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Reds' 9-Run Inning Warms Up Chilly Day and Beats Expos, 11-5

April 07, 1987|From Times Wire Services

The Cincinnati Reds turned the temperature up on a 45-degree Opening Day with a nine-run fourth inning and romped past the Montreal Expos, 11-5, Monday at Cincinnati.

"It was an explosion," Cincinnati Manager Pete Rose said after the Reds sent 12 batters to the plate against three Montreal pitchers in the fourth. "It was fun to see. Nine-run innings don't come that often."

Said Montreal Manager Buck Rodgers: "The Reds have firepower. We knew coming in that they're a good-hitting club."

A Cincinnati regular season record crowd of 55,166, which had started to boo when the Reds fell behind, 4-0, after two innings, went wild as the home team turned around a 5-2 deficit in the fourth.

"I knew if Eric Davis got on, he'd get the 55,000 into the game," Rose said.

Davis, in fact, got on twice in the wild fourth inning, stole second base twice and scored two runs.

Davis opened the Reds' biggest inning in nearly two years with a walk off starter and loser Floyd Youmans, stole second, took third on a groundout and scored on a single by Bo Diaz.

Terry Francona, a former Expo who went to spring training with the Reds as a free agent, followed with his first hit for Cincinnati, a towering two-run homer to right that tied the game, 5-5.

Ron Oester walked and scored all the way from first on a double to left by Paul O'Neill. Kal Daniels singled off reliever Bill Campbell to bring in O'Neill and Barry Larkin slammed a two-run homer to left.

Dave Parker kept the inning going with a double and scored on Davis' single off Andy McGaffigan. Davis stole second, took third on a groundout and scored on a wild pitch by McGaffigan.

"That particular inning was my time, but we've got eight guys who contribute," said Davis, who went 3 for 3 with a homer, two singles and two walks. "All the hitters are tough on this team."

Said Francona: "I didn't know how good these guys were until I got to spring training with them. I learned then that this team could explode. That's exactly what happened today."

The nine-run inning was Cincinnati's most productive since the Reds scored 10 times in one inning against the New York Mets on May 4, 1985.

"It seemed like that fourth inning took an hour and a half," Rodgers said. "We just couldn't get out of that inning. I wasn't smart enough to find a way out of it.

"I thought the veteran (Campbell) could get us out of the jam, but it didn't happen," Rodgers said. "What really hurts is that we knocked their starter (Tom Browning) out after three innings and were in control until the fourth."

Montreal grabbed a 4-0 lead on six hits in the opening two innings. Mitch Webster, second batter of the game, homered to left off Browning. Andres Galarraga doubled to right-center and scored on a double to right-center by Tim Wallach for a 2-0 lead.

The Expos' advantage went to 4-0 in the second. Reid Nichols singled and scored all the way from first on rookie Alonzo Powell's first major league hit, a double down the right-field line. Powell scored on Webster's second hit, a single.

Davis homered to left-center off Youmans in the bottom of the second to cut Montreal's lead to 4-1.

The Expos went up, 5-1, in the third when Wallach singled and scored when left fielder Daniels bobbled Vance Law's double. The Reds pulled to within 5-2 in the bottom of the third when Oester tripled off the right-center field wall and scored on a sacrifice fly by rookie Leo Garcia, who was pinch-hitting for Browning.

Browning, making his first Opening Day start, surrendered 5 runs, 8 hits, walked 1 and struck out 3 in 3 innings.

"I hate to take my Opening Day starter out after just three innings, but Browning just didn't have his stuff," Rose said. "I didn't feel confident he could hold them in the fourth and fifth. But, I felt great about our relievers. I think we've got the best bullpen in the league."

After Browning left, relievers Bill Landrum, Frank Williams, Ron Robinson and John Franco blanked the Expos. Landrum got credit for the victory.

"I didn't have it, but our offense made up for a lot of my mistakes," Browning said. "Our offense is incredible. It's fun to watch."

Youmans fared even worse as Montreal's starter. He lasted 3 innings, gave up 7 runs, 5 hits, walked 2 and struck out none.

"I felt great until I made a couple of bad pitches in the fourth," Youmans said. "It was just bad location on my pitches."

Rose said he could sense in the opening three innings that his hitters were on the verge of teeing off on Youmans.

"When he's on, he usually strikes out a lot of batters," Rose said. "Even though we weren't scoring early, he wasn't dominating our hitters."

San Francisco 4, San Diego 3--Chili Davis singled home Jeffrey Leonard from second base with two out in the 12th inning to lift the Giants to victory over the Padres at San Francisco.

Loser Dave Dravecky, the fourth San Diego pitcher, retired the first two hitters in the 12th before Leonard and Bob Melvin singled. Davis drove a 1-and-0 pitch to right to score Leonard easily.

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