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Updated: Wednesday, June 11, 2003 12:49 AM EDT
MLB RECAP
Cincinnati Reds
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Stats: Batting | Pitching
R H E
4 6 0
Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Team Page | Schedule | Injuries
Stats: Batting | Pitching
R H E
2 12 2
W Wilson (4-4)
L Standridge (0-1)
S Williamson (14)
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CINCINNATI 4, TAMPA BAY 2
 

ST. PETERSBURG, Florida (Ticker) -- Jose Guillen continues to state his case for more playing time.

Facing his former team, Guillen smacked a go-ahead home run in the sixth inning and threw out the tying run at the plate an inning later as the Cincinnati Reds defeated the Tampa Bay Devil Rays , 4-2, in the first meeting ever between the teams.

Guillen, who has served primarily as a reserve outfielder since Ken Griffey Jr. returned to the lineup in mid-May, frequently has complained about a lack of playing time. His latest incident involved throwing bats and damaging a wall at the Great American Ball Park after finding out he would not start against Toronto on Sunday.

But with the Reds playing in an American League park, Griffey started at designated hitter and Austin Kearns shifted to Griffey's center field position, allowing Guillen to take Kearns' spot in right.

Guillen put the Reds ahead for good, 3-2, with a home run against Jason Standridge on the first pitch of the sixth inning. It was Guillen's 11th homer of the season and Cincinnati's third solo shot of the game.

"They released me in 2000, so that should let them know something right there," Guillen said of Tampa Bay. "We still have two more games here and we have to keep playing hard. It makes me go in there with 120 percent and show them something. It's a little bit of hard feelings."

In the bottom of the seventh, Tampa Bay had runners at first and second with two outs when Travis Lee singled to right field. Aubrey Huff , who was on second, was sent home but Guillen threw a strike to catcher Jason LaRue , who blocked the plate and tagged out Huff.

"That was huge," Reds manager Bob Boone said. "We throw a lot of guys out at the plate. Jose has one of the best arms, not only in baseball but ever. He put it right on the money and the turf, with the perfect hop, for Jason to handle. We're getting kind of used to that."

"In that situation you have to send the runner," Guillen said. "I have to make a perfect throw to get that guy out. We got the guy out and went on and won the game. I like to show what I've got. It kind of surprised me a little bit."

Cincinnati added an insurance run in the eighth. The Reds loaded the bases against Travis Harper on two walks and a hit batter before Aaron Boone drew a walk against Jesus Colome to force in Adam Dunn and make it 4-2.

Paul Wilson (4-4) allowed two runs and eight hits in 5 2/3 innings to pick up the win against the Devil Rays , for whom he went 15-25 from 2000-02.

"Overall, I got a decent breaking ball and a really good changeup, and I was aggressive with my fastball," Wilson said. "That's the key to my success is being aggressive with my fastball and being down in the zone."

"He keeps throwing all his pitches all the time," Bob Boone said. "He did a great job with the game today."

Scott Williamson loaded the bases with two outs in the ninth but got pinch hitter Al Martin to fly out to center to record his 14th save.

"I'm happy the team won and I got out of it," Williamson said. "I don't want to make the manager worry."

The Devil Rays , who recorded 12 hits and five walks, stranded 14 runners and suffered their fifth straight loss and eighth in nine games.

"Boy, we should have scored more than we did," Tampa Bay manager Lou Piniella said. "We had opportunities. I'd like to see a ball fly into the gap one time and see the guys in the red jerseys fly around."

Standridge (0-1), who was recalled from Class AAA Durham prior to the game, gave up three runs and six hits in six frames.

"I made three bad pitches and had to pay for them," Standridge said.

Tampa Bay took a 2-0 lead on a two-run double by Toby Hall in the first inning before Cincinnati tied it in the fourth on back-to-back homers by Kearns and Aaron Boone .

"I wish I could have those pitches back," Standridge said. "A couple of them were up, especially the one to Kearns. It was a 2-0 fastball I tried to sink down and left it up chest high, and he crushed it. The homer to Boone was a slider that just hung up."

"He hung two breaking balls," Piniella said of Standridge. "Other than that he threw well. He showed good composure, which you like to see in a young pitcher. I was pleased with what I saw."

The Devil Rays loaded the bases in both the fourth and five frames but could not score. With one out in the fourth, Lee narrowly was picked off third base, and third base coach Tom Foley was ejected by umpire Lance Barksdale for arguing he had gotten back to the bag safely.

"The umpire missed the call at third base," Piniella said. "It was a big out. His left hand got in. (Barksdale) got blocked out."

In a lighter note, Tampa Bay rookie Rocco Baldelli wore a jersey that said "Rocco" on the back while playing center field in the first inning. After being clued in to the practical joke pulled by his teammates, Baldelli wore a uniform that said "Baldelli" the rest of the game.

"(Umpire Ed Rapuano) said something to me and I said, 'Are you serious?'" Baldelli said. "Then I came into the dugout and everybody was laughing at me."


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