Five-run sixth boosts Cincinnati


CINCINNATI (AP) -- One more bad inning set up one more
disappointment for the St. Louis Cardinals.

Tim Hummel had a pinch two-run single in the sixth inning as the
Cincinnati Reds rallied for five runs and an 8-5 victory Friday
that cost the Cardinals a chance to seize first place all to themselves.

Instead, they remained tied with Houston atop the NL Central, a
half-game ahead of the Chicago Cubs. The Astros lost to San Diego
7-1, and the Cubs beat Milwaukee 4-2 to gain ground.

The scaled-down Reds sent 10 batters to the plate in the sixth
against Dan Haren (3-5) and reliever Jason Simontacchi, a big rally
against a team that has been giving them up. In each of their last
seven losses, the Cardinals have been undone by one big inning.

"You give up one or two hits and it's just a whirlwind trying
to get outs," said Haren, who allowed two hits, walked two and hit
a batter in the inning. "A lot of our pitchers have been
struggling with that one big inning."

The Cardinals have struggled with the Reds all season.
Cincinnati is 8-3 against St. Louis, including a four-game sweep at
Great American Ball Park from May 5-8.

All it takes to beat the Reds these days is a solid game. The
Cardinals weren't up to it, helping Cincinnati break its five-game
losing streak.

"We played a hard game, but not a perfect game," St. Louis
manager Tony La Russa said.

Left-hander John Bale (1-1) gave up a pair of RBI doubles by
Edgar Renteria that put the Cardinals up 2-1 in the sixth. The Reds
then pulled off their biggest rally since Aug. 15.

Haren pitched around Dernell Stenson, walking him on four
pitches to load the bases, then hit Kelly Stinnett with his first
pitch to force in the go-ahead run.

"I kind of pitched around other people to get to Stinnett
because I was pretty confident I could get him out," Haren said.
"I just made a bad pitch to him, one of the few bad pitches I
threw. It was a tailing fastball that just got away from me."

Hummel pinch-hit for Bale and singled home two more runs on
Simontacchi's first pitch. Ryan Freel's RBI single completed a
rally that was out of character for the Reds, who have scored three
or fewer runs in 18 of their last 24 games.

Hummel is one of the players acquired in Cincinnati's flurry of trades -- five since July 29. The deals and injuries have left the Reds with only eight players from their opening day roster.

John Riedling gave up a pair of singles and Scott Rolen's 26th
homer in the seventh, cutting it to 6-5. Rolen had a single, a double
and the homer.

D'Angelo Jimenez had three hits for the Reds, including a solo
homer in the seventh off Jeff Fassero that made it 7-5. He also
drew a bases-loaded walk in the eighth from Cal Eldred.

Danny Graves made his first relief appearance since he was moved
out of the rotation, pitching the last two innings for his second
save. His other save also was against St. Louis, on June 24.

"I feel like I'm good again," said Graves, who gave up two
hits and struck out two. "I'm back where I belong, and I think they
realize that. That's why they made the change back. This is me."

Jim Edmonds drew a standing ovation from the crowd of 27,121
after he made the play of the game in the second inning, robbing
Stinnett at the top of the center-field wall with one runner

Edmonds slowed as he approached the 8-foot wall, timed his jump
and planted his right cleats in the green padding to boost himself.
He stretched and caught the ball with his glove atop the yellow
padding as fans reached for what they thought was going to be a
two-run homer.

Game notes
2B Fernando Vina accompanied the Cardinals and most likely
will be activated Saturday. Vina tore a tendon connected to his
right hamstring while trying to beat out a grounder May 25 and
had surgery five days later. ... The Cardinals also expect to
activate RHP Russ Springer from the DL this weekend. Springer has
been sidelined since May 1 because of a sprained elbow. ... Reds OF
Reggie Taylor had surgery Friday to repair a torn labrum and
rotator cuff in his left shoulder. He injured the shoulder diving
for a fly ball Aug. 24. ... The Reds went over 2 million in
attendance on their 69th home date. They've averaged 29,315 per
game, a disappointment for their first season in a new ballpark.