By Jeff Horrigan, Post staff reporter
Sammy Sosa and Jack McKeon have developed a friendship over the last few weeks, but the Reds manager has no intention of allowing the Chicago Cubs slugger to beat his club this weekend at Wrigley Field.
The Reds play three games in Chicago beginning Friday.
Mark McGwire fans have criticized McKeon for allegedly allowing his pitchers to go right at Sosa while pitching cautiously to McGwire during their historic home run chase.
McGwire, the St. Louis Cardinals first baseman, batted only .107 (3-for-28) with one homer and 15 walks vs. the Reds this season, and Sosa has hit .353 (12-for-34) with four homers and only one walk. McKeon said his pitchers have faced McGwire in more difficult situations, leading to fewer good pitches to hit.
''I don't remember Sammy being in those positions much against us,'' McKeon said. ''But that might change. I may have to tell Sammy this weekend: "Hey, if things get tough, we may have to walk you, Bud.' ''
Reyes rejoins Reds
Left-hander Dennis Reyes returned to the Reds on Wednesday after eight days in Mexico following the premature birth of his first son.
Manager Jack McKeon said that Reyes, who hasn't pitched since surrendering Mark McGwire's 60th homer in a 7-0 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals on Sept. 5, will pitch at least once in relief before getting another start.
''It's probably best to stay the way we are, at least for one more time around,'' McKeon said.
Mike Remlinger, who has started twice in place of Reyes, pitched six strong innings to beat the Milwaukee Brewers on Tuesday night.
Reyes said that his wife, Clauvia, and son, Dennis Alejandro, are doing fine. Both faced complications following the Caesarian section birth.
''I was nervous, but the storm has passed,'' Reyes said.
BOWDEN ON HOLD - The Baltimore Orioles, who received permission to speak with Reds general manager Jim Bowden about their GM job, have yet to set a date for his preliminary interview. He is likely to meet with Joe Foss, the Orioles' vice chairman of business and finance next week in Baltimore.
NO ROOM TO MOVE - Reds director of player development Muzzy Jackson said the organization and Barry Lyons reached a mutual agreement that he would not return as manager of the Class A Charleston Alley Cats. Lyons, who managed Charleston for two seasons, had asked for a promotion to a higher level, but the organization was unable to accommodate him.
''His timeline was different than what we could offer,'' Jackson said. ''He wanted to move up quicker than we could allow.''
BELINDA HAVING EXAMS - Reds pitcher Stan Belinda is at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., undergoing extensive tests to determine why he is suffering from inflammation of the spinal cord.
Reds medical director Dr. Tim Kremchek said that he hasn't heard from the specialists at the clinic.
NOTEWORTHY - Don't be surprised if the Brewers sign first baseman-outfielder Roberto Petagine following this season. Milwaukee's coaches have been impressed with him. . . .
Reds managing executive John Allen will be attending the series at Wrigley Field following the owners meetings in Milwaukee. He plans to make the short drive south with Cubs president Andy MacPhail . . . .
Kremchek will be performing surgery on Jeffrey Hammonds' left wrist early next week. . . .
Melvin Nieves, who had arthroscopic shoulder surgery Tuesday, began physical therapy Wednesday at the rehab clinic in Evendale. . . .
Kremchek has scheduled arthroscopic surgery on Pat Watkins' left shoulder for Sept. 29.
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