Rookies Shearn, Jorgensen lift Reds past Marlins

" Batterymate: Catcher Ryan Jorgensen, Shearn's batterymate in the minors, hit a grand slam in the first inning to give the Reds -- and Shearn -- all the runs they would need.

" Skipping to new beat: Since interim
manager Pete Mackanin took over on July 3, the Reds have the NL's
best record at 29-19.

" Quotable: "The Little Red Wagon is doing all right." -- Ken Griffey Jr. on the Reds' recent hot streak.

-- ESPN.com news services

Reds 9, Marlins 3

CINCINNATI (AP) -- Tom Shearn was living in a camper outside a
minor league ballpark -- saving money as the season wound down --
when he got the call he feared would never come. The Cincinnati
Reds wanted him.

Finally, somebody wanted him.

Two days shy of his 30th birthday, after 11 seasons knocking
around the minors and another recovering from elbow surgery, the
right-hander got his chance -- and a win, too. Shearn led the Reds
to a 9-3 victory over the Florida Marlins on Sunday.

The most difficult part was getting there.

"It was tough, up until this day," Shearn said, moments after
a clubhouse attendant handed him a game ball as a keepsake. "Makes
it all worth it."

The catcher who knows him best helped him capture the moment.
Ryan Jorgensen's first career grand slam gave Shearn an early lead
that amounted to breathing room, and sent the Reds on their way to
their sixth straight victory.

Cincinnati is on its best surge of the season. Since interim
manager Pete Mackanin took over on July 3, the Reds have the NL's
best record at 29-19.

"The Little Red Wagon is doing all right," Ken Griffey Jr.
said, playing off the Big Red Machine teams of the '70s.

Florida isn't. The foundering Marlins hadn't been swept three
games in Cincinnati since 2001. They've lost 11 of 12, falling a
season-high 17 games under .500 at 57-74.

"I think a week has gone by and we haven't done but one or two
things that's quality," reliever Lee Gardner said. "We're not
playing the game. It's one inning here or there. We've got the
ability to do it. We talk a great game."

Shearn (1-0) now has some big-league stories to tell about how
he kept the Reds on the upswing.

The right-hander was living in the groundskeeper's camper at
Triple-A Louisville -- a moneysaving move -- when the Reds decided to
call him up on Saturday. He drove to town on Saturday night, then
got a few restless hours of sleep on reliever Gary Majewski's couch
before his big day.

He didn't mind.

"I'll sleep in my car to pitch in the big leagues right now,"
he said.

It worked out. Shearn limited the Marlins to four hits and a
pair of walks in seven innings, including Dan Uggla's three-run

Jorgensen, his catcher at Louisville before an Aug. 14
promotion, hit his grand slam in the first inning off rookie
right-hander Daniel Barone (0-2) to help Shearn settle in. Brandon
Phillips and Edwin Encarnacion also homered off Barone.

The Reds' offense has been the foundation of the winning streak,
scoring 46 runs during the six-game span.

In a matchup of two pitchers called up this month, age won out.

The 24-year-old Barone made his debut on Aug. 10. His fourth
start was by far the worst of the bunch -- three innings, nine runs,
three home runs.

"I was leaving pitches up," Barone said. "I couldn't get the
ball inside today. When I tried to go in, I'd leave it over the

Shearn grew up in Columbus, Ohio, and bounced around the minors
for 11 seasons and 352 appearances before getting his chance. The
stocky, 6-foot-4 pitcher wore No. 64 -- a number usually seen in
spring training -- and started the game with a called strike to
Hanley Ramirez.

He's the oldest Reds pitcher to make his big-league debut since
1956, when Pat Scantlebury did it at age 38. Shearn also was the
fifth member of Louisville's starting rotation to make the jump to
Cincinnati this season.

He had some help.

"I've probably caught 95 percent of his starts over the last
two years," Jorgensen said. "I think knowing how he pitches is

The second time through the Marlins' order, Shearn got in
trouble. Uggla hit a three-run homer in the third inning, his
second homer in his last four at-bats. With Jorgensen calling the
pitches, Shearn settled down and held on.

Game notes

Barone singled in the third inning for his first major
league hit. ... OF Jeremy Hermida extended his hitting streak to a
career-high 10 games. ... The Reds optioned RHP Kirk Saarloos to
Louisville to open a roster spot for Shearn. ... Shearn was the
oldest Reds player to make his major league debut since outfielder
Greg Tubbs did it in 1993 at age 30. Shearn will get at least one
more start for the Reds. ... Jorgensen has three career hits in the
majors, two of them homers. ... SS Jeff Keppinger's hitting streak
ended at 14 games.