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Notes: Coffey understands relief role

Notes: Coffey understands relief role

CINCINNATI -- Todd Coffey's trademark sprint from the bullpen to the mound at Great American Ball Park typically is greeted by cheers from the fans.

On Friday night, the Reds right-handed reliever got an entirely opposite reaction.

A chorus of boos.

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"I heard 'em; I heard some boos," said Coffey. "Honestly, I've been horrible the past couple [outings]. There's nothing to really cheer about. I've had some rough outings."

In his first seven appearances, Coffey posted a 1.42 ERA, allowing just one earned run in 6 1/3 innings.

In his past four appearances, he's allowed seven earned runs and hit three batters.

Coffey rebounded Friday with a scoreless ninth inning in which he allowed one hit, walked none and had two strikeouts.

Coffey is 1-1 this season with a 7.71 ERA in 11 appearances.

"I've been trying to do some experimenting," he said. "I'm going to keep going after hitters, like I've always done. The biggest thing for a reliever is to forget about what happened the night before. That's also the hardest thing to do."

As for the boos, Coffey isn't the type to hold a grudge.

"That's the life of a reliever," he said. "You'll be a hero or a goat, one or the other."

First career win: Left-handed reliever Jon Coutlangus earned his first Major League victory Friday in the Reds' 2-1 extra-inning win over the Phillies.

Coutlangus pitched a perfect 10th inning and qualified for the victory when the Reds scored the winning run on Brandon Phillips' bases-loaded single in the bottom of the frame.

"It's definitely nice, especially to win in that dramatic fashion," Coutlangus said. "The bullpen just came in and did [its] job."

Coutlangus said his cell phone was loaded with voice mail and text messages from friends and family following Friday's game. He was given a baseball from the game and some ticket stubs as keepsakes.

Junior update: After missing two games due to an undisclosed illness, Ken Griffey Jr. was feeling better but was not in Saturday's starting lineup.

Reds manager Jerry Narron said prior to the game that he did not know whether Griffey would be available to pinch-hit.

Second all-time: With his appearance in Friday's game, left-hander Mike Stanton tied John Franco for second-place on the all-time games pitched list with 1,119.

"He's a very efficient pitcher and a very good athlete," said Narron of Stanton. "He's in much better shape than people think."

Stanton, who has pitched in 10 of 17 games this season, has produced 12 seasons of 60 or more appearances including seven with at least 70 games pitched.

"It's an honor to be on any list with names like that," Stanton said. "God blessed me with a resilient arm. He's blessed me with pretty good health. I try to take care of myself. I have a very understanding wife and family. The list could go on and on."

Stanton trails Jesse Orosco by 133 on the all-time list. Narron jokingly said, "He's got a chance to tie him this year." "That's fine with me," Stanton said smiling. "Let's get it over with."

Lineup shuffle: Shortstop Alex Gonzalez was moved up to fifth in Saturday's batting order. The struggling Edwin Encarnacion was dropped to seventh.

"Alex has given us some good at-bats," said Narron. "Everybody thinks defense first. Nobody talks about his hitting. I like writing his name in the lineup everyday."

Gonzalez is hitting .283. He's hit safely in 10 of 13 games.

As for Encarnacion, Narron says the young third baseman's poor pitch selection of late is typical of any hitter who's struggling.

Encarnacion is hitting just .154 in 16 games this season.

"He's a better hitter than he has shown so far," Narron said.

Farm report: Homer Bailey made his third start for Triple-A Louisville on Friday, allowing one run on four hits in five innings. Bailey, who is 1-0 with a 1.76 ERA for the Bats, walked two and struck out three in an 8-4 loss to Norfolk.

Right-hander Gary Majewski, who is recovering from a sore right shoulder and is thought to be an option for the Cincinnati bullpen, allowed six runs, including a grand slam, in two-thirds of an inning to take the loss for Louisville. Jared Burton, who is recovering from a strained left hamstring, pitched a perfect inning in relief for the Bats.

Third baseman Jeff Keppinger, who is rehabbing a broken right ring finger, went 1-for-3 with a double, sacrifice fly and a run scored in Class A Sarasota's 5-3 victory at Clearwater.

Outfielder Drew Stubbs went 2-for-4 with a home run and two RBIs to extend his hitting streak to 11 games, helping Class A Dayton defeat Quad Cities, 9-5.

Coming up: The Reds conclude their three-game series with the Phillies on Sunday afternoon at 1:15 p.m. ET at Great American Ball Park. Right-hander Matt Belisle (2-0, 3.63) will make his fourth start of the season. He'll be opposed by Phillies right-hander Freddy Garcia (0-1, 5.79).

Jeff Wallner is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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