**** AAABA National Champions 1947, 1956, 1960, 1962, 1986, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2002 ****
NABF National Champions 1986, 1995 ****
National Baseball Congress World Series 2004, 2006
Former Senator Jared Burton Leads Reds Bullpen
Reds win with a whimper past Jays in 10 innings
By Hal McCoy Staff Writer Thursday, June 26, 2008
TORONTO — Dusty Baker gushed and gushed and gushed before the game over the proficiency and talent of Toronto pitcher Roy Halladay.
So when his Cincinnati Reds scored five runs in the first three innings, Baker certainly felt safe and secure with his baseball world.
Also before the game, after he talked about Halladay, Baker offered a little cheer: 'C'mon, Aaron Harang.'
What Harang did was of little cheer — he blew the entire five-run lead over a six-inning span, but the Reds staggered across the finish line 6-5 winners in 10 innings — winning with a whimper.
They broke the 5-5 tie in the 10th with nary a hit — two walks, a sacrifice bunt by David Ross and a sacrifice fly to left by Jay Bruce.
This one belonged to the bullpen — 4 1/3 scoreless innings, five hits, two walks.
Jared Burton continues his amazing odyssey — two more scoreless innings. Over his last 20 appearances, Burton has a 0.73 earned run average, giving up two earned runs in 24 2/3 innings.
His reward Wednesday was the victory and he is 4-1.
'I try to do what I do well,' he said. 'I'm not doing anything different. It is just a kind of a flow of the mid-season and I'm in form. I try to come in and throw strikes and that's my main thing. I've been throwing strikes with my fastball and my walks are down from the past.'
In the early going, it looked as if both starters were about to pull a Bronson Arroyo — give up runs in double figures and be in the shower before sundown.
The Reds racked Halladay for five runs in the first three innings to take a 5-0 lead, two in the first on Ken Griffey Jr.'s 602nd career home run and three in the third on run-scoring hits by Adam Dunn and Brandon Phillips, plus a fielder's choice by Joey Votto.
Harang couldn't hold the 5-0 lead, giving up four in third on two-run home runs by Adam Lind — only his second — and Joe Inglett — only his second.
'Nice way to bounce back after we had a 5-0 lead,' said Baker. 'You get five runs off that guy, Doc Halladay, that's almost unheard of.'
From there, both team pushed and pulled, with nothing happening. Harang finally left with two outs in the sixth and a runner on first. After Bill Bray walked Lind, Baker pulled a double switch, removing Javier Valentin from third base.
In 5 2/3 innings, he didn't have a single play of any kind at third base — not a grounder, not a liner, not a popper, not a throw. He was a statue.
David Weathers gave up a 3-and-1 single to Mark Scutaro and left fielder Adam Dunn made a good throw that skipped past catcher David Ross, enabling Lyle Overbay to score the the 5-5 tying run in the sixth.
The Reds couldn't penetrate Halladay after the third, leaving two on in the fourth when Dunn lined to right, leaving two on in the sixth when Bruce struck out and three on in the seventh when pinch-hitter Norris Hopper struck out.
Halladay left with the bases loaded and two outs in the seventh and when lefthander Scott Downs arrived, Hopper batted for Corey Patterson. He missed a bunt attempt before striking out.
Weathers threw three pitches and gave up three straight singles to open the bottom of the seventh and fill the bases, then escaped by getting Scott Rolen to pop to second and Overbay to ground into a pitcher-to-catcher-to first double play.
'With three on and nobody out, it was one of two things,' said Weathers. 'I was gonna get out of it or give up the farm.'
The cows and horses remained locked up as Weather threw six pitches — first three for singles, the fourth to get Rolen to pop up and the sixth for the grounder back to him. Overbay's broken bat whizzed toward Weathers, but he was so focused he never saw it.
'I've done that lot and sometimes you have to be Houdini,' he said. 'It isn't every day you throw three pitches and give up three base hits. I didn't miss a spot. None were hit hard.
'That's not the easiest one to get out of, but the change-up has been a big pitch for me all year that I haven't had in a while. I got Overbay (double play) on a change-up.'
The Reds put two on with two out in the eighth but Brandon Phillips grounded out as the Reds continued to be equal opportunity failures with runners on base.
Hopper and Paul Janish opened the 10th with walks, then Ross bunted them to second and third. It was time for Bruce to make up for a rookie mistake in the fourth inning.
With runners on first and second and one out, he tried to bunt for a hit, on artificial turf, and forced a runner at second.
But his deep fly to left in the 10th wiped the slate clean.
'The walks haunted us tonight and the walks haunted them as well,' said Baker. It was not, however, a haunting game.