Griffey only manages a single in return

ATLANTA (AP) -- Back in Cincinnati's lineup for the first time in

seven weeks, Ken Griffey Jr. was so uncomfortable in the early

going he felt like "a deer in headlights.''


height=90 align=right alt="Vinny Castilla">



height=90 align=right alt="Ken Griffey Jr.">

color="#666666">Griffey Jr.

The rest of the Reds must not have felt much better.

Vinny Castilla had a three-run double in Atlanta's seven-run

third inning, helping the Braves ruin Griffey's return with an 11-2

victory over Cincinnati on Friday night.

Griffey went 1-for-4 in his return after missing seven weeks

with a torn tendon in his right knee. He singled sharply in the

first inning off Kevin Millwood (3-5) in his first action since

April 7. The Reds went 25-16 in his absence and lead the NL


"The first couple of innings I was like a deer in headlights,''

Griffey said. "As the game went on, I felt more and more

comfortable being in the outfield. I think that's going to be the

adjustment playing. It's going to be playing the outfield.''

Millwood won for the first time in seven starts, and his first

since April 8. He allowed two runs on eight hits in six innings.

The Braves had scored an average of 2.9 runs in Millwood's previous

nine starts but tied a season high with 11 runs to win for the

sixth time in eight games.

"I felt pretty confident,'' Milwood said. "It was a different

feeling than I've had in a while. I don't know why. I don't think

it was a great outing, but it's a step in the right direction.''

Joey Hamilton (2-2), making his first start since May 6 against

Milwaukee, gave up a career-high nine runs -- seven earned -- and

eight hits in 2 2/3 innings.

"It disappoints me but it doesn't surprise me,'' Cincinnati

manager Bob Boone said. "His command wasn't there early. That's

why he threw as many pitches as he did.''

Each Atlanta starter except Millwood had at least one hit, with

seven of the hits going to the opposite field.

"I hope it continues,'' hitting coach Terry Pendleton said.

"If we do that, that's the way we can win ballgames. The home runs

will come.''

The Braves blew the game open in the third, with seven of the

first eight batters scoring. Castilla's double over the bag at

third was the biggest blow, allowing Darren Bragg, Chipper Jones

and Andruw Jones to score.

An error by Cincinnati second baseman Todd Walker allowed

another run to score, and the final run of the inning scored on a

passed ball.

"We were due for a bust-out game somehow,'' Atlanta manager

Bobby Cox said.

Bragg started in right field in place of Gary Sheffield, who's

day-to-day with a strained hamstring. Bragg was just 1-for-15 this

season entering the game but had two hits and a walk. He scored two


Castilla, Rafael Furcal, Marcus Giles, Chipper Jones, Andruw

Jones and Javy Lopez also had two hits apiece.

Adam Dunn homered in the third for the Reds, and Jason LaRue had

an RBI single in the fourth.

Griffey won't play Saturday, part of his every-other-day

regiment for his first week back.

"I feel fine,'' Griffey said. "I'll just come back tomorrow

and work out and see how I feel. The biggest thing is not how I

feel now, but how I feel tomorrow.''

Game notes

Hamilton was on the disabled list with a partially torn

hamstring. ... The seven runs the Braves scored in the third inning

tied a season best. They also scored seven in the sixth inning

April 4 against Philadelphia. It was the most runs the Reds have

given up in an inning this season.