Four walks in first inning open door for Reds

SAN DIEGO (AP) -- The Cincinnati Reds didn't need many hits considering the help they got from Brett Tomko.

Russell Branyan hit a two-run homer, and Cincinnati capitalized on Tomko's first-inning wildness Saturday night for a 4-3 victory over the San Diego Padres.

Tomko walked four in the first inning -- one with the bases
loaded -- and the Reds scored twice.

"It's was nice to take advantage in the first inning, because he really settled down after that,'' Branyan said.

Although he was not sharp, Jimmy Haynes (12-6) won his career-best fifth straight decision as the Reds moved within three games of first-place St. Louis in the NL Central.

"It was a good win, especially since I battled from the beginning,'' Haynes said. "I didn't have very much at all. It wasn't looking good.''

The Reds benefitted from Tomko's struggles. They loaded the
bases after three batters on a leadoff walk to Todd Walker, Aaron
Boone's single and a walk to Adam Dunn.

Austin Kearns knocked in a run with a groundout, and
back-to-back walks to Branyan and Barry Larkin brought in the
second run.

"I don't think I had an inning like that in my entire career,'' Tomko said. "It was just a weird first inning. I was around the zone. It wasn't like I was wild.''

Three of Tomko's four walks were on full-count pitches.

"I had trouble with my sinker because it was moving more than I
was used to,'' Tomko said. "After that, I only made one bad pitch
to Branyan.''

Branyan lined Tomko's fastball into the right-field seats in the
third inning to give the Reds a 4-3 lead.

Gabe White and John Riedling combined to pitch three scoreless
innings, and Danny Graves got three outs for his 29th save in 35

"(Tomko) just took a little off his fastball and left it out
over the plate,'' Branyan said of his sixth homer of the season.

Haynes allowed three runs on nine hits in five innings, allowing
a run to score on a wild pitch. He matched a career high for wins.

Haynes, 5-0 in his last nine starts, has not lost since a 7-6
defeat against Pittsburgh on June 16.

"I thought he battled real hard and kept us in the ballgame,
even though he didn't have his best stuff,'' Reds manager Bob Boone

Tomko (5-7) allowed four runs and did not walk a batter after
the first inning. After allowing Branyan's home run with one out in
the third, he retired 14 of his final 15 batters.

"He wasn't missing by much,'' San Diego manager Bruce Bochy
said. "It's not like him, walking guys like that, and it hurt

Branyan's home run, following a one-out single by Kearns, erased San Diego's 3-2 lead.

The Padres tied it at 2 in the second on a two-run double by
Ramon Vazquez, scoring Brian Buchanan and Tom Lampkin, who reached
on one-out singles.

Vazquez then scored all the way from second base on a wild pitch
by Haynes as the ball bounced off catcher Jason LaRue toward the
San Diego dugout. By the time LaRue located the ball, Vazquez
scored easily ahead of the throw to Haynes.

The Reds cut down a potential Padres run in the third inning
when Deivi Cruz tried to score from second on Gene Kingsale's
single. But after the ball bounced off a diving Reggie Taylor in
center, Branyan made the relay throw to Dunn, who threw home to
LaRue in time to nail Cruz.

Game notes
Tomko faced the Reds for the first time since being dealt
to Seattle in the Ken Griffey Jr. trade in February 2000. ...
Haynes set his career high for wins in 2000, when he went 12-13
with Milwaukee. ... Griffey (left quad spasm) was a last-minute
scratch from the starting lineup, but he pinch-hit in the eighth
and walked. ... CF Mark Kotsay (back spasms) and Vazquez (stomach
virus) were back in San Diego's starting lineup after missing
Friday's game.