Series: Game 3 of 3

Cleveland won 3-0

Game 1: Friday, June 11
in 11
Game 2: Saturday, June 12
Game 3: Sunday, June 13

Reds 8

(34-28, 16-18 away)

Indians 10

(29-31, 20-15 home)

1:05 PM ET, June 13, 2004

Progressive Field, Cleveland, Ohio 

CIN - -
CLE - -

W: M. Miller ( )

L: B. Reith (2-2)

S: J. Jimenez (5)

Griffey connects for No. 499 in loss

CLEVELAND (AP) -- Ken Griffey Jr. didn't make history, the bullpen couldn't protect a lead and the manager watched Sunday's final innings on the clubhouse TV.

The Cincinnati Reds didn't have a pleasant three-day stay at Jacobs Field.

Griffey moved within one swing of history with his 499th career homer, but the Reds' losing streak reached a season-high six games with a 10-8 loss to the Cleveland Indians.

Ken Griffey Jr.

With his home run on Sunday, Ken Griffey Jr. has gone deep five times in the month of June.

Matt Lawton hit a two-run homer in the seventh inning as the Indians climbed back from a 7-1 deficit to complete a three-game sweep with their third straight come-from-behind victory over their in-state rivals.

The Reds have lost six straight -- all on the road -- and look nothing like the team that led the NL Central for 20 straight days.

"We probably should have won all three games," said first baseman Sean Casey. "Instead, we got three losses. It was a really tough weekend for us."

The Indians trailed 7-1 in the fourth, but stormed back with five runs in the sixth and three in the seventh -- capped by Lawton's shot off Mike Matthews.

Cleveland outscored Cincinnati 18-3 from the sixth inning on in the series, aided by the Reds' floundering bullpen, which blew saves in each game.

"It's ridiculous," closer Danny Graves said. "We're major league ballplayers and if you can't throw strikes, they'd better find someone who can."

Griffey hit No. 499 in the third inning, and with his next homer he'll become the 20th player to reach 500. He would've certainly gotten there much earlier if not for a freakish run of injuries the past few seasons.

He nearly hit the milestone homer several times during his weekend at the Jake. But like the Reds, came up just short.

Griffey went 1-for-3 and walked twice. He came within a few feet of No. 500 in the fourth inning with a shot to right that was caught just short of the wall.

"I hit it off the end," said Griffey, who feels his pursuit of 500 homers is hurting the Reds.

"It's one of those things where guys don't want to mess up," he said. "Look at a no-hitter, it's the same thing. If I hit one (homer), guys start pressing. It's natural."

Griffey gets his next shot at 500 on Monday in Philadelphia.

After walking in the first, Griffey connected for his 18th homer -- and 10th in 21 games -- in the third, pulling a 1-1 pitch from Cliff Lee over the wall in right.

Griffey paused to watch its flight as fans in the lower tier of seats scrambled for the souvenir.

In his next at-bat in the fourth, Griffey nearly got beaned by the first pitch from Lee, who was immediately ejected by plate umpire Matt Hollowell.

Lee's fastball whizzed behind Griffey's head, and Hollowell tossed the left-hander almost as quickly as the ball reached the backstop. Ryan Freel scored on the play.

Lee maintained he wasn't trying to hit Griffey.

"I was trying to go in under his hands, and it just got away from me," said Lee, who walked five in 3 2-3 innings. "He just hit a homer on my last pitch, so it obviously looked like I was throwing at him, but it just got away."

Several of the Reds came storming up the dugout steps, while Griffey simply leaned on his bat and offered a puzzled look to Lee.

Griffey was asked if he thought Lee was aiming at him.

"I'm not going to answer that," he said.

Reds manager Dave Miley, who got tossed by Hollowell in the sixth for arguing balls and strikes, was equally noncommittal.

"I'd rather not comment," he said. "Ask the home plate umpire. He obviously thought there was some intent."

Coco Crisp hit a three-run homer in the sixth off Reds starter Cory Lidle, and Omar Vizquel had a two-run shot in the inning off Brian Reith (2-2) as the Indians tied it 7-7.

Brandon Larson's RBI in the seventh put the Reds back up, but Tim Laker snapped an 0-for-14 slump with an RBI double and Lawton followed with his 10th homer, giving Cleveland a 10-8 lead.

Matt Miller (1-0), who bounced around the minors until this season, pitched the seventh for his first major league win. Jose Jimenez worked the ninth for his fifth save in eight tries.

Wily Mo Pena hit his first career grand slam in the first for Cincinnati, which built a 7-1 lead in the fourth after Casey's RBI double.

But the Indians didn't quit, rallying as they did while overcoming 5-2 and 5-1 deficits in the series' first two games.

"It was huge for us," said Laker, "especially with the crowds we had. They were really into the game."

Game notes

Reds SS D'Angelo Jimenez was lifted for a pinch-runner in the second after straining his left oblique. ... Indians C Victor Martinez missed his third straight game with a sprained foot, but is expected to DH on Monday. ... Beginning Tuesday in New York, Cleveland will play 16 of 19 on the road. ... On Monday, Griffey will face Philadelphia LHP Eric Milton. He's 4-for-6 with two doubles, a homer and two walks against him. ... The Indians are 13-1 in weekend (Friday, Saturday, Sunday) home games.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press