CINCINNATI – Ken Griffey Jr. moved into 10th place on baseball’s career home-run list with a three-run, pinch-hit shot in the eighth inning that lifted the Cincinnati Reds to a 5-4 victory over the Chicago Cubs.

Griffey, in his first appearance after missing 17 games with a toe injury, hit a 1-1 pitch from left-hander Scott Eyre (1-3) into the right-field seats for his 27th homer this season and 563rd of his career, tying Reggie Jackson on the home run list. It was the fifth pinch-hit homer of his career.

Griffey hadn’t played since dislocating the second toe of his right foot while trying to catch a homer by Barry Bonds on Sept. 4 at Great American Ball Park.

Scott Schoeneweis (2-0) got two outs in the eighth inning to earn the win. David Weathers pitched the ninth for his team-leading 12th save in 18 opportunities.

Griffey’s homer cost Wade Miller his first win since beating Kansas City 8-5 for Boston on Aug. 3, 2005. The right-hander, in his fourth start after missing the first five months of the season after offseason shoulder surgery, allowed three hits and three walks with two strikeouts.

Cincinnati put at least one runner on base in every inning against Miller, but none got past second base.

Bronson Arroyo lasted seven innings, giving up only four hits and no earned runs with two walks and five strikeouts. He fell short in his second try at a career-high 15 wins. He won 14 with Boston last season.

The Cubs took advantage of Cincinnati errors on back-to-back batters to score four unearned runs on two hits in the first inning. Shortstop Rich Aurilia was unable to make a barehanded grab of Matt Murton’s slow grounder, loading the bases. The next batter, Angel Pagan, hit a one-hopper back to Arroyo, but catcher Dan Ross dropped Arroyo’s throw, allowing Juan Pierre to score the first run.

Aramis Ramirez scored on John Mabry’s groundout, and Henry Blanco lined a two-run single to left field.

Arroyo threw 43 of his 113 pitches in the first inning.

Aurilia broke up the shutout with a two-run single to right off of reliever Michael Wuertz with the bases loaded in the seventh inning.

Notes: Reds RHP David Weathers celebrated his 37th birthday Monday. … The Reds announced that IF Juan Castro has signed a two-year contract extension through 2008. … The Reds finished 42-39 at home for the second consecutive season. They drew 2,134,472, an average of 26,352 over 81 dates. Their total attendance was an increase of 16,278 over last season. … The Cubs finished 30-51 on the road, their worst road record since going 27-54 in 2000. They drew a total of 2,739,251 fans on the road, an average of 33,818 in 81 dates.

AP-ES-09-25-06 1540EDT


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