The Reds are 10-7 since his return, and he hit safely in seven of his last 10 games entering Friday for a .303 (10-for-33) average. Ludwick was a career .377 (26-for-69) hitter at Coors Field, the site of Friday's series opener, with eight homers and 22 RBIs.
He was 1-for-4 with a double and an RBI in Wednesday's 10-0 rout of the Cardinals, a game in which the Reds tallied 13 hits.
"We were excited before, we were just getting our butts kicked," manager Dusty Baker said of the attitude shift in the dugout Wednesday after losing the first two games of the series to the first-place Cardinals. "We know what's at stake; we know what's at hand. It's easy to get excited when you're beating somebody."
Owen Perkins is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.