|Finally healthy, Griffey moves up homer list|
|Written by Admin|
|Thursday, 10 May 2007 21:13|
Griffey hit his 569th career homer Thursday, a two-run shot that tied him for ninth place on the all-time list and helped the Cincinnati Reds finally beat the Houston Astros 9-5.
Griffey moved into a tie with Rafael Palmeiro and is now four behind Harmon Killebrew for eighth.
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.''
In other NL games, it was: Florida 3, Los Angeles 0; Atlanta 5, San Diego 3; Pittsburgh 6, Chicago 4; and Colorado 5, San Francisco 3.
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 win.
Cincinnati pulled ahead 7-0 after three innings against starter Matt Albers (1-2) and held on in spite of more bullpen struggles. 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.
Marlins 3, Dodgers 0
Josh Willingham hit a three-run homer off Derek Lowe with one out in the bottom of the ninth to give Florida the win.
Lowe (3-4) took a four-hitter into the ninth, but Hanley Ramirez walked to lead off, and third baseman Wilson Betemit was charged with an error when he failed to come up with a grounder.
Miguel Cabrera advanced the runners by tapping out to Lowe. Willingham then hit the first pitch over the scoreboard for his sixth home run, ending a tense game.
Taylor Tankersley (2-0) pitched a perfect ninth to complete a three-hitter.
Sergio Mitre pitched eight innings for Florida, allowing three hits and three walks.
Braves 5, Padres 3
Kelly Johnson came through with a two-out, bases-loaded double in the sixth inning for host Atlanta.
Tim Hudson (4-1) yielded two runs and nine hits in six innings for the first-place Braves, who went 7-3 during an 11-day stay at home.
David Wells hung a breaking ball to Johnson with the bases loaded in the sixth, and Johnson lined it into the right-field corner to make it 5-2. The Braves have scored a major league-leading 88 runs with two outs - more than half of their overall production.
Wells (1-2) surrendered seven hits and walked four in 5 2-3 innings.
Rafael Soriano pitched a perfect ninth for his fifth save in as many chances.
Pirates 6, Cubs 4
At Chicago, Pittsburgh's Jason Bay homered and drove in three runs against Carlos Zambrano. Bay hit a two-run double in the first and led off the fifth inning with his fifth homer to help the Pirates (15-18) win their first series since they swept the Astros on April 18-20.
Zambrano (3-3) gave up four earned runs and seven hits in six innings. He struck out six and walked two.
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.
Michael Barrett, Aramis Ramirez and Angel Pagan homered for Chicago.
Rockies 5, Giants 3
Aaron Cook neutralized Barry Bonds (1-for-3) and knocked in a run with a sacrifice bunt in host Colorado's win.
Troy Tulowitzki hit a two-run double off Noah Lowry (4-3) in the third inning and scored from second base when shortstop Omar Vizquel threw wildly past third base after fielding Matt Holliday's bouncer.
The Rockies made it 4-0 in the fourth when Cook sacrificed a runner home with a bunt. First baseman Ryan Klesko fielded it and threw to first for the second out of the inning instead of home for a play at the plate.
Cook (2-1) allowed three earned runs on six hits and four walks without a strikeout in six innings. He cruised until the sixth, when San Francisco got all its runs on two-out, RBI singles by Ray Durham, Benji Molina and Fred Lewis.