Stubbs' absence opens door for Ludwick

Stubbs' absence opens door for Ludwick

CINCINNATI -- With Drew Stubbs out indefinitely for the Reds with a strained left oblique, Chris Heisey will get the bulk of time in center field. And that means more playing time in left field for Ryan Ludwick.

Ludwick hasn't hit well all season and entered Thursday batting .207 in 39 games. But he's been a big run producer in clutch moments, with 24 RBIs and six home runs in 121 at-bats. He had a bases-loaded double that scored three runs in Wednesday's win over the Pirates.

"He's probably 65-70 points from where he'd be satisfied to be," Reds manager Baker said. "I haven't seen too many Joe Carters around. That's how Joe Carter was. He'd hit .220 and drive in 100 [runs]."

In the Reds' 5-4 loss to the Pirates in 10 innings, Ludwick had a big night with his 13th career multi-homer game. Both were game-tying shots.

Leading off the fifth as Cincinnati trailed by a 2-1 score, Ludwick slugged a first-pitch homer to left field off of Kevin Correia. And to begin the ninth with his team down 4-3, Ludwick crushed a first-pitch from Joel Hanrahan into the upper bleachers in left field.