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Reds' Win Is Bittersweet

Griffey pinch-hits in first game back, but Larkin hurt again in 7-2 victory over Cardinals.

May 14, 2003|From Associated Press

ST. LOUIS — The Cincinnati Reds won in Ken Griffey Jr.'s return, not that he had much to do with it.

Griffey grounded out as a pinch-hitter in his first game since dislocating a shoulder April 5. Austin Kearns and Adam Dunn supplied much of the offense with two-run homers in the first inning that led the Reds to a 7-2 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday night.

"I had one shot and that was it," Griffey said. "I don't like pinch hitting. Fortunately this is just to get me back in there so I can go out there and play."

But as Griffey came back, Barry Larkin got hurt again. The Cincinnati shortstop reinjured his left calf while running the bases in the second inning and was removed for a pinch-runner. The Reds said he strained the calf and will be evaluated today.

An injury to the same calf put Larkin on the disabled list from April 14 to May 5. He was playing in his sixth game since being activated.

"Hopefully, it's not as bad as it was when I did it at Houston, but I had some of the same sensations," Larkin said. "I felt like I actually tore something in there. Hopefully, it was scar tissue."

Griffey, who came off the 15-day disabled list before the game, batted for Paul Wilson (2-3) in the seventh inning and grounded to shortstop, his first appearance since dislocating his right shoulder while trying to make a diving catch during the first weekend of the season.

Manager Bob Boone said Griffey would start tonight or Thursday, but not in both games, and then likely would start every other day for a while.

Cincinnati (20-19) has won seven of eight overall to move above .500 for the first time since last Aug. 21, when it was 63-62. The Reds swept a four-game series from the Cardinals last week in Cincinnati.

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