ST. LOUIS -- Ken Griffey trotted around the bases as if it were just another home run. It was anything but that.
Griffey hit a 2-2 fastball from Matt Morris into the right-field stands to lead off the sixth inning yesterday, securing a spot in the record books as the 20th player with 500 homers.
"Never in my wildest dreams did I think I'd ever accomplish this," Griffey said. "All the aches and pains I've had this year were gone for like two minutes. It was awesome."
Cincinnati's star center fielder ended a frustrating stretch with the homer, which helped the Reds beat the St. Louis Cardinals, 6-0. At 34, he became the sixth-youngest player to reach the milestone.
Griffey, stuck on 499 for a week, took a few extra seconds to watch his drive fly into the seats, then dropped his bat and slowly trotted around the bases with his 19th homer of the season. When Griffey crossed the plate, he tapped fists with teammate Adam Dunn. All of his teammates then came out on the field to congratulate him. Griffey then went to a box next to the Reds' dugout and hugged his father, Ken Griffey Sr., and children. The homer was caught by 19-year-old Mark Crummley of Mount Carmel, Ill., who gave it back to Griffey after the game. Griffey gave Crummley the jersey off his back and a large shopping bag filled with other memorabilia. Jung Bong (1-1) allowed three hits in six scoreless innings and three relievers finished the four-hit shutout to end the Reds' nine-game road losing streak.The Reds, who got a three-run homer from Jason LaRue in the fourth, also ended the Cardinals' six-game winning streak. Griffey was 5 for 21 with four RBIs in six games since homering last Sunday against Cleveland. His homer off Morris (7-6) was estimated at 393 feet. Griffey hit a pair of high fly balls in his first two at-bats. He flied out to center near the warning track leading off the second, and hit a sacrifice fly to center to drive in the first run in the Reds' five-run fourth against Morris.