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Griffey, Dunn help Belisle get a 'W'

Griffey, Dunn help Belisle get a 'W'

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CINCINNATI -- Ken Griffey Jr. couldn't have made Matt Belisle's return to the Reds' starting rotation any smoother.

Griffey homered for the first time since Aug. 10 and drove in four runs and Belisle set a career high with nine strikeouts as the Reds powered their way past the Florida Marlins, 11-7, on the night the Reds retired Dave Concepcion's No. 13 on Saturday at Great American Ball Park.

"It's always fun," Griffey said about seeing Reds greats back in Cincinnati. He grew up in the Reds clubhouse while Concepcion and the Big Red Machine were dominating the National League in the 1970s and gave Concepcion the bat he used for his homer. "These guys mean so much to the city and the organization. Tonight is something I'll never forget."

Adam Dunn hit a three-run homer as the Reds built an 11-1 lead and then had to hold off Florida to clinch their 10th winning series out of the 15 they've played since Pete Mackanin was named interim manager, replacing Jerry Narron, on July 3.

Griffey fell a triple shy of the cycle and Josh Hamilton and Jeff Keppinger each had three hits to extend career-high hitting streaks as the Reds extended their winning streak to a season-high five games after being stopped at four-game streaks on three other occasions this season.

The Reds will go for a sweep Sunday behind Tom Shearn, a 29-year-old right-hander who is being called up from Triple-A Louisville to make his Major League debut. The Columbus, Ohio, native is 7-10 with a 4.20 ERA in 26 games, 24 of them starts, for the Bats. This season is his 11th in the Minor Leagues. He did not play in 2003.

Shearn's assignment means every one of the five pitchers who opened the season in Louisville's rotation will have started at least once for the Reds. The other four are Homer Bailey, Phil Dumatrait, Bobby Livingston and Mike Gosling.

"I'm sure he'll be a little bit nervous, but we hope we can get him through that and he'll give us five or six innings," Mackanin said.

Belisle (7-8) won in his first start since Aug. 10. The right-hander was optioned to Louisville after allowing six hits and five runs in five innings in a 12-7, 11-inning loss to San Diego that day.

"It was a lot of fun tonight," said Belisle, who allowed one run in seven innings before giving up three runs to three batters leading off the eighth. "The bottom line is we're really good, right now. It's a good feeling. [Mackanin] put me out there for the eighth inning, and I'm disappointed that I couldn't get out of it, but I'll take a lot of positives out of it."

"You know what he did tonight that he wasn't doing before," Mackanin said. "He used his curveball and slider really well. He gave us the innings we needed and pitched like a Major Leaguer. It's good to see him back on track.

"He hadn't pitched in nine days, so we weren't sure what we were going to get, but we figured he'd give us innings, and he did that."

Keppinger extended his career-high hitting streak to 14 games, and Hamilton extended his to 10, but catcher Javier Valentin saw his career-high hitting streak snapped at 14.

The Reds took a 1-0 lead in the first inning on Brandon Phillips' single to center field. They made it 3-0 in the third on Hamilton's single and Griffey's two-run double to left-center field. Griffey hit his 28th homer of the season and first in 53 at-bats with Keppinger on in the fifth, and Scott Hatteberg later added an RBI single.

Jeremy Hermida broke up Belisle's bid for a shutout with a sixth-inning solo homer, but Dunn answered with a three-run, opposite-field blast to the Reds bullpen in left-center field for his 36th homer of the season in the seventh. Edwin Encarnacion later added an RBI single.

"Dunn's homer turned out to be big," Mackanin said.

Dan Uggla led off the eighth against Belisle with a home run, and Belisle left after the next two batters singled. Left-handed Mike Stanton gave up hits to the only two batters he faced, and Kirk Saarloos allowed a three-run homer by Miguel Olivo -- the first batter he faced -- before recording two outs and turning the mound over to right-hander Jared Burton, who got Hanley Ramirez to fly out to end the inning.

David Weathers pitched the ninth in a non-save situation.

Mark Schmetzer is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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