Now that his hand is fully healed, Ken Griffey Jr. is climbing the home run list again.

Griffey hit his 569th career homer yesterday, a two-run shot that tied him for ninth place on the career list and helped the Cincinnati Reds get a breakthrough 9-5 victory over the visiting Houston Astros.

Houston won the first three games of the series.

Pitcher Woody Williams and the Astros make themselves at home when they come here. Williams called a vendor over to the dugout and bought four bags of peanuts during the first inning, sharing them with teammates.

Griffey and Adam Dunn led the Reds to their elusive first win.

Cincinnati pulled ahead 7-0 after three innings against starter Matt Albers (1-2) and held on. Dunn hit a three-run homer, his sixth in the last 11 games, and added a triple and a double, coming up one single short of hitting for the cycle.

Griffey had a sacrifice fly and a two-run homer off Albers that left him tied with Rafael Palmeiro on the career list. Harmon Killebrew is eighth at 573.

"Just keep plugging away," Griffey said. "My thing was, I was just trying to get the guy home from third, and it just happened to go out."

The outfielder has been on a tear since he moved back into his accustomed third spot in the batting order. Griffey, 37, has hit safely in seven of those eight games, with four of his six homers.

He missed most of spring training because of a broken left hand, suffered last December. The injury wound up helping him as a hitter.

"I wouldn't recommend it as a way to learn patience, but when you break your hand, you don't want to be swinging at too many pitches early," Griffey said. "It hurt the first 3 weeks of spring training. Look at how I took batting practice. The first couple of times, I didn't swing at very many balls."

Aaron Harang (5-1) struggled to hold the early lead, giving up Chris Burke's three-run homer as Houston cut it to 7-5. Then, the Reds sweated out more bullpen drama.

The Astros loaded the bases with one out in the eighth off lefthander Mike Stanton. Closer David Weathers escaped the threat after a frightful moment - pinch-hitter Morgan Ensberg's potential grand-slam drive hooked foul down the line.

Ensberg took a few steps from the plate and pointed fair with his right hand, then gave up when he saw the ball hooking.

"Not close enough," Ensberg said. "Off the bat, I thought I might have a chance. I could tell pretty clearly it was going to be foul halfway [toward the pole]."

Weathers recovered by striking him out on the next pitch, then finished it off for his seventh save in eight tries.

In other games:

* At Denver, Troy Tulowitzki drove in two runs to lead the Colorado Rockies over San Francisco, 5-3. Barry Bonds doubled in three at-bats for the Giants.

* At Miami, Josh Willingham hit a three-run homer off Derek Lowe (3-4) with one out in the bottom of the ninth to give the Florida Marlins a 3-0 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers. Taylor Tankersley (2-0) pitched a perfect ninth for the Marlins to complete a three-hitter.

* At Atlanta, Kelly Johnson hit a two-out, bases-loaded double in the sixth inning to lead the Braves over the San Diego Padres, 5-3. Tim Hudson (4-1) yielded two runs and nine hits in six innings for the Braves.

* At Chicago, Jason Bay homered and drove in three runs against Carlos Zambrano, leading the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 6-4 win over the Cubs.

Paul Maholm (2-4) went 7 1/3 innings for the Pirates, allowing four runs and seven hits. Salomon Torres pitched a perfect ninth for his 11th save in 14 chances.


* Giants centerfielder Dave Roberts had his inflamed left elbow examined by Angels orthopedist Dr. Lewis Yocum and decided to have arthroscopic surgery to remove floating bone chips and bone spurs.

* Giants centerfielder Dave Roberts had his inflamed left elbow examined by Angels orthopedist Dr. Lewis Yocum and decided to have arthroscopic surgery to remove floating bone chips and bone spurs.

* The Reds sent third baseman Edwin Encarnacion to Triple A Louisville after growing weary of his inconsistent hitting and fielding. They called up infielder Jeff Keppinger. *