CINCINNATI (AP) -- Brad Penny won't forgive the glare.
Determined to keep Ken Griffey Jr. from doing anything
noteworthy, Penny pitched eight solid innings against the
Cincinnati Reds for a 5-2 victory Thursday, Florida's sixth in its
last eight games.
The right-hander was still upset over the way Griffey glared
into the Marlins' dugout as he rounded the bases after a decisive
homer in the series opener.
"Something like that just fires you up a little more," Penny
said. "You won't let a guy like that beat you because you know
he's going to show you up."
Griffey was miffed after Florida manager Jack McKeon
intentionally walked Sean Casey to pitch to him in the opener, and
responded with a three-run homer. Griffey glared toward McKeon
after he rounded third.
The All-Century outfielder went 0-for-7 as Florida won the last
two games of the series, blunting a Cincinnati surge that vaulted
the Reds into first place in the NL Central.
Griffey has refused to even acknowledge that he looked into the
dugout. Penny said it's unusual for a hitter to glare at the other
team after a homer.
"If they do, they're usually hitting over .300," Penny said.
Griffey had 11 homers but was batting only .241 after Penny and
Armando Benitez held him hitless on Thursday.
Benitez earned his 18th save and set a team record of 26 2-3
innings without allowing an earned run. Luis Aquino held the
previous mark of 26 1-3 innings in 1994.
The right-hander hasn't given up an earned run since opening
day, when Montreal's Jose Vidro homered.
"I'm real comfortable," said Benitez, who pitched for the
Mets, the Yankees and Seattle last year. "I'm having a good time
here, and there are good people here. I'm really enjoying it."
Gonzalez also drew his first walk since April 28, reaching
safely in his first three plate appearances as the Marlins' No. 8
Penny handled a lineup that managed only one hit on Wednesday
night off left-hander Tommy Phelps and two relievers. Penny allowed
six hits and two runs in eighth innings, and didn't get flustered
when the Reds got some early hits.
"No question the old Penny would have had a couple of hits and
seen how hard he could throw it through the backstop," McKeon
said. "He has really matured as a pitcher. He's got that winning
demeanor about him now. I think the playoffs helped him last
The Reds had won 10 of 11 before Phelps and Penny finally
stopped their momentum.
"Pitching's everything," Reds shortstop Barry Larkin said.
"The last two days, they got some great pitching."
Penny got the greatest delight from shutting down Griffey, his
toughest out in the lineup. Griffey fouled out, struck out swinging
and flied out. Griffey also grounded out against Benitez in the
Heading into the game, Griffey was 7-for-11 career against Penny
with two homers. Penny decided to just challenge him with
"If he hits the ball out of the park, I don't care," Penny
said. "We still win the game."
While Gonzalez had a breakout game, two Marlins who regularly
enjoy big games against the Reds were at it again.
Hee Seop Choi had a pair of doubles, drove in a run and scored
twice. Choi has hit safely in his last nine games against the Reds,
with five homers, two doubles and 10 RBI.
Mike Lowell had two more hits, leaving him 6-for-11 in the
series. Lowell loves to hit at Great American Ball Park, where he's
13-for-24 with eight doubles and two homers.
Casey went 2-for-4 with an RBI single, raising the NL's top
average three points to .379. He leads the league with 67 hits and
23 multihit games, two more than Florida's Juan Pierre.
Larkin had an RBI double and scored on Casey's single in the
third inning, putting the Reds up 2-0.
Pierre singled in the third inning for his only hit of the
series. Pierre hasn't gone through a series without a hit since
June 6-8 last year against Anaheim, getting at least one in his
last 47 series. ... Larkin's double made him the third player to
have 700 extra-base hits with the Reds. Pete Rose had 868 and
Johnny Bench had 794.