|Cincinnati (61-72) «||3||0||0||0||2||2||1||0||0||8||15||0|
PITTSBURGH -- Through the first 28 days of August, the Pittsburgh Pirates were the highest-scoring team in baseball.
Cincinnati's Aaron Harang made them look helpless.
"I said it before, and I'll say it again he's just a pleasure to watch," Reds manager Pete Mackanin said. "He just was in complete control throughout the entire game. He had everything in his arsenal, threw strikes, changed speeds, up and in, low and away. There's not a whole lot more to say."
Alex Gonzalez and Javier Valentin had three hits and Phillips, Scott Hatteberg and Edwin Encarnacion each had two for Cincinnati, which had won six straight before getting swept in a doubleheader by the Pirates on Tuesday.
Harang (14-3), who pitched at least eight innings in a game for the ninth time this season, walked one and struck out eight in improving to 11-3 lifetime against the Pirates. It was his 10th career complete game, and his first shutout since June 23, 2006, at Cleveland.
"I tried to throw strikes and get ahead early," Harang said. "I wanted to keep them off-balance and make them swing at my pitches and the guys were there to back me up with defense and run support early. We got a good amount of runs and I didn't have to stress too much."
The Pirates, who had won six of seven coming in, had tied the team record for most home runs in a month with 43. But Harang shut them down, facing just two batters more than the minimum and limiting Pittsburgh to three baserunners.
"I think you really need to give credit where credit's due," Pittsburgh manager Jim Tracy said. "Aaron Harang was terrific tonight -- that goes without saying.
"With what we have been doing offensively over the course of the month of August, for the guy to go out there and completely shut you down in the manner in which he did, I think you have to tip your cap and give him an awful lot of credit."
The first four batters of the game reached against Pirates starter Ian Snell -- including Griffey, whose three-run shot to right scored Josh Hamilton and Gonzalez. It was the 592nd homer of Griffey's career and 29th of the season.
The Reds made it 5-0 in the fifth when Gonzalez hit a sacrifice fly to score Hamilton and Phillips hit his home run to center. An inning later Hamilton drove in a run with a sacrifice fly and Gonzalez singled in Hatteberg.
Snell (8-11), who has lost six of his last seven decisions, gave up seven runs and 10 hits in 5 1/3 innings. He walked two and struck out four.
After the game, Snell said he had been bothered by a brief clubhouse confrontation he and fellow Pirates pitcher Shawn Chacon had about three hours before the game. Though the argument appeared minor and lasted only a few seconds, Snell said it was running through his head while he was on the mound.
"It kind of got to me," he said. "I shouldn't have let it get to me but it did. It's kind of immaturish to carry that out on the field. I let the team down. I didn't perform like I should have performed. It was uncalled for on my part."
Chacon declined to comment on the incident.
It might not have mattered how well Snell pitched, however, the way Harang was cruising.
"When Harang pitches, he keeps us in the game," Phillips said. "He throws strikes, so you have to be alert. ... Everybody on defense is ready. All we've got to do is get one run for him because he's one of those type of pitchers."
|Reds righty Aaron Harang improves to 11-3 lifetime against the Pirates. (AP)|
|Players of the Game|
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|Josh Hamilton, CF||3||2||1||1||1||0||4||.285|
|Alex Gonzalez, SS||4||1||3||2||0||1||0||.269|
|Ken Griffey Jr., RF||4||1||1||3||1||0||2||.283|
|Brandon Phillips, 2B||5||1||2||1||0||1||2||.287|
|Adam Dunn, LF||4||1||1||0||0||1||0||.263|
|Jason Ellison, LF||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.222|
|Javier Valentin, C||5||1||3||1||0||0||2||.296|
|Scott Hatteberg, 1B||5||1||2||0||0||0||0||.304|
|Edwin Encarnacion, 3B||5||0||2||0||0||0||3||.279|
|Aaron Harang, P||3||0||0||0||0||2||4||.117|
|2B - Javier Valentin (16, Youman), Edwin Encarnacion (18, Snell)|
|HR - Ken Griffey Jr. (29, Snell), Brandon Phillips (26, Snell)|
|SF - Josh Hamilton (2), Alex Gonzalez (2)|
|RBI - Josh Hamilton (41), Alex Gonzalez 2 (53), Ken Griffey Jr. 3 (85), Brandon Phillips (79), Javier Valentin (30)|
|2-OUT RBI - Alex Gonzalez (22), Brandon Phillips (32)|
|CS - Brandon Phillips (8, 2nd base by Snell/Paulino)|
|Team LOB - 9|
|DP - A. Gonzalez-B. Phillips-Hatteberg|
|Aaron Harang (W,14-3)||9||2||0||0||1||8||0||3.51|
|Pitches-Strikes - Aaron Harang 93-69|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Aaron Harang 6-12|
|Batters Faced - Aaron Harang 29|
|Nate McLouth, CF||3||0||0||0||1||1||1||.244|
|Jose Bautista, 3B||4||0||0||0||0||2||2||.259|
|Freddy Sanchez, 2B||2||0||0||0||0||1||1||.311|
|a- Jose Castillo, PH-2B||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.244|
|Adam LaRoche, 1B||3||0||0||0||0||1||1||.265|
|Romulo Sanchez, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Xavier Nady, RF||3||0||0||0||0||0||0||.291|
|Jason Bay, LF||3||0||1||0||0||0||0||.256|
|Ronny Paulino, C||3||0||0||0||0||1||1||.247|
|Cesar Izturis, SS||2||0||0||0||0||1||1||.249|
|Shane Youman, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.091|
|Josh Phelps, 1B||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.326|
|Ian Snell, P||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.091|
|Matt Kata, SS||2||0||1||0||0||0||0||.220|
|a-grounded out for F. Sanchez in the 7th|
|2B - Jason Bay (23, Harang)|
|SB - Nate McLouth (14, 2nd base off Harang/Valentin)|
|Team LOB - 2|
|DP - Paulino-Izturis|
|E - Jose Bautista (14, Throwing)|
|Ian Snell (L,8-11)||5.1||10||7||7||2||4||2||4.17|
|HBP - Harang (by Shane Youman)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Ian Snell 87-59, Shane Youman 30-19, Romulo Sanchez 25-18|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ian Snell 5-6, Shane Youman 1-4, Romulo Sanchez 2-2|
|Batters Faced - Ian Snell 27, Shane Youman 10, Romulo Sanchez 7|
|Attendance - 14191|
|Game Time - 2:28|
|Temperature - 86|
|Umpires - Home - Chris Guccione, First Base - John Hirschbeck, Second Base - Laz Diaz, Third Base - Mike DiMuro|