Boone homers with two outs in 11th to lift Reds

MIAMI (AP) -- Danny Graves was relieved that Aaron Boone bailed
him out.

Boone homered twice, including a solo blast with two outs in the
11th inning, as the Cincinnati Reds overcame a blown save by Graves
to beat the Florida Marlins 6-5 Tuesday night.

''I know it's early in the year but every game counts,'' Graves
said. ''I'm watching the scoreboard. A lot of guys won't admit but
I will. I knew St. Louis had won so that made ours a must win game.
We have to keep winning and do our part.''

Boone's homer off Vladimir Nunez (4-1) capped a back-and-forth
game that had the Reds go ahead in the top of the ninth before
Graves blew a save in the bottom half. Cincinnati remained a game
ahead of St. Louis in the NL Central.

Jason LaRue hit a run-scoring single with two out in the top of
the ninth to give Cincinnati a 5-4 lead. But Graves gave up an RBI
single with one out to Derrek Lee to blow his fifth save in 21

With two outs in the 11th, Boone hit a drive over the fence in
left-center for his fifth homer of the season. It was Boone's third
career multihomer game.

''I stayed through the ball,'' Boone said. ''Nunez is a good
pitcher so you have to be careful with him. Even with two strikes
and two outs, I was looking for a pitch that I could drive.''

Graves escaped a one-out bases-loaded jam in the 10th by
striking out Mike Lowell and retiring Eric Owens on a lineout.
Graves (2-1) pitched three innings for the win.

''I've been pretty bad with inherited runners,'' Graves said.
''This game is weird. I walked those two guys intentionally and it
wound up working out for us.

''I was hoping (Lowell) would hit into a double play but I'll
take the strikeout. There are times you need one and that was it.''

Marlins manager Jeff Torborg credited Graves for rescuing the
Reds from a dangerous situation.

''That was pretty darn good pitching by Graves,'' Torborg said.
''He made some good pitches. He did a heck of a job.''

The Reds took a 3-0 lead on Austin Kearns' two-run single in the
first off Julian Tavarez and Boone's solo homer in the second.

The Marlins scored twice in the second and third inning to go up
4-3. With the bases loaded in the second, Tavarez bunted and
reached on pitcher Elmer Dessens' error that scored Lowell. Andy
Fox added an RBI infield single.

Charles Johnson, batting .186, hit a two-run double in the third
to make it 4-3.

Sean Casey's RBI single tied it in the sixth.

''They have some good hitters and they keep battling,'' said
Marlins outfielder Eric Owens, who had three hits and scored two

Dessens allowed four runs and eight hits in 3 2-3 innings.

Game notes
Walker's first-inning single increased his hitting streak
to 10,the longest by a Reds player this season. ... Tavarez allowed
four runs and seven hits in seven innings, -- his longest outing of
the year. ... Tavarez's first-inning troubles continued. Opponents
are now 20-for-37 against Tavarez in the first inning after the
Reds reached on three hits.