June 19, 2006

Game 68: White Sox 8, Reds 6

The Reds bullpen failed to hold on to a game that starter Eric Milton left in pretty good shape in the 8-6 loss to the White Sox on Saturday.

Milton continued his respectable performances by going six innings and allowing three runs (earned) on seven hits and two walks. Hardly lights-out, I know, but it would have been good enough if the bullpen could have combined to allow just one.

David Weathers did allow just one (earned) on two hits through the seventh. Chris Hammond did the same through the eighth. Todd Coffey allowed three runs (two earned) on two hits and two walks in the ninth.

The Reds managed to score many of their runs without the benefit of the long ball on Saturday. The only home run was a solo shot by Felipe Lopez to lead off the fourth. Two batters later, Rich Aurilia doubled and two batters after that, Scott Hatteberg singled him in and advanced to second on the throw home. Austin Kearns singled home Hatteberg to score the Reds' third run of the inning.

They tacked on two more in the sixth when Brandon Phillips singled and Hatteberg walked. Kearns singled them both in. Kearns stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch, but was stranded along with David Ross when Quinton McCracken watched strike three go by.

It looked promising in the ninth when, with one out, David Ross doubled and Javier Valentín singled. Ryan Freel drew a walk to load up the bases. Lopez grounded out but plated Ross and set up Ken Griffey Jr. for the walk-off home run. Since he's actually managed to do this before, he was swinging for the fences and swung his way right out of the game to strand two and leave the Reds three short.

The loss brought the Reds' record to 37-31. They would try to salvage something, anything from the series with the White Sox on Sunday when Aaron Harang went against Jon Garland.

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