CINCINNATI -- The Cincinnati Reds are back to a familiar routine: trying to win games without Ken Griffey Jr.
The Reds put Griffey on the 15-day disabled list Monday night following a 9-1 victory over the Florida Marlins, who have the youngest lineup and the fewest wins in the National League.
It's the first time in two years that the 36-year-old Griffey has gone on the disabled list. After a series of major injuries from 2001-04, he made it through last season and won the NL's comeback player of the year award.
Now, he's making another type of comeback -- from an inflamed tendon behind his right knee that made him miss the last five games. The Reds said the injury isn't serious, but they don't want it to get worse.
"He's had a long history, so this is peace of mind," Dr. Timothy Kremchek said.
Even without Griffey, the Reds had more than enough offense to take care of the young and struggling Marlins. Adam Dunn got it started with his eighth homer, and left-hander Brandon Claussen pitched seven shutout innings.
Dunn extended his week-long power surge with a two-run homer in the first inning -- his last six hits have been homers.
"Dunner is swinging the bat really well," manager Jerry Narron said. "I'd like to see him hit a lousy single somewhere."
Austin Kearns also had a solo shot, and Brandon Phillips drove in four runs with a double and a pair of singles, matching his career highs for hits and RBI.
"I love this team," said Phillips, obtained in an April 7 trade with Cleveland. "Everybody's laid back and cool. There's a lot of jokesters on this team. I think I fit in real well with this team."
The Reds have 26 homers in their first 13 games, coming off a season in which they led the NL in homers. Twenty-three homers have been hit overall in seven games at Great American Ball Park, which yielded the most in the majors last year.
The Marlins have only three victories this season, the fewest in the league. Florida opened the season with 11 rookies on the roster and looked its age on Monday, prompting manager Joe Girardi to hold a brief team meeting afterward.
"It was an ugly game for us," Girardi said. "We didn't pitch, we didn't play defense, we didn't hit with runners on. It's difficult to win a game like that."
Claussen (1-1) has dominated the Marlins in two career appearances. Last season, he allowed only three hits in 5 1/3 shutout innings of a 2-1 victory in Miami.
The left-hander was even better on Monday, giving up five hits and striking out seven in seven innings. He also had a defensive play that saved a run, jumping and stretching to get Josh Willingham's comeback grounder with two runners aboard in the sixth.
Of course, these Marlins are much different from the ones that Claussen beat last year.
"We went over the scouting report and I didn't know hardly anybody," Claussen said. "I'm not saying they're not good, but I hadn't faced anybody."
Willingham grounded into a double play that scored the Marlins' run in the eighth inning off reliever Mike Burns.
Brian Moehler (0-3) had another bad night in his uncharacteristically rough April. Heading into this season, the right-hander had a winning career record in April -- his only such month.
Moehler gave up eight runs in five-plus innings, falling to 0-3 in three starts with a 13.14 ERA. Moehler has given up at least six runs in each of his starts, and has now lost his last nine decisions, a club record.
"I'm not giving us a chance to win," said Moehler, who had never started a season with three straight losses. "When you give up runs early, I'm sure it takes the wind out of everybody's sails. I'm at a loss. I'm struggling right now."
The Marlins put RHP Carlos Martinez (strained elbow) and OF Jeremy Hermida (sore hip) on the 15-day DL. RHP Randy Messenger and OF Matt Cepicky were called up from Triple-A Albuquerque. ... Messenger got into the game in the sixth and gave up an RBI single, and Cepicky got into the game as part of a double switch in the eighth. ... Moehler is 0-4 in five career games against the Reds, for whom he played in 2002. ... CF Reggie Abercrombie went 0-for-4 with a pair of strikeouts, extending his slump to 0-for-20. ... In his last seven games, Dunn is 6-for-23 with six homers. ... Kearns' homer extended his hitting streak to five games. ... Phillips' four RBI matched his career high.
