MONTREAL (Ticker) --
and Ken Griffey Jr. helped the
return to their winning ways.
Casey had four hits and three RBI and Griffey belted his 493rd career homer as the Reds held on to beat the
Griffey's homer, a two-run shot that chased Expos starter
(3-3) with none out in the top of the fifth and tied the Reds' slugger with
for 20th place on the all-time list.
"(It's) just one of those things that I'll take one day at a time and see what happens," Griffey said of the chase for 500. "I'm still a few away - my main objective is to win ballgames and see what happens from there."
(4-4) allowed five runs and five hits in 6 2/3 innings but picked up the win. He helped his own cause with an RBI single off Expos reliever
in the top of the seventh that opened a 7-3 cushion.
"I can't hit a slider and they were coming at me with sliders all day long," said Lidle, who is batting .158. "I'm just glad I made contact."
"It's always tough to take when you give up a big base hit to a pitcher," Expos manager
said. "There are some good-hitting pitchers around and you can kind of say, 'OK, I accept it' a little bit if they get a hit in a situation like that, but Lidle is not a good-hitting pitcher."
gave up three runs in the bottom of the seventh before
got the final out to preserve the lead. Riedling pitched a scoreless eighth and
tossed a perfect ninth for his 22nd save in 26 opportunities.
"It's always nice to win the first one (of a series)," Reds manager Dave Miley said. "And the job that Riedling and Graves did preserving Corey's win is big."
Vargas was rocked for six runs and nine hits in four-plus innings as the Expos lost for the seventh time in eight games.
"I didn't feel 100 percent," Vargas said. "I felt a little bit down today. I didn't feel strong but I missed a lot of pitches in the middle of the plate and they hit a couple of good pitches."
Cincinnati snapped a two-game slide and won for the eighth time in 10 games.
led off the game with a double, was bunted over and scored on
followed with a home run to extend his hitting streak to 10 games and give Montreal a 2-0 lead.
Cincinnati took the lead for good in the third on an RBI double by
and a two-run homer to right field by Casey. Two innings later, Casey plated Larkin with a double and scored on Griffey's homer, which opened a 6-2 cushion.
"I have had some stretches where I've done this," said Casey, who leads the National League with a .390 batting average. "So for me it's really not looking at the numbers so much but just trying to lock in on every at-bat, every pitch and having good at-bats."
"It seems like every time he swings at it, he's got a chance of getting a hit," Miley said.
Lidle was chased after giving up an RBI double to
and a sacrifice fly to
in the seventh. Pinch hitter
with a solo homer to reduce the deficit to 7-6.