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Griffey one HR behind Robinson, but Reds lose

• Turning point: Ludwick's second long ball, a three-run shot in the fourth, capped a four-run inning for the Cardinals.

• Unsung hero: Reliever Troy Percival, who was out of baseball for two years because of a bad elbow, got his second victory of the series.

• Figure this: Ludwick's first homer was estimated at 473 feet, tied for ninth-longest in Great American Ball Park's five seasons.

• Quotable: "I've hit balls that hard before, but in the minor leagues they don't measure them. Here they happen to measure them." -- Ludwick

-- ESPN.com news services

Cardinals 11, Reds 7

CINCINNATI (AP) -- Ryan Ludwick hit two home runs on Sunday to
lead the St. Louis Cardinals to an 11-7 victory over the Cincinnati
Reds, who fired low-key manager Jerry Narron afterward.

The Reds remained stuck with the worst record in the majors at
31-51, on pace to lose 100 games for the first time since 1982. The
Reds became the second team to change managers Sunday after
Seattle's Mike Hargrove resigned earlier in the day.

Advance scout Pete Mackanin, who managed the Reds' Triple-A team
in Nashville from 1990-92, was chosen interim manager. He was the
Pirates' interim manager for the final 26 games of the 2005 season
after Lloyd McClendon was fired.

Owner Bob Castellini and general manager Wayne Krivsky declined
comment until a news conference on Monday, a day off before the
start of a home series against the San Francisco Giants.

Ludwick's solo homer landed above the batter's eye, and along
with his three-run shot, offset another noteworthy homer by Ken
Griffey Jr.

"I've hit balls that hard before, but in the minor leagues they
don't measure them," Ludwick said of his solo homer. "Here they
happen to measure them."

This one came in at 473 feet, tied for the ninth-longest in
Great American Ball Park's five seasons. Ludwick was rounding the
bases with his head down when it landed in a riverboat-themed party
area above the batter's eye.

"You knew it was gone, but you weren't sure how far,"
left-hander Mike Maroth said. "It got up there on the balcony of
the ship. That's pretty impressive."

The Cardinals overcame a disappointing start by Maroth, who gave
up Griffey's 585th career homer and left the game after failing to
get an out in the fourth inning.

Instead, the latest addition to the bullpen came through again.

Reliever Troy Percival (2-0) got his second victory of the
series, a triumphant return for the former closer. The 37-year-old
reliever was out of baseball for two years because of a bad elbow,
but made a comeback at the urging of several friends on the team.

Throwing a 90 mph fastball that has surprised everyone, Percival
pitched out of a threat in the fourth to get the victory.

In another dose of discouragement for the major leagues' worst
team, Reds rookie Homer Bailey got hit hard for the second straight
start. The defining moment came in the third, when Ludwick --
playing while Juan Encarnacion got a day of rest -- hit a knee-high
fastball into the party center.

"It was a beautiful thing to see," manager Tony La Russa said.
"He was clutch. Plus, he hit another one. The way that game was
going, we needed every one of them."

Ludwick added a tiebreaking, three-run homer in the fourth off
Ricky Stone, the second multihomer game of his up-and-down career.
The 28-year-old outfielder has played parts of seasons with Texas
and Cleveland, spending most of his career bouncing around the
minors.

His family is part of Cardinals lore. His brother, Eric, pitched
for St. Louis and was one of three players traded to Oakland for
Mark McGwire on July 31, 1997.

Ludwick is still trying to find his way.

"I've been real inconsistent here," said Ludwick, who was
called up May 6. "The good games have happened to be at good
moments, when it's mattered."

Chris Duncan added a two-run homer for the Cardinals, who took
two of three in the series.

Griffey's three-run homer left him one behind Frank Robinson for
sixth on the career list and was a prelude to his matchup in the
next series against San Francisco's Barry Bonds.

Neither starter made it through the fourth inning, a particular
disappointment for two teams near the bottom of the league in
pitching.

The Cardinals got Maroth from Detroit in a June 22 trade to
steady their depleted rotation. The left-hander gave up five runs
in his second start for St. Louis, raising the rotation's earned
run average to 5.42, worst in the NL.

The hard-throwing Bailey (2-2) got hit hard for the second
consecutive start, raising questions about his readiness for the
big leagues. The 21-year-old pitcher has given up 13 hits, eight
walks and 13 runs in his last two starts, covering only 5 1/3
innings.

Bailey blamed it on a flaw in his delivery that he detected
while watching video afterward.

"I knew something was wrong, but I couldn't figure out what it
was," Bailey said. "It's a small, mechanical thing. We have an
off day tomorrow, which gives me an extra day to remember how bad
today was."

Game notes
Ludwick's solo homer was the seventh to clear the front of the batter's eye in center. ... Ludwick also homered twice on Aug. 12, 2003, at Minnesota for Cleveland. ... Reds SS Alex Gonzalez committed his team-high 14th error, twice as many as he had last season for Boston. ... Bonds is 5-for-26 (.192) career at Great American with only two homers. Bonds hit No. 730 last Sept. 4 at Great American, and Griffey dislocated a toe on his right foot while trying to climb the padded wall to catch it.