for this game

Valentin's homer caps Reds' comeback win

May 22, 2007 - 4:01 AM CINCINNATI (Ticker) -- The Cincinnati Reds finally got some runs for Bronson Arroyo. Too bad their ace was not around to see it.

Javier Valentin hit a pinch-hit two-run home run in the eighth inning as the Reds erased a six-run deficit to pin an 8-7 victory on the Washington Nationals on Monday night.

Scott Hatteberg went 3-for-4 with four RBI as the Reds came back from six runs down to win for the first time since beating Cleveland, 9-8, on June 30, 2006.

"Javy (Valentin) is one of the better pinch hitters in baseball," Reds manager Jerry Narron said. "Every time he goes up there you feel he has a chance to hit one out."

With Arroyo gone after two innings and Washington leading, 6-0, prospects looked bleak for the Reds, who were returning home following a 2-7 road trip.

It was Arroyo's shortest outing of his career. Victor Santos came on to start the third inning.

"I just hated that his pitch count got that high that fast," Narron said. "I knew he wasn't going to go deep in the ballgame. With our offense, I knew we could hold them. We were capable of scoring some runs."

Arroyo threw 129 pitches Wednesday in San Diego in a game that he finished and lost in spite of allowing just one earned run. It took him 49 pitches to get out of the first inning Monday.

Because Narron let Arroyo bat in the second inning before replacing him, there was speculation as to if the pitcher was hurt.

He wasn't.

"I'm beautiful. I should pitch tomorrow," Arroyo said. "After 62 pitches how could you not be beautiful."

The Reds scored two or fewer runs in six of his first nine starts so it looked like a gloomy night for them.

Instead, Cincinnati took advantage of a defensive blunder to spark the winning rally in the eighth inning.

After Alex Gonzalez just beat out a throw to avoid a double play, Nationals outfielders Nook Logan and Austin Kearns let a routine fly ball by Hatteberg off Jon Rauch (2-1) drop between them, plating Gonzalez and cutting the deficit to 7-6.

"You try to yell as loud as you can but with a tight game and the fan noise, it is tough to hear," Kearns said. "I heard him too late. You hate for something like that to affect a ballgame. After leading for 7 1/2 innings, it leaves a sour taste in our mouth."

"Those are two of the best outfielders in the league," Washington manager Manny Acta said. "It was a miscommunication - those things will happen."

Valentin then came on to pinch hit and launched his first homer of the season into the right field seats to put Cincinnati ahead, 8-7.

"I didn't feel the ball hit the bat," Valentin said. "When that happens you know you hit it good. I was just hoping it would get to the corner before it went foul."

Rauch insisted he was not rattled by the miscue in the outfield that was ruled a double.

"That fly ball didn't affect me. Those things will happen," said Rauch, who suffered a blown save on Saturday and took it hard. "I didn't make my pitches. I just didn't do it. I wanted the pitch to Valentin to be down and away but I left it in the middle of the plate. Of course I'm going to be down on myself, I'm not doing my job."

Both teams got stellar efforts from their bullpens after each starter - Arroyo and Washington's Levale Speigner - was gone by the third inning.

Santos pitched four innings for the Reds, giving up one run and two hits while striking out five.

Todd Coffey and Jon Coutlangus (2-0) bridged the gap to David Weathers, who worked around a one-out walk in the ninth for his ninth save.

Arroyo had held opponents to a .182 batting average in the first inning, but he watched that statistic balloon as Washington touched him up for four runs in its first at-bat.

The first four batters reached base and they were not soft hits. Ryan Zimmerman drilled an RBI doubled off the base of the wall in center field and Dmitri Young followed by roping a two-run double to left-center for a 3-0 lead.

Brian Schneider added a run-scoring base hit for a 4-0 lead before Arroyo finally got out of it, facing 10 batters and throwing 49 pitches - 24 for strikes.

The Nationals, coming off a 7-3 homestand, continued on the attack in the second inning. Austin Kearns drilled a two-run homer to left - his fifth of the season - to build the cushion to 6-0.

"We just tried to be patient and have good at bats," Kearns said. "Relax and hope he makes a mistake."

The Reds cut into the lead in the bottom of the second against rookie Speigner, who was making just his second start of the season.

Adam Dunn singled with one out and Hatteberg brought him home with a two-run shot to make it 6-2.

Ken Griffey Jr. sparked a three-run third inning with a solo homer, his ninth of the season and 572nd career, putting him one behind Harmon Killebrew for eighth on the all-time list.

After Dunn drew a two-out walk, Gonzalez and Hatteberg delivered back-to-back RBI doubles to get the Reds within 6-5.

