PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- While Ken Griffey Jr. decided to wait at
least another day to try for a milestone homer, Jim Thome hit his
400th to help the Philadelphia Phillies to a 10-7 win over the
Cincinnati Reds on Monday night.
The game was stopped three times by rain, with delays totaling 3
hours, 54 minutes, and ended at 2:06 on Tuesday morning. The game
was called with Billy Wagner taking warmup tosses in the ninth.
A smattering of fans got soaked as they hung out near the
dugouts during the final delay. Stadium workers draped in ponchos
were already cleaning the aisles before the game was called.
It was an odd ending to a night that started with plenty of buzz
over the chance for Thome and Griffey to both get milestone homers.
Griffey, however, was out of the lineup, giving him a better chance
to hit his 500th home run at home in Cincinnati.
The sellout crowd of 44,710 -- the largest ever at Philadelphia's
new ballpark -- booed when they heard Ryan Freel introduced as
Cincinnati's starting center fielder. Their disappointment didn't
Flashbulbs popped all over the park on every pitch as Thome dug
in against starter Jose Acevedo. Fans gasped on several foul balls,
thinking each swing would be the one.
Thome battled back from an 0-2 count to get it to 3-2, then
crushed a two-run blast in the first inning to become the 37th
player to join the 400 club.
Thome pumped his right fist as he rounded first base and pointed
to the crowd. He was mobbed by teammates when he reached home
plate. The fans gave Thome a standing ovation and he emerged from
the dugout for a curtain call shortly before Pat Burrell followed
with a solo shot.
Thome's wife, Andrea, jumped up and down in a luxury box while
holding daughter Lila Grace.
Then the most memorable moment in the brief history of the
ballpark was nearly wiped out by rain.
There was a 2 hour, 18 minute delay before the start of the
bottom of the third inning. It was easy to wonder if Thome and the
fans would have to re-enact the celebration at a later date.
When the Phillies came back, they wiped out a two-run deficit
with a four-run fifth inning.
Riedling gave up four hits and four runs in one inning. Acevedo
did not come back after the lengthy delay, giving up three runs.
LaRue also added a solo shot in the seventh off reliever Roberto
Hernandez. Hernandez put two runners on with two out, but Tim
Worrell got Jermaine Clark on a comebacker to end the rally.
Then the rain came again and there was a delay of 1:05.
Several hundred fans stuck around for the end, wildly cheering
every Phillies hit and getting pumped up by the Phillie Phanatic.
When Thome batted in the seventh, a small but loud chant of
"401!" broke out.
No homer, but Thome hit an RBI double and Burrell and Mike
Lieberthal both added sacrifice flies to make it 10-6.
Casey also hit a solo shot in the eighth off Geoff Geary.
Griffey never took a crack at becoming the 20th player to hit
500 homers. He had played in 36 games in a row going into Monday
night and his health wasn't going to be risked with rain in the
The game against the Phillies was a makeup from a rainout April
14. Cincinnati starts a three-game series back home at Great
American Ball Park against Texas on Tuesday night.
Thome played for the Indians when he hit his 300th career
homer off Milton, then with the Twins. ... Phillies RF Bobby Abreu
hit his 253rd double with the team, tying him with Greg Luzinski
for 10th on the Phillies career list. ... Reds 3B Brandon Larson
was a late scratch with back spasms. Tim Hummel started instead. He
had his first steal of the year. ... Nearly a dozen fans ran on the
field during the delay, including a male streaker. Wearing nothing
but white socks, the man ran around the tarp to a wild mix of
horror and amusement before he was tackled by security. ... Todd
Stark of Glenmont, N.Y. caught Thome's homer. ... Casey had his
third multihomer game of the year.