Maybe it was that he was back at Great American Ball Park or that it's his sixth game back from shoulder surgery but Reds outfielder Ryan Ludwick said he finally felt comfortable on Monday. And he had the result to prove it.

Standing on second base in the Reds' three-run fourth Ludwick was finally able to watch a teammate score as a result of his hit notching his first RBI and first extra-base hit for the Reds in Monday's 5-3 victory over the Diamondbacks.

"I actually felt better tonight than I've felt yet" Ludwick said. "I don't know if it was being home being in a familiar place but I felt like I had a chance tonight. Baby steps -- Dusty (Baker) (hitting coach) Brook (Jacoby) and all the guys have been really patient with me I want it all at once and I probably wanted to hit 10 home runs in 10 at-bats. Obviously the timing and rhythm is off but tonight I felt like I had pretty good rhythm at the plate."

Ludwick finished 1 for 4 and still has just three hits in 18 at-bats since his return but it was a start. And that in itself is big not only for Ludwick but for the Reds in general.

"It's better to get it late than never" Dusty Baker said. "Our best days are ahead of us as long as we keep winning in the meantime and keep getting good pitching we've got a chance to win a lot of games."

Ludwick's double was the fourth of four straight Reds hits in the fourth. Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips had back-to-back singles to start the inning before Jay Bruce singled in Votto to give the Reds a 2-1 lead. Ludwick followed with his double to make it 3-1.