jump and snatched Milton Bradley's shot that would have at least hit off the top of the wall.

Gerut returned the favor on Griffey in the sixth with a leaping catch in right before tumbling onto the warning track.

But Kearns got Gerut again the seventh with a running catch before crashing into the right-field wall. Kearns, who has been bothered by a sore right shoulder since May, was replaced by a pinch-hitter in the bottom of the inning.

Sabathia dominated Cincinnati's lineup for the first four innings before Aaron Boone beat out an infield single to third leading off the fifth for the Reds' first hit.

Sabathia usually needs a few innings to get loose, but the left-hander was cutting loose with 95 mph fastballs in the first. He allowed two runs and three hits in six innings.

Lawton connected for his ninth homer in the first, a towering shot to right to make it 1-0. The homer was Cleveland's first in eight games, snapping a streak of 79 innings without one.

Notes: Cleveland's homerless drought was its longest since an eight-gamer in 1991. … The Indians sold RHP Jason Phillips to the Orix Blue Wave of the Japanese Pacific League. … Griffey is 4-for-24 (.167) on the Reds' trip. … Bradley has reached base safely in 31 straight games and 62 of 63 this season.