|Players of the Game|
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|Hanley Ramirez, SS||4||1||2||0||1||2||1||.347|
|Dan Uggla, 2B||3||0||0||0||1||0||3||.205|
|Miguel Cabrera, 3B||4||0||2||0||0||1||2||.295|
|Josh Willingham, LF||4||0||0||0||0||1||2||.318|
|Joe Borowski, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Wes Helms, 1B||3||0||2||0||0||0||2||.462|
|Chris Aguila, RF||4||0||0||0||0||0||3||.222|
|Reggie Abercrombie, CF||4||0||0||0||0||2||1||.080|
|Matt Treanor, C||4||0||1||0||0||1||0||.083|
|Brian Moehler, P||1||0||0||0||1||1||0||.000|
|Randy Messenger, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a- Miguel Olivo, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||1||.214|
|Franklyn German, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Matthew Cepicky, LF||1||0||1||0||0||0||0||1.000|
|a-struck out for Messenger in the 7th|
|2B - Miguel Cabrera (5, Claussen), Matt Treanor (1, Claussen)|
|CS - Wes Helms (1, 2nd base by Claussen/Valentin)|
|Team LOB - 9|
|DP - Uggla-H. Ramirez-Helms, H. Ramirez-Uggla-Helms|
|E - Hanley Ramirez (4, Bunted foul 3rd strike)|
|Brian Moehler (L,0-3)||5||9||8||7||2||2||2||13.14|
|HBP - Kearns (by Franklyn German)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Brian Moehler 99-58, Randy Messenger 17-10, Franklyn German 17-10, Joe Borowski 19-12|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brian Moehler 8-3, Randy Messenger 1-1, Franklyn German 2-1|
|Batters Faced - Brian Moehler 24, Randy Messenger 4, Franklyn German 5, Joe Borowski 5|
|Ryan Freel, CF||5||0||1||1||0||0||2||.314|
|Felipe Lopez, SS||5||1||1||0||0||1||1||.278|
|Adam Dunn, LF||2||1||1||2||2||0||0||.318|
|Mike Burns, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Chris Hammond, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Austin Kearns, RF||2||1||1||1||1||0||1||.346|
|Scott Hatteberg, 1B||4||1||2||0||0||0||3||.192|
|Javier Valentin, C||4||2||2||0||0||0||3||.235|
|Edwin Encarnacion, 3B||4||2||1||1||0||0||0||.244|
|Brandon Phillips, 2B||4||1||3||4||0||1||0||.313|
|Brandon Claussen, P||3||0||0||0||0||2||2||.000|
|Quinton McCracken, LF||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||.333|
|2B - Ryan Freel (5, Moehler), Felipe Lopez (3, Moehler), Scott Hatteberg (1, Moehler), Javier Valentin (3, Moehler), Edwin Encarnacion (5, Borowski), Brandon Phillips (2, Moehler)|
|HR - Adam Dunn (8, Moehler), Austin Kearns (5, Moehler)|
|RBI - Ryan Freel (2), Adam Dunn 2 (13), Austin Kearns (12), Edwin Encarnacion (7), Brandon Phillips 4 (4)|
|CS - Ryan Freel (2, 3rd base by Moehler/Treanor)|
|Team LOB - 5|
|DP - F. Lopez-B. Phillips-Hatteberg|
|E - Felipe Lopez (3, )|
|Brandon Claussen (W,1-1)||7||5||0||0||2||7||0||3.18|
|HBP - Helms (by Mike Burns)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Brandon Claussen 108-60, Mike Burns 23-12, Chris Hammond 18-11|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brandon Claussen 4-9, Mike Burns 1-1|
|Batters Faced - Brandon Claussen 27, Mike Burns 6, Chris Hammond 4|
|Attendance - 16960|
|Game Time - 2:48|
|Temperature - 66|
|Umpires - Home - Jerry Crawford, First Base - Chuck Meriwether, Second Base - Brian O'Nora, Third Base - Phil Cuzzi|