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Griffey, Reds pound Braves

    ATLANTA — Ken Griffey Jr. passed Frank Robinson for sixth place on the career home run list, and Cincinnati pitcher Bobby Livingston went 4-for-4 with an RBI in the Reds’ 10-3 victory over the Atlanta Braves on Monday night.
    Griffey’s 24th homer, a three-run shot into the right-field seats at Turner Field, came off Atlanta reliever Oscar Villarreal in the second inning and gave the Reds a 5-0 lead.
    With 587 homers, Griffey moved 15 behind Texas’ Sammy Sosa for fifth place. Griffey gave Cincinnati a 1-0 lead with an RBI single in the first.
    Cincinnati called up Livingston (2-0) from Triple-A Louisville before the game, and the left-hander allowed eight hits, two runs and two walks in five innings. He struck out four.
    All of Livingston’s hits were singles, including the one in the third that made it 6-0. He was 1-for-4 with one RBI for the season entering the game. The last Reds pitcher to go 4-for-4 in a game was John Smiley, who had four RBIs while pitching Cincinnati to a 12-3 victory at Montreal on June 7, 1993.
    The Reds had lost three of four on its current 10-game road trip before Livingston, whom the Reds claimed off waivers from Seattle last December, made his third start of the season and first since winning 4-2 at Colorado on June 1.
    The Braves had won four straight and 12 of 16, but Atlanta starter Kyle Davies (4-8) failed to record an out and faced just five batters.
    After Griffey’s RBI, Davies walked Adam Dunn with the bases loaded, and Braves manager Bobby Cox had seen enough. Davies allowed two hits and three walks. He threw just seven strikes in 21 pitches.
    Team spokesman Brad Hainje said no call came from the Atlanta dugout to list an injury for Davies, who missed a start last month with a strained oblique and spent nearly four months on the disabled list in 2006 after undergoing groin surgery.
    The last Braves starter to leave a game without a disclosed injury and not getting an out was Len Barker in 1985.
    Andruw Jones cut the Reds’ lead to 6-2 with a two-run single in the third and a fielder’s choice RBI in the seventh.
    Edwin Encarnacion had an RBI single in the fourth to make it 7-2. In the fifth, Ryan Freel scored from third on shortstop Edgar Renteria’s throwing error to catcher Brian McCann, and Dunn’s RBI single then gave the Reds a 9-2 lead.
    Livingston walked Chipper Jones to load the bases in the fifth, but he escaped the jam by striking out Andruw Jones and Jeff Francoeur and getting pinch-hitter Matt Diaz to pop up.
    The Braves stranded 11 runners through eight innings, and Francoeur showed his frustration in the fifth by arguing a called third strike that earned him an ejection from home-plate umpire Angel Hernandez.
Notes: Now in his eighth year with Cincinnati, Griffey began the season tied with Reggie Jackson for 10th place with 563 homers. Griffey played his first 11 years for Seattle, hitting 398 homers and winning the 1997 AL MVP. ... Play was stopped for 11 minutes in the fifth because a few lights above the field burned out. ... Atlanta used four pitchers after Villarreal. The Reds used four after Livingston.

Davies leaves disastrous start in first inning
    Starting pitcher Kyle Davies faced just five Cincinnati batters before Braves manager Bobby Cox pulled him in the first inning with no outs on Monday night.
    The team made no announcement regarding the health of Davies, who missed a start last month with a strained oblique and spent nearly four months on the disabled list after undergoing groin surgery last year.
    Atlanta hasn’t had a starting pitcher leave without a disclosed injury and no outs in the first since Len Barker in 1985.
    Davies allowed two hits, two runs and walked three, throwing just seven strikes in 22 pitches. The right-hander’s ERA rose 21 points to 5.76. He began the game with a 4-7 record.
    Many of the fans at Turner Field booed Davies, who was born in Decatur and graduated from nearby Stockbridge High School.
    Oscar Villarreal took Davies’ place and retired the first three batters he faced.
    The last Atlanta starter to leave in the first inning with no outs was Greg Maddux on Sept. 22, 2001 at New York, but the four-time Cy Young Award winner sustained a hyperextended elbow while warming up in the bullpen.
    Maddux received no decision after facing two batters and giving up one run to the Mets.

Still looking
    Braves manager Bobby Cox has yet to decide which player will return to the minors when ace John Smoltz comes off the 15-day disabled list on Wednesday.
    Atlanta currently has 13 pitchers on the 25-man roster.
    Named to the NL All-Star team for the eighth time in his 19-year career, Smoltz was diagnosed with shoulder inflammation after undergoing an MRI on July 6.
    ‘‘He’s ready to go,’’ manager Bobby Cox said of Smoltz. ‘‘He feels great.’’
    In 17 starts, Smoltz is 9-5 with a 3.07 ERA. He has 96 strikeouts in 105 2-3 innings.

Surges continue
    3B Chipper Jones entered Monday with a .390 average (39-for-100) since coming off the DL on June 13 with bruised hands. ‘‘It never takes Chipper any time, for some reason,’’ Cox said. Overall, Jones was tied for third in the NL with a .335 average when the Braves began their game with Cincinnati. ...
    With 28 two-out RBIs, right fielder Jeff Francoeur ranked sixth in the NL and tied with Philadelphia’s Chase Utley. Braves second baseman Kelly Johnson and Cincinnati’s Adam Dunn each had 26 and are tied for 10th.

Feeling better
    Left-hander Mike Gonzalez is rehabbing in Atlanta and no longer wears a sling after undergoing elbow ligament replacement surgery in May. Gonzalez has treatment every day and watches games from the dugout before leaving in the eighth inning. Trainers have allowed him to begin light weight training, but no baseball-related activities. ...

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