Speigner was done after three innings, yielding five runs and seven hits. He walked three and did not have a strikeout.

"What makes this tough is with what we've been through with this pitching staff and you get to the eighth inning with a two-run lead," Acta said. "You have to win those games. Six runs is nothing in this park especially with a Rule V guy that we are asking to start. It's a challenge for the kid."

Zimmerman made it 7-5 with a solo blast off Santos in the fourth and that was the extent of the scoring until the eighth inning.

The Nationals wasted three innings of scoreless relief by Winston Abreu, who allowed just one run for the Nationals.








  • NL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    WASHINGTON 4 2 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 7 9 1
    CINCINNATI 0 2 3 0 0 0 0 3 x 8 12 1 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: WAS - LEVALE SPEIGNER, WINSTON ABREU (4TH), SAUL RIVERA (7TH), JON
    RAUCH (8TH) AND BRIAN SCHNEIDER
    CIN - BRONSON ARROYO, VICTOR SANTOS (3RD), TODD COFFEY
    (7TH), JO

    May 21 10:00 PM
  • 35
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 35 roots (Close Finish)

    Nationals vs. RedsMay 21 9:51 PM


  • NL
    AT CINCINNATI - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY JAVIER VALENTIN (1) TO RIGHT WITH 1 OUT
    IN THE 8TH OFF JON RAUCH SCORED SCOTT HATTEBERG.
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 7, CINCINNATI 8
    DUE UP FOR CINCINNATI: J COUTLANGUS (.000, 0 HR, 0 RBI)

    Nationals vs. RedsMay 21 9:46 PM


  • NL
    AT CINCINNATI - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY SCOTT HATTEBERG SCORED ALEX GONZALEZ.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, S HATTEBERG ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 7
    CINCINNATI 6 BOTTOM, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR CINCINNATI: D ROSS (.206, 1-FOR-2, BB)

    Nationals vs. RedsMay 21 9:42 PM


  • NL
    AT CINCINNATI - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY RYAN ZIMMERMAN (5) TO LEFT CENTER WITH 1
    OUT IN THE 4TH OFF VICTOR SANTOS.
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 7, CINCINNATI 5
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: D YOUNG (.267, 2-FOR-2, 2 RBI)

    Nationals vs. RedsMay 21 8:28 PM


  • NL
    AT CINCINNATI - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY SCOTT HATTEBERG SCORED ALEX GONZALEZ.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, S HATTEBERG ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 6
    CINCINNATI 5 BOTTOM, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR CINCINNATI: D ROSS (.208, 1-FOR-1)

    Nationals vs. RedsMay 21 8:19 PM


  • NL
    AT CINCINNATI - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY ALEX GONZALEZ SCORED ADAM DUNN.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, A GONZALEZ ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 6
    CINCINNATI 4 BOTTOM, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR CINCINNATI: S HATTEBERG (.292, 1-FOR-1, HR, 2 RBI)

    Nationals vs. RedsMay 21 8:18 PM


  • NL
    AT CINCINNATI - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY KEN GRIFFEY JR (9) TO RIGHT WITH 1 OUT IN
    THE 3RD OFF LEVALE SPEIGNER.
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 6, CINCINNATI 3
    DUE UP FOR CINCINNATI: B PHILLIPS (.291, 0-FOR-1)

    Nationals vs. RedsMay 21 8:13 PM


  • NL
    AT CINCINNATI - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY SCOTT HATTEBERG (3) TO RIGHT WITH 2 OUT
    IN THE 2ND OFF LEVALE SPEIGNER SCORED ADAM DUNN.
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 6, CINCINNATI 2
    DUE UP FOR CINCINNATI: D ROSS (.200, 4 HR, 13 RBI)

    Nationals vs. RedsMay 21 7:54 PM


  • NL
    AT CINCINNATI - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY AUSTIN KEARNS (5) TO CENTER WITH 2 OUT
    IN THE 2ND OFF BRONSON ARROYO SCORED DMITRI YOUNG.
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 6, CINCINNATI 0
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: B SCHNEIDER (.228, 1-FOR-1, RBI)

    Nationals vs. RedsMay 21 7:44 PM


  • NL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    WASHINGTON 4 4 4 0
    CINCINNATI 0 0 1 (BOT 1)

    CURRENT PITCHERS: WAS - LEVALE SPEIGNER
    CIN - BRONSON ARROYO

    DUE UP FOR CINCINNATI: R FREEL (.271, 1 HR, 10 RBI)
    N HOPPER (.267, 0 HR, 0 RBI)
    K GRIFFEY JR (.297,

    Nationals vs. RedsMay 21 7:31 PM