<
>

Griffey strokes homer for second straight night

CINCINNATI (AP) -- Four times, the Colorado Rockies got a lead
and let it slip away. The Cincinnati Reds had only one lead all
night, but that was enough.

Wily Mo Pena doubled home the tying run in the eighth inning and
Ray Olmedo followed with a pinch-hit double Saturday night,
rallying the Reds to a 7-6 victory over a team known for losing the
close ones.

The Rockies blew four leads in a back-and-forth game between the
NL's two worst teams, falling to 7-35 on the road -- worst in the
majors. The Rockies have yet to win a series on the road this
season.

Forty-three of the Rockies' 89 games have been decided by two
runs or less. They're 17-26 in those games, including 3-16 when
it's a close call on the road.

"Same conversation I've had many times," said a downcast Todd
Helton, who was on second base when Cory Sullivan grounded out to
end the game. "It's definitely a game you've got to win."

Ken Griffey Jr. hit a solo homer for the second consecutive
game, leaving him with 520 for his career. Rich Aurilia also had a
two-run homer and an RBI single, helping the Reds play catch-up --
the one thing they're good at.

The Reds lead the majors in comebacks from big deficits. A dozen
times this season, they've won after trailing by three or more
runs.

"We have this thing for coming back, but the downside is we get
behind," Aurilia said. "It would be nice to get a lead and just
ride it out one time."

Adam Dunn started Cincinnati's fourth comeback with a double in
the eighth off Dan Miceli (0-1), and Pena doubled down the line in
left to tie it at 6. Olmedo put the Reds ahead for the first time
with his third pinch-hit RBI of the season.

Jason Standridge (1-0) pitched an inning for his first major
league victory. David Weathers got the final two outs for his fifth
save in seven chances.

"You know, I've only been up here about a week-and-a-half, and
one thing I've noticed with this team is it's a close group of guys
who never give up," said Standridge, promoted from the minors on
July 6.

The Rockies are particularly adept at squandering late leads,
leading the NL with 16 blown saves.

"It's very frustrating," said Rockies starter Jeff Francis,
who blew leads of three and one runs. "The biggest wins we've had
around here are when we'd get ahead by a couple and shut them down
the next inning, keep it in our favor."

Left-hander Eric Milton lasted only five innings, allowing the
Reds to tie their franchise record for going deepest into a season
without a complete game. The 2001 club also went its first 91 games
without one.

Cincinnati's rotation has given up the most runs and pitched the
fewest innings in the NL.

Milton was one of the majors' biggest underachievers in the
first half, losing 10 games. Milton, in the first season of a
three-year, $25.5 million deal, has given up 29 homers, most in the
majors.

Luis Gonzalez had a pair of run-scoring doubles, and newcomer
Eric Byrnes -- acquired from Oakland in one of Colorado's two trades
over the All-Star break -- gave the Rockies their final lead, 6-5,
with a run-scoring single in the seventh.

Francis held the Reds without a hit through the first three
innings. The second time through the order was more of an ordeal
for the 24-year-old rookie, who was Colorado's top draft pick in
June 2002.

Felipe Lopez led off the fourth with a double, and Aurilia hit
the next pitch into the first row of seats in left-center for his
eighth homer. One out later, Griffey lined his 19th homer just over
the wall in right field, tying it at 3.

Griffey remains in 16th place on the career list, one behind Ted
Williams and Willie McCovey.

Colorado's Aaron Miles extended his hitting streak to 11 games
with a single.

Game notes
Miles' hitting streak is tied for second longest on the
Rockies this season. Clint Barmes hit in 12 straight in May. ...
Miles' career best was a 13-game streak last July. ... OF Ryan
Spilborghs is the 14th rookie to appear for Colorado this season.
That matches Atlanta for most in the majors. ... Francis was the
329th pitcher to give up a homer by Griffey. ... Reds 1B Sean Casey
grounded into his 22nd double play, by far the most in the majors.
Ernie Lombardi set the club record by hitting into 30 in 1938. ...
Milton's ERA rose a point to 6.93. He has failed to go seven
innings in 18 of his 20 starts.