Lopez's grand slam beats former team, helps end road skidMay 23, 2007 - 6:43 AM CINCINNATI (Ticker) -- Felipe Lopez has to be angry with his offensive production this month. After Tuesday's game, the only people seeing red is his former team.
Lopez hit a grand slam and tied a career high with six RBI as the Washington Nationals recorded an 8-4 victory over the Cincinnati Reds.
Lopez, acquired in an eight-player trade with the Reds last season, has struggled in the month of May, batting just .197 (15-for-76). However, it took just one game to change that as he broke open a 4-4 game in the eighth inning off Cincinnati reliever Jon Coutlangus (2-1).
"Felipe doesn't stop working," Nationals manager Manny Acta said. "He's been struggling lately but had some good at-bats. He's not afraid to take pitches and work the count. His average will go up."
"It's just special to get the win," Lopez said. "I like hitting in this ball park, of course. In Washington, it gets kind of tough. I was just trying to drive in a run, hit a sacrifice fly and not try to do too much. I put a good swing on it and it just went out."
Lopez, however, was not going to play the revenge card.
"The Reds just happened to be our opponent today," Lopez said.
The six-RBI game from Lopez tied the career high he set on June 11, 2005, against Baltimore while he was still with the Reds.
Coutlangus was more upset about the way the inning started - walking Brian Schneider to lead off the seventh - than how it unfolded - giving up consecutive singles before the grand slam.
"You don't want to walk the leadoff hitter but I had to try to get the next guy," Coutlangus said.
Cristian Guzman added two runs and two hits for the Nationals, who avoided losing 10 consecutive road games for the first time in over 30 years.
Jesus Colome (4-0) walked one over two frames to get the win. The righthander has not allowed a run over his last seven appearances, spanning 8 2/3 innings.
"Our starting pitching and bullpen have been doing a great job," Lopez said. "It's exciting."
Lopez's outburst ruined a little bit of history from Ken Griffey Jr. The lefthanded slugger, who homered in the series opener on Monday to run his career total to 572, blasted a two-run home run to right in the fourth inning, moving him into an eighth-place tie with Harmon Killebrew on the all-time list.
"Griffey's swinging the bat as well as anybody in baseball," Narron said. "I'm not surprised. I'm sure he'll continue it."
"Griffey's amazing," Acta said. "If he didn't miss so much time, he'd be chasing 800 (homers) right now. When he was with Seattle, he was the best in baseball, in my opinion."
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
- - - - - - - - - - - -
WASHINGTON 0 0 1 0 2 0 1 4 0 8 12 1
CINCINNATI 0 0 0 2 2 0 0 0 0 4 5 0 (FINAL)
BATTERIES: WAS - MATT CHICO, RAY KING (6TH), JESUS COLOME (7TH), CHAD CORDERO
(9TH) AND BRIAN SCHNEIDER
CIN - KIRK SAARLOOS, MIKE STANTON (6TH), TODD COFFEY
(7TH), JON COUTLA
May 22 10:09 PM
AT CINCINNATI - SCORING UPDATE
GRAND SLAM BY FELIPE LOPEZ (3) TO CENTER WITH 1 OUT IN THE
8TH OFF JON COUTLANGUS SCORED NOOK LOGAN, RONNIE BELLIARD AND ROBERT
CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 8, CINCINNATI 4
DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: C GUZMAN (.276, 2-FOR-4, 2 RBI)
Nationals vs. RedsMay 22 9:33 PM
AT CINCINNATI - SCORING UPDATE
SINGLE BY CRISTIAN GUZMAN SCORED FELIPE LOPEZ.
SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, C GUZMAN ON FIRST, 1 OUT
CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 4
CINCINNATI 4 TOP, 7TH
DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: R ZIMMERMAN (.253, 0-FOR-2, BB)
Nationals vs. RedsMay 22 9:09 PM
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