Final

Series: Game 2 of 3

Series tied 1-1 (as of 5/26)

Game 1: Tuesday, May 25
Florida2Final
Cincinnati5
Game 2: Wednesday, May 26
Florida3Final
Cincinnati0
Game 3: Thursday, May 27
Florida5Final
Cincinnati2

Marlins 3

(26-20, 13-11 away)

Reds 0

(27-19, 16-8 home)

    7:10 PM ET, May 26, 2004

    Great American Ball Park, Cincinnati, Ohio 

    123456789 R H E
    FLA 010000101 3 8 0
    CIN 000000000 0 1 0

    W: T. Phelps (1-0)

    L: T. Van Poppel (2-2)

    S: A. Benitez (17)

    Cincinnati's bats hit three-year low

    CINCINNATI (AP) -- Tommy Phelps kept the lineup card from his first start in Cincinnati -- the one that brought his first win and changed his team's direction.

    His second start at Great American Ball Park also was suitable for framing.

    Adam Dunn

    Adam Dunn leads all major leaguers with 83 strikeouts.

    Phelps limited the surging Reds to one double over seven innings Wednesday, leading the Florida Marlins to a 3-0 victory that ended Cincinnati's winning streak at seven games.

    For the second year in a row, Phelps (1-0) got an unexpected chance to start and surpassed all expectations.

    "He was great," catcher Mark Redmond said. "He was the MVP of that game."

    The Reds were held to one hit for the first time since Sept. 26, 2001, when Philadelphia's Randy Wolf beat them 8-0. It seemed it was going to take something extraordinary to end their roll, and Phelps and the Marlins were up to it.

    Hee Seop Choi hit his fourth homer in his last five games against the Reds, who lead the NL Central and have the league's best record after a late-May surge.

    Phelps took care of the rest, handling the heart of the Reds' order with ease. Ken Griffey Jr. went 0-for-3 against the left-hander, ending his streak of homers in three consecutive games.

    "He shut us down and kept us off-balance," Casey said. "I remember that from last year. It was like, 'Who's Tommy Phelps?' and before you know it, he shut us down."

    Phelps got the Marlins started on their playoff surge last season at Cincinnati. He made his first major league start on May 23 and got his first win, an 8-4 victory that was the beginning of Florida's turnaround.

    Phelps kept the lineup card from that game -- it's framed at his house -- and tried not to think about it too much when he returned.

    "I didn't want it to be a big issue," Phelps said.

    It turned out to be better than the first one. Phelps kept it simple, letting Redmond call the pitches and run the game.

    "I told him before the game, 'Put your glove where you want it and I'll try my best to hit it," Phelps said.

    He got the opportunity to start when Darren Oliver was demoted to the bullpen. Phelps allowed only two walks and one hit in seven innings -- Sean Casey's double just inside first base in the fourth.

    Matt Perisho got the first two outs in the eighth, and Armando Benitez finished for his 17th save in 18 chances. He hasn't allowed an earned run since Montreal's Jose Vidro homered on opening day.

    Benitez's streak of 25 2/3 innings without allowing an earned run is two outs shy of Luis Aquino's club record, set in 1994.

    Todd Van Poppel (2-2) was solid in his fourth straight start, giving up two runs and six hits in seven innings. Miguel Cabrera singled and scored on Jeff Conine's double off the center-field wall in the second.

    Choi hit his 11th homer in the seventh inning, extending his amazing run against the Reds. He has five career homers against Cincinnati, his highest total against any team.

    Redmond singled home another run in the ninth off Todd Jones.

    Griffey, who had the decisive swing and a telling stare in the series opener, flied out to the warning track in right field in his first at-bat, then flied out routinely and grounded out.

    During Cincinnati's 5-2 victory on Tuesday, Florida manager Jack McKeon chose to intentionally walk Casey and have Josh Beckett pitch to Griffey, who hit a three-run homer on the first pitch. Griffey glared into the Marlins' dugout as he rounded the bases.

    Griffey declined to talk about the glare on Wednesday or to even acknowledge he had been miffed. It was the third time in five games that an opponent had walked Casey to face Griffey.

    Casey went 1-for-4, dropping his NL-leading average three points to .376. He moved slowly after a hamstring tightened on his fourth-inning double, but stayed in the game.

    Game notes


    A.J. Burnett is to make his third rehab start for Triple-A Albuquerque on Friday. The right-hander had reconstructive elbow surgery on April 29, 2003. The Marlins are hoping he can rejoin the rotation in June. ... Casey hasn't gone more than one game without a hit all season. ... SS Barry Larkin is one extra-base hit shy of becoming the third Reds player to get 700. Pete Rose holds the team record with 868, and Johnny Bench had 794. ... The last time the Reds won more than seven in a row was 1999, when they won 10 straight under McKeon.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

    SPONSORED HEADLINES