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Griffey ties Palmeiro with 569th homer

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Congrats Junior! From Yahoo Sports:

Griffey ties Palmeiro with 569th homer By JOE KAY, AP Sports Writer

CINCINNATI - Now that his hand is fully healed, Ken Griffey Jr. is climbing the home run list again. Griffey hit his 569th career homer Thursday, 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 Houston Astros.

Houston won the first three games of the series, improving to 5-0 at Great American Ball Park this season.

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 37-year-old outfielder has been on a tear since he moved back into his accustomed third spot in the batting order. Griffey 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 three 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 left-hander 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)."

Weather recovered by striking him out on the next pitch, then finished it off for his seventh save in eight tries. Cincinnati's bullpen has only two saves since April 15.

"I'm screaming, 'Go foul,' and he's screaming, 'Go fair,'" Weathers said. "Luckily, it went foul. It was a slider. Then I struck him out with a slider. Bad slider. Good slider."

Houston was trying to reach .500 for the first time since April 23 and finish its first four-game sweep in Cincinnati since July 17-20, 2003, nine days before the Reds fired manager Bob Boone and general manager Jim Bowden.

Four years later, the Reds are in another free fall, finishing a 2-5 homestand that dropped them into last place in the NL Central. They trail the first-place Brewers by an imposing 9 1/2 games.

For once, they managed to contain Lance Berkman, who homered in each of the first three games of the series. Berkman has been a huge problem for the Reds throughout his career — 38 homers and 107 RBIs, his highest totals against any team.

The Astros couldn't overcome a poor start by Albers, who got hit hard in his first career appearance at the homer-friendly ballpark. Dunn hit his team-high 11th homer in the first inning to set the tone, and added a triple off Albers in his next at-bat.

"You'd like to win four, no question," Astros manager Phil Garner said. "We had a lot of momentum going into this game, but they took it away from us early."

Dunn doubled in the fifth off Brian Moehler, leaving him only a single away from the cycle. No Reds players has achieved it since Eric Davis on June 2, 1989, against San Diego. Dunn grounded into a double play in the sixth, his final plate appearance.

David Ross added a two-run homer in the fifth off Moehler.

Notes:@ The Astros are 7-2 overall against the Reds this season. ... Berkman went 6-for-14 during the series with three homers. ... Burke's homer was his 200th career hit and his first homer since Sept. 12 at St. Louis. ... Dunn has two triples this season, matching his career high. ... 2B Brandon Phillips extended his hitting streak to a career-high 13 games.

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Oh what could have been... If only he hadn't been hurt, the Bonds drama of being the homerun king, wouldn't be an issue. Still glad to see good things from Junior !!!


Here's my thing with JR. First of all, I have to say that he is my #2 favorite player of all time behind Pete Rose... Ken Griffey Jr. is one of the BEST HR hitters of all time and the only reason he isn't on pace to break Hank Aarons record is because he's done it the right way! Not once has Griffey's name came up with steroids in the same sentence. NOT ONCE, because he isn't a user. He's stayed natural his whole career and that is something Cincy should be greatful about. Bonds has been doing it the wrong way for several years now and he'll pay for it eventually!

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Agreen, I agree with you completely and that is one of the biggest reasons Im still a HUGE Junior fan !!! I hate Bonds and hope he gets sh*t for the rest of his life after becoming the homerun king...


I can't f**kin stand the guy either... He's a cheater and will always be remembered as a cheater!

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How sweet would it be to see Griffey stay healthy for about 4-5 more years and make a run a what will likely be Bonds's record. MLB would love for that to happen, a steriod free family man who gets along with the media and has a great story to boot would be a saviour for MLB.

No doubt! I concur. Great post! :sure:

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