|Ken Griffey watches career homer No. 599, a two-run shot off Atlanta's Jair Jurrjens, sail out of the Great American Ball Park. (David Kohl/Associated Press)|
Ken Griffey Jr. hit the 599th home run of his career yesterday, but Jay