Finally, Reds beat Arizona

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 15, 2003

CINCINNATI - Bob Brenly wasn't buying it.

Somebody mentioned to the Arizona Diamondbacks manager that his team's two-year winning streak over the Cincinnati Reds had to end sometime.

''Why?'' Brenly replied. ''Who says?''

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Aaron Harang, D'Angelo Jimenez and Sean Casey said, that's who. Jimenez and Casey pieced together back-to-back run-scoring hits and Harang allowed two runs in six innings as the Reds snapped their 16-game losing streak to the Diamondbacks with a 3-2 win Thursday night.

''It felt good to get those hits, and it felt good to beat Arizona,'' Casey said. ''It's been a long, long time.''

''It's nice to beat them one time,'' said Chris Reitsma, who allowed one hit in the ninth to record his first career save in five opportunities - all this year. ''There was absolutely no way I was going to let them beat us on my watch. It's nice to get that monkey off of our back.''

The Reds hadn't beaten Arizona since May 7, 2001. Eight of those losses had come in Cincinnati dating back to a 5-3 Reds win on July 23, 2000.

''That's one of those freaky, numerical things,'' Brenly said. ''There's no reason for it. You can't explain it. I would like to have extended it one more.''

Harang is 2-0 as a starter since Oakland traded him to the Reds on July 30 along with two other pitchers for outfielder Jose Guillen. He allowed three hits and a season-high four walks in 6 1-3 innings, but he held Arizona's 3-4-5 batters - Luis Gonzalez, Raul Mondesi and Steve Finley - hitless.

Gonzalez, Mondesi and Finley were 1-for-12 for the game.

''He was the star of the game,'' interim Reds manager Dave Miley said. ''He was outstanding. He's stepped up and given us two quality starts. What more can you ask?''

''I was able to locate my fastball consistently, and my changeup,'' Harang said. ''My slider was pretty good, too.''

''He had a firm fastball, but he had trouble spotting his slider,'' Brenly said. ''He was only throwing 88 to 92 (mph), so you expect to be able to hit a few square. We hit some balls hard, but not enough.''

Miley watched D'Angelo Jimenez get three hits without scoring a run on Wednesday night and decided to move him from the leadoff spot to No. 3. Rainer Olmedo took over the leadoff spot.

The moves paid off in the Reds third inning. The score was 1-1 when Olmedo led off with a single to center and Jason LaRue was hit by a pitch. Jimenez drove in Olmedo with a single to right, and Casey followed with a another single to right to give the Reds a 3-2 lead.

''We needed a shakeup,'' Casey said. ''It was good that Miley decided to shake it up a little bit.''

''It had nothing to do with me,'' Miley said. ''It's just the way it worked out.''

Arizona starter Brandon Webb (7-6), who grew up about 150 miles east of Cincinnati in Ashland, Ky., struggled with the humidity. He allowed six hits and three runs in five innings, walking two and hitting two batters. He's now 0-4 in his last six starts.

''I'm not used to this,'' Webb said of the high humidity and 86-degree gametime temperature. ''It was really draining. My command was horrible. The first inning was awesome. Then I just lost it.''

Arizona pulled within a run in the fifth. Matt Kata hit a two-out double, barely avoiding being thrown out at second, and then scored on Craig Counsell's single down the left-field line. But Adam Dunn snuffed out the rally, throwing out Counsell when he tried to stretch the hit into a double.

Defense saved the Reds again in the seventh. Junior Spivey was at second with one out when Chad Moeller lined out on a diving catch by rookie shortstop Ray Olmedo. Olmedo then doubled up Spivey, who couldn't hustle back to second in time.

''That play was huge,'' Miley said. ''That was the biggest play of the game. If it gets through, it's a tie game. (Bench coach Mark) Berry moved him over a step to his right just before the pitch, and he stretched out as far as he could.''

Notes: Cincinnati avoided its longest losing streak to one team since dropping 19 in a row to the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1937-1938. … Arizona 3B Shea Hillenbrand, who's hitless in his last 15 at bats, did not play … LaRue was hit by a pitch for the 17th time, three short of tying the club record set by Frank Robinson in 1956. … Webb increased his team-leading total of hit batsmen to 10. … Gonzalez went 0-for-4, snapping his streak of reaching base safely at 29 games. … Harang also got his first major-league hit, a two-out single to center field in the sixth.