Izzy fizzles in 8-7 loss to Reds

Tuesday, June 6, 2006

The St. Louis closer yielded a three-run home run to Ken Griffey Jr. in the ninth inning.

ST. LOUIS -- Two years ago, Ken Griffey Jr. hit his 500th home run at old Busch Stadium. His first game at new Busch was pretty memorable, too.

Griffey hit a go-ahead three-run homer off Jason Isringhausen in the ninth inning after tying a major league record by homering in his 43rd stadium earlier in the game, leading the Cincinnati Reds past the St. Louis Cardinals 8-7 Monday night.

"He's the one guy we've got that has a chance to hit outstanding pitching no matter who it is," manager Jerry Narron said. "There are a lot of guys that get numbers off mediocre guys, and this is a guy that has never done that.

"He's gotten numbers off everybody."

Griffey added new Busch Stadium to his lengthy list with a solo shot in the fifth off Jeff Suppan. He hit his 10th homer with one out in the ninth to erase a 7-5 deficit for the Reds, who have won five straight.

Isringhausen (1-3) leads the NL with 18 saves but has allowed four homers in 23 innings and has blown saves in two of his last three appearances.

"I was terrible tonight," Isringhausen said. "I didn't have a feel for anything. I was fighting everything about myself, and when you're facing major league hitters you're going to get beat."

Juan Encarnacion and pinch-hitter Chris Duncan hit two-run homers and Yadier Molina also homered for the Cardinals, who are 1-1 since Albert Pujols went on the disabled list with a pulled muscle in his right side. They've scored 16 runs without him.

Griffey's second homer denied Suppan, who allowed three runs in six innings, his 100th career victory in his third attempt.

"He's a phenomenal player," Suppan said. "He's all-century."

Felipe Lopez doubled off Isringhausen with one out in the ninth for his fourth hit of the game. Rich Aurilia followed with a walk and the runners moved up on a wild pitch. Griffey's homer came on a full count.

"I was in pretty good position to hit, knowing I couldn't hit into a double play," Griffey said. "I just settled down and got a pitch not in the zone that he wanted and I just happened to hit it out."

Griffey tied a major league record set by Fred McGriff, and has connected in every existing ballpark. He was on the disabled list in mid-April when the Reds played at new Busch for the first time.

"I knew coming in here this was the last one," Griffey said. "It's just one of those things that happened, and I'm glad it's over with."

Esteban Yan (1-0) allowed one run in two innings, a homer by Yadier Molina in the eighth that put the Cardinals ahead 7-5. Todd Coffey got the last three outs for his third save in four chances.

Griffey has 53 career multihomer games and is 12th on the career homer list, two behind Mike Schmidt. He also doubled in the third and has 1,017 career extra-base hits, two ahead of Schmidt for 22nd place.

Encarnacion, who moved up to fourth in the order on Monday, has four hits and four RBIs the last two games and his eighth homer gave the Cardinals a 4-3 lead in the fifth.

Duncan, the son of pitching coach Dave Duncan, was recalled from Triple-A Memphis on Sunday to replace Pujols. He has two homers and five RBIs in only seven at-bats after connecting off Rick White in the sixth to put the Cardinals ahead 6-3.

Jim Edmonds replaced Pujols at first base for the second straight game and was 0-for-3 with a walk. Scott Rolen, whose been in Pujols' third slot in both games since the injury, had an RBI single in the first to extend his hitting streak to 10 games and walked twice.

So Taguchi, who has started eight of the last nine games in center field for St. Louis, saved a run in the fourth when he threw out David Ross trying to score on Lopez' two-out single.

Notes: Home plate umpire Derryl Cousins took an errant fastball from Yan right off his shoulder and mask in the seventh after the pitch eluded Ross. He dropped to a knee for a time but stayed in the game. ... Reds starter Brandon Claussen is 1-3 with a 5.63 ERA against the Cardinals. ... After the game the Red optioned RHP Justin Germano to Triple-A Louisville and Narron said the team would purchase the contract of RHP Joe Mays.

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