LaRue's slam caps five-run 12th for Reds
ATLANTA (Ticker) --
's first season with the
hit another low point.
LaRue hit a pinch grand slam off the beleaguered reliever to cap a five-run 12th inning as the
halted a lengthy slump with an 8-3 victory over the Braves.
Acquired from the
in the offseason to become the Braves' closer, Kolb (3-7) continued a miserable season in which he lost his role as the bullpen stopper in May due to numerous disappointing outings.
In Sunday's game, Kolb entered in the 12th and surrendered back-to-back singles to
and Ken Griffey Jr. before
snapped a 3-3 tie with an RBI double.
was intentionally walked to load the bases before LaRue blasted his fourth career grand slam near the left field foul pole.
"The homer was a situation where I'm trying to get a pitch to get a sacrifice (fly)," LaRue said. "I ended up getting a fastball. I was trying to make solid contact and it ended up being a homer."
Kolb, who blew his sixth save in 17 chances in Atlanta's 8-7 extra-inning win against Washington on Thursday, gave up five runs, four hits and a walk in one-third of an inning.
"(All of my bad performances are) pretty tough," Kolb said. "It doesn't get any easier at the end of the year. A loss is a loss. It doesn't matter where it comes. I don't think they're ever good no matter where they come."
The win snapped a five-game losing streak for the Reds, who had a scare when Griffey left the game in the top of the 12th with a sprained left foot. He is listed as day-to-day.
"It's a little sore," Griffey said. "I hit (the second base bag) wrong. I knew I could go from first to third. I hit the top of it and tweaked (my foot) a little bit. That was it."
LaRue, who went into the outfield for just the fifth time in his career to replace Griffey, took over in right field in the bottom half while Kearns moved to center. LaRue recorded the final out of the game on a flyout by
A candidate for the National League Comeback Player of the Year, Griffey opened the scoring in the first inning with his 35th homer, moving him into a tie with Hall of Famer
for 12th on the all-time list with 536.
"That's a guy anytime baseball greats are mentioned, he's mentioned," said Griffey, who met Mantle while his dad was playing for the
New York Yankees
in the early 1980s. "To have my name next to him was an honor itself."
The Reds lost the lead on a pair of solo homers by
in the first and sixth off
, but retook it on a two-run homer by
in the seventh. It was just the second homer from the right side for the switch-hitting Valentin.
Giles just missed his third homer of the day in the eighth when his triple bounced off the center field wall.
followed with a double to tie the game at 3-3.
"It was all right," Giles said of his performance, which also included two spectacular defensive grabs. "When you lose a game, it spoils everything. It takes all of us to win the game. It's a team game. The loss offsets anything personal."
Giles went 3-for-5 with his fourth career multi-homer game and three runs scored.
The Braves had a chance to complete their first sweep since July 26-28 against the Nationals, but
(3-6), a former Atlanta prospect, got
to ground out with the bases loaded in the 11th.
"I was just trying to pitch," Belisle said. "We just tried to work both sides of the plate. Fortunately, the guys rolled over everything."