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Cincinnati 12, Pittsburgh 4

9/16/2003

PITTSBURGH (AP) -- Ryan Freel could hardly wait to get back in
the lineup, and it certainly showed.

Freel, who missed 12 games with a strained right hamstring, had
a career-high four hits as the Cincinnati Reds beat the Pittsburgh
Pirates 12-4 on Tuesday night.

"It was miserable being out," he said. "I was finally getting
a chance, and then just knowing I could be out there playing but
having to sit and watch these guys was very frustrating."

Freel went 4-for-5 with a homer and three RBI as part of the
Reds' 17-hit attack.

"A lot of guys here are battling for next year,' the outfielder
said. "Nothing's going to be given to me, and I have to go out
there and still open up some eyes."

Freel hit .278 while starting 10 consecutive games before being
injured in a game at Milwaukee. He said he felt nervous Tuesday,
but it didn't show as he singled in his first two at-bats and
homered off Oliver Perez (4-9) to lead off the fifth inning.

"That's what he's capable of doing, and it's what he was doing
before he got hurt," Reds manager Dave Miley said. "It was like
he didn't miss a beat. He and (D'Angelo) Jimenez did a heck of a
job."

Jimenez added three hits and drove in three runs, and Wily Mo
Pena homered for Cincinnati, which had lost five of its previous
six road games.

Aaron Harang (4-2), who hadn't pitched since straining his lower
back Sept. 5, scattered four hits over five innings. Brian Reith
earned his first career save with 2 1-3 scoreless innings.

"I was just trying to throw strikes and make some good
pitches," said Harang, who retired 10 consecutive hitters during
one stretch before being lifted after feeling some tightness in his
back.

"I just tried to worry about making sure I didn't do anything
to reinjure my back," Harang said. "We didn't want to take any
chances."

Perez, who pitched six scoreless innings against the Reds in his
last outing Sept. 10, allowed eight hits and four runs in five
innings.

"There are going to be growing pains, and you're going to have
inconsistency with young pitchers," Pirates manager Lloyd
McClendon said. "That's part of it. You just keep running them out
there and they'll get better.

"That's what will happen with Oliver, because he has a great
arm, a great competitive spirit and a chance to do some tremendous
things."

The Reds led 5-4 before breaking it open with four runs in the
eighth off reliever Mark Corey.

Jason LaRue doubled and scored on Ruben Mateo's single. Ray
Olmedo grounded into fielder's choice, Dernell Stenson walked on
four pitches and Freel was hit by a pitch to load the bases.

Tim Hummel hit a sacrifice fly to make it 7-4. Jimenez hit a
two-run single to make it 9-4.

Stenson had a sacrifice fly and Freel hit a two-run single in
the ninth to cap the scoring.

Trailing 5-2, the Pirates scored twice in the seventh off John
Riedling, who didn't record an out. Craig Wilson singled and beat
right fielder Mateo's throw home to score on a triple by Rob
Mackowiak, and Jack Wilson followed with a run-scoring single.

Miley was ejected by plate umpire Eric Cooper for arguing the
call on Craig Wilson at home.

"I felt that was a big play in the game at that point," said
Miley, whose ejection was his first in the majors. "I felt we got
him and I said so."

Game notes
The Reds have used a different lineup in each of their last
27 games. ... Of the five Reds remaining from the opening day
roster, only Casey and LaRue have spent the entire season on the
active roster. ... Mackowiak started at third base for the seventh
time in 10 games. Jose Hernandez, who has made 45 starts at third
since being acquired from the Chicago Cubs in July, is a free agent
after this season. ... Pittsburgh's Tike Redman has hit safely in
eight consecutive starts.