Branyan, Boone carry Reds


ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -- Russell Branyan made a solid first
impression with the Cincinnati Reds.

Branyan drove in two runs in his Reds debut and Aaron Boone hit
a tiebreaking RBI double in the eighth inning as Cincinnati beat
the Anaheim Angels 4-3 Saturday.

''It's a new start for me, and sometimes the grass is greener on
the other side,'' said Branyan, who was traded from Cleveland to
Cincinnati on Friday for minor league first baseman Ben Broussard.
''But today is still the first day, so I'm not going to get too
high or too low.''

Branyan had an RBI groundout in the fourth inning and a
sacrifice fly in the eighth, both with the bases loaded.

''I would have liked one of those balls to have fallen in for a
hit, but I'm not going to get too greedy, because I got a couple of
RBI,'' he said. ''I'm not expecting to be in the lineup every day,
but whenever my name's called upon, I'm going to try to

Branyan played in 50 games with Cleveland, hitting .205 with
eight homers and 17 RBI. When he arrived in the Reds' clubhouse
less than 2½ hours before gametime, he was still carrying his
Indians equipment bag.

''I think it's a lot more relaxed atmosphere than I was exposed
to,'' Branyan said. ''Everybody's having a good time, and it's like
one big unit over here. I like what I see so far and I'm really
excited to be here.''

Injury-plagued Ken Griffey Jr. did not play because of a
strained right hamstring he hurt while running out a grounder in
Friday night's 4-3 loss.

''It's just tender. That's the best way you can describe it,''
said Griffey, who has been off the disabled list only two weeks
after missing 41 games because of a torn tendon in his right knee.
''We'll increase the activity tomorrow, and see what happens from

The Reds also lost another outfielder when Juan Encarnacion was
hit in the head by a thrown ball during batting practice. A
precautionary CT scan was normal, and Encarnacion was listed as

Trailing 4-2, Anaheim loaded the bases with one out, and Bengie
Molina hit a grounder that Sean Casey backhanded with a dive. Casey
tossed to pitcher Danny Graves for the out as a run scored, and
pinch-hitter Jorge Fabregas grounded out to end it. The save was
Graves' 19th in 24 chances.

Gabe White (3-1) pitched 1 1-3 innings of relief for the
victory, striking out pinch-hitter Tim Salmon with the bases loaded
to end the seventh.

''When we got runners on base, their pitchers did a good job of
bearing down. We just couldn't pick up the key RBI,'' Anaheim's
David Eckstein said. ''It came down to the last pitch, and we had
an opportunity to win.''

Casey drew a leadoff walk in the eighth from Dennis Cook (1-1)
and Austin Kearns greeted Ben Weber with a one-out single. Casey
scored on Boone's double to short left-center.

The Reds tied it at 2 in the fifth when Barry Larkin doubled,
tagged up on Casey's flyout in the right-field corner and was
balked home by Ramon Ortiz -- who fell for the 17-year veteran's
bluff down the third-base line and took the ball out of his glove to
fake a throw.

''That's something Lark works on with Foli,'' Boone said in
reference to third base coach Tim Foli. ''That's the only reason
Foli gets up in the morning every day. He's looking for that. And
Lark did it perfectly. Right after he started, he made a real quick
sharp move, and the kid panicked a little bit.''

Orlando Palmeiro singled with two outs in the Angels second
against Elmer Dessens, and scored the game's first run when Scott
Spiezio doubled way over center fielder Reggie Taylor's head.
Taylor started when Encarnacion, hit by a throw from second baseman
Todd Walker before the game, had to be scratched.

Adam Kennedy led off the third with a single, advanced on
Eckstein's sacrifice bunt and scored on Darin Erstad's single for a
2-0 lead.

Dessens, attempting to win his career-high fifth straight
decision, allowed two runs and five hits over 5 2-3 innings. He
retired six straight batters before Boone brought in Scott
Williamson to face slugger Troy Glaus, who struck out.

''That's a tough decision for a manager,'' Boone said. ''I
thought Elmer gave me everything he had, but was losing it a little
bit. So and I wanted Scott to throw some stuff at Glaus -- and he
certainly did. I just didn't want to take any chance. If Glaus hits
a home run there off of Elmer, I'm going to kill myself. And I
didn't want to kill myself today.''

Game notes
Before the trade, Branyan was 0-for-8 with six strikeouts
in bases-loaded situations this season, and 5-for-35 with 22
strikeouts when he batted with runners in scoring position. ...
Former Angels infielder and current broadcaster Rex Hudler sang
''Take Me Out to the Ballgame'' during the seventh-inning stretch.
When Hudler played for the Angels, his wife, Jennifer, sang the
national anthem on several occasions. ... Palmeiro started in RF in
place of Salmon, who didn't start because of tightness in his right