CINCINNATI (AP) -- Twenty-seven years later, the Yankees still couldn't win in Cincinnati.
Juan Castro slapped a run-scoring single just inside first base with two outs in the ninth inning, giving the Cincinnati Reds a 4-3 victory Tuesday in New York's long-awaited return.
Castro's soft grounder off the end of the bat eluded diving first baseman Jason Giambi and sent the Reds into another hop-in-unison celebration over another game-ending hit.
Fifteen of the Reds' 28 wins have come in their final at-bat. Seven of them came on game-ending hits at Great American Ball Park.
In his first game as the Yankees' captain, Derek Jeter managed only a harmless single in five at-bats, extending his hitting streak to a season-high 10 games.
A capacity crowd of 41,827 showed up for the Yankees' first visit since 1976, when they got swept by the Big Red Machine in the
World Series. Don Gullett, currently the Reds pitching coach, shut down the Yankees in the Series opener to set the tone.
The long-awaited rematch came down to the bullpens, and Reds
relievers were a little better. Chris Reitsma (4-2) struck out four in two perfect innings, while Antonio Osuna failed in the end. Jason LaRue doubled high off the wall in center with one out in the ninth, missing yet another game-ending homer at Great American by about two feet.
Osuna (1-2) struck out Felipe Lopez, then fell behind in the count to Castro before giving up the game-winning single. Left-hander Andy Pettitte had an RBI single as the Yankees got up 3-1, but had two wild pitches and a throwing error that helped the Reds tie it in the sixth and set up yet another last-inning
Reds manager Bob Boone stacked the top of his lineup with left-handed hitters -- Adam Dunn, Sean Casey, Ken Griffey Jr. -- against Pettitte, and watched it work in a roundabout way. Griffey had a pair of singles and the top of the order figured in Cincinnati's (first) three runs, with lots of help from
Pettitte. Leading 3-1 in the sixth, he walked Dunn, then gave up a two-out single to Griffey.
His first two pitches to Austin Kearns bounced for wild pitches that brought Dunn home. Pettitte then fielded Kearns' slow roller,
and his throw to first hit Kearns in the back of the helmet for an error that let Griffey score.
It was no surprise to see Griffey involved in a rally against the Yankees. Griffey is a .313 career hitter against the New York
with 32 homers.
Reds starter Jimmy Haynes also had a bout of wildness that cost him a chance for a win. Giambi led off the second inning with his 12th homer, and Haynes walked Giambi and Jorge Posada to open the sixth. Raul Mondesi and Pettitte had RBI singles for a 3-1 lead. It was Pettitte's third hit and his second RBI in 24 regular-season at-bats.
The Yankees made a little history beforehand, appointing Jeter as their 11th team captain. Owner George Steinbrenner decided to
announce the honor in a NL ballpark rather than waiting for the Yankees' return next week.
Notes: Former Yankees and Reds outfielder Paul O'Neill threw a ceremonial first pitch to Reds SS Barry Larkin. Peter Frampton led
the crowd in ``Take Me Out to the Ball Game'' during the seventh-inning stretch. ... The Yankees are 59-44 in interleague
play. Only Oakland has a better record in the AL. ... The Reds went 2-10 in interleague play last season and are 37-49 overall. ... The
Reds plan to activate RHP Ryan Dempster from the 15-day disabled list Saturday to start against Toronto. Dempster had an inflamed
nerve in his neck and was sent to Triple-A Louisville to regain his control.