Ken Griffey Jr. moved past Reggie Jackson into sole possession of 10th place on the career home runs list, and Alex Gonzalez tied his career highs with two homers and five RBIs in the Cincinnati Reds’ 10-3 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday night.
Griffey entered with no homers and seven RBIs in 51 at-bats, and was limited to one pinch-hit appearance the last four games due to diverticulitis, an inflammation of the colon. He grounded out and walked his first two at-bats before hitting a two-run shot in the fifth, the 564th of his career.
Aaron Harang (3-0) worked into the eighth for the Reds, looking nothing like the team that just completed a 2-5 homestand marred by a .232 batting average, 13 errors and a 5.20 ERA. Cincinnati totaled six runs in its three previous games before punishing the Cardinals, who fell to 1-7 at home.
Kip Wells (1-4) got knocked out in the fifth for St. Louis, which was 49-31 in the first season at new Busch Stadium and wrapped up the World Series there. The Cardinals have been outscored 42-20 at home, getting 10 of the runs in the lone victory.
Griffey is a career .304 hitter with 20 homers against the Cardinals, most of any NL team, including a .412 average with four homers and six RBIs against St. Louis last season. He has 30 homers against the Milwaukee Brewers, but only 13 since they moved to the NL in 1998.
It was the second milestone homer for Griffey in St. Louis in recent years. He hit his 500th career homer on Father’s Day in 2004 at old Busch Stadium with his parents in attendance.
Scott Rolen had two hits for the Cardinals, making him 7-for-9 the last two games. Rolen doubled and scored on Scott Spiezio’s single in the fourth to cut the deficit to 3-1.
Gonzalez entered with no homers and four RBIs. He hit a two-run homer in the second to start the scoring, doubled and scored in the fourth and capped a five-run fifth with a three-run shot in the fifth for an 8-1 lead. His four hits tied a career high, and he also set a career mark by scoring four runs.
Harang, who led the NL with nine road wins last year, is 3-1 in four starts at year-old Busch Stadium. He allowed two runs on five hits in 7 2-3 innings with five strikeouts and one walk.
Wells, who made his first start against the Reds since 2005, is 2-9 with a 4.90 ERA for his career against them. He surrendered three homers after allowing only one in 26 innings in his first four starts.
Notes:@ The start of the game was delayed 50 minutes by rain. … Harang has made 85 consecutive starts without walking more than three batters. … Gonzalez has five career two-homer games, the last coming on Sept. 23, 2004, at Atlanta. He has four five-RBI games, the last on July 29, 2004, against the Phillies. … Chris Duncan hit an RBI single off Mike Stanton in the eighth for St. Louis and is 11-for-26 (.423) at home.