Griffey Hits Homerun In His Return

Wednesday, May 2nd 2007, 7:34 am
By: News On 6

Ken Griffey Jr. appears to be over his chest ailment, and Alfonso Soriano is out of his slump.

Griffey returned to Cincinnati's lineup after missing three of the last four games with a chest ailment and went 3-for-3 with a homer and two RBIs in the Reds' 11-2 win over the Houston Astros on Tuesday night.

It was the second homer of the season for Griffey, and 565th of his career.

Manager Jerry Narron said he thought the time off might have helped Griffey's hand, which he broke in the offseason, feel better. Griffey brushed off that theory.

``No, all that stuff hurts,'' he said, but added that he had recovered from his chest ailment and could finally breathe normally.

Griffey helped Bronson Arroyo earn his first victory this season after pitching well all season.

``He'd had five starts and four of them had been really good and we hadn't done anything for him,'' Griffey said. ``I'm just glad that we were able to score some runs and let him go out there and enjoy something instead of us sitting there battling.''

In other NL games, it was: Florida 5, New York Mets 2; Philadelphia 6, Atlanta 4; Milwaukee 12, St. Louis 2; San Diego 3, Washington 0; Los Angeles 2, Arizona 1; and Colorado 9, San Francisco 7.

While Griffey's homer helped Arroyo win, Soriano's first homer of the season jump-started the Cubs' offense.

Soriano, who signed a $136 million contract with Chicago as a free agent in the offseason, needed only one at-bat in May to equal his RBI total in April _ one. He was 3-for-4.

Cliff Floyd had a go-ahead, two-run shot during a four-run rally in the seventh inning that left Chicago leading Pittsburgh when the game was suspended because of rain.

After a delay of 2 hours, 18 minutes, the game was suspended with the Pirates about to bat in the seventh. It will be finished at 12:35 p.m. EDT on Wednesday before the teams play their regularly scheduled game.

While the game lasted longer than the required five innings to become official, it was suspended because the Pirates had not yet batted in the seventh.

Marlins 5, Mets 2

Josh Willingham drove in a career-high five runs and the Florida Marlins played great defense to stifle the host Mets.

Ricky Nolasco (1-0) came off the disabled list to allow one run and six hits in five innings for the Marlins.

Willingham tripled with the bases loaded in the first inning against Mike Pelfrey (0-3) and hit a two-run homer off Aaron Heilman in the eighth after the Mets pulled within one.

Former Mets prospect Henry Owens pitched the ninth for his third save.

David Wright had three hits, including his first home run for the Mets.

Phillies 6, Braves 4

Cole Hamels bounced back from a rough start to pitch into the eighth inning and visiting Philadelphia finally beat the Braves.

Hamels (3-1) fell behind 3-0 in the first, giving up a two-run homer to Chipper Jones. He allowed only four more hits the rest of the way, sending the Phillies to their first win over Atlanta in five meetings this season.

Jones homered twice, adding a solo shot in the eighth that finished off Hamels, who went 7 1-3 innings, giving up five of his nine hits in the first. Tom Gordon pitched the ninth for his fifth save.

It was another miserable start for Atlanta's Mark Redman (0-4), who was knocked out during a four-run second and might be in danger of losing his spot in the rotation. His ERA climbed to 10.62.

Brewers 12, Cardinals 2

Ben Sheets (2-2) allowed two runs in six innings after leaving his last start with a groin injury, and Tony Graffanino capped a seven-run sixth with a three-run homer for the host Brewers.

Braden Looper (3-2) and St. Louis were cruising with a 2-0 lead in the fifth. But the Cardinals, playing in their second game since the death of reliever Josh Hancock, blew the lead. Milwaukee scored 11 runs over two innings and St. Louis lost its fourth straight.

Padres 3, Nationals 0

Slumping rookie Kevin Kouzmanoff drove in a run with his first big league triple, and Chris Young and Trevor Hoffman combined on a three-hitter for host San Diego.

Washington's Shawn Hill (2-3) and Micah Bowie held the Padres to four hits.

Kouzmanoff was batting just .110 (8-for-73) before tripling off the out-of-town scoreboard on the right-field wall to bring in Mike Cameron with one out in the seventh. Kouzmanoff then scored on a suicide squeeze by Oscar Robles.

Dodgers 2, Diamondbacks 1

Pinch-hitter Olmedo Saenz singled home the winning run with two outs in the ninth inning and Los Angeles snapped visiting Arizona's six-game winning streak.

Rafael Furcal led off the ninth with a single against Brandon Lyon (2-1), then advanced to third on Juan Pierre's sacrifice and Wilson Valdez's groundout. Jeff Kent was intentionally walked in front of Saenz, who drove a 1-1 pitch up the middle while batting for winning pitcher Takashi Saito (1-0).

Brad Penny outpitched Livan Hernandez with six innings of three-hit ball in their first head-to-head matchup. Penny lowered his ERA to 1.64.

Rockies 9, Giants 7

Matt Holliday homered and hit a three-run double after being moved from fifth to third in the lineup, and Colorado beat host San Francisco.

Alberto Arias (1-0) threw 3 2-3 scoreless innings of relief to win his major league debut, and Brian Fuentes earned his fifth save.

Barry Bonds went 0-for-4 with a called strikeout as the Giants' six-game home winning streak ended.

Russ Ortiz (2-2) lasted only 3 1-3 innings for San Francisco, allowing eight runs and nine hits.