Jimenez belts HR as Reds split series with Pirates

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 12, 2003

CINCINNATI - D'Angelo Jimenez's three-run homer provided the scoring for Cincinnati, but Reds manager Dave Miley made sure to credit the bunts that set it up.

Ray Olmedo and Tim Hummel opened the sixth inning with bunt singles, and Jimenez followed with a homer as Cincinnati beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 3-2 Thursday.

''Two drag bunts and a home run worked out pretty good,'' Miley said. ''Quite honestly, Hummel is capable of doing that, and Olmedo is really capable. That's something they should try more often. I thought Jimenez was going to do it, too.''

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''I thought about bunting,'' Jimenez said, smiling.

He'd just missed hitting a home run in his previous at-bat, driving an inside fastball from Pirates starter Jeff D'Amico to the warning track for an out.

When Jimenez saw the same pitch in the sixth, he capitalized with his sixth homer since being acquired from the Chicago White Sox on July 6.

''He's come up with some big hits,'' said Miley, whose team earned a split of the four-game series.

Rookie Scott Randall (2-1) pitched 1 2-3 innings of scoreless relief to earn his second win in nine appearances since being called up from the minors on Aug. 26.

Chris Reitsma pitched the ninth for his eighth save in 14 opportunities, getting Craig Wilson to hit into a fielder's choice with two on for the last out.

Reitsma gave up Rob Mackowiak's two-run homer in the ninth Wednesday night in Cincinnati's 3-2 loss, but he said that blown save never crossed his mind.

''If you start thinking like that, you're going to get beat,'' Reitsma said. ''You've got to be positive.''

D'Amico (8-15) allowed six hits and three runs with four strikeouts in six innings. He lost for the fourth time in five decisions.

Pittsburgh took a 1-0 lead in the second inning. The Pirates loaded the bases with nobody out on Reggie Sanders' broken-bat single to right, Wilson's walk and Jason Bay's bunt single. Mackowiak struck out, but Jack Wilson drove in Sanders with a sacrifice fly.

Craig Wilson made it 2-0 in the fourth inning, hitting his fourth homer of the series and tying a career high with his 16th of the season. The solo shot was Wilson's eighth career homer against the Reds - all in Cincinnati.

The Reds threatened in the second when Sean Casey led off with a single to right and moved to third on Russell Branyan's double to right-center. But Branyan was called out for interfering with Jack Wilson as the shortstop fielded Wily Mo Pena's chopper. Ruben Mateo popped out to Craig Wilson at first base, and Corky Miller struck out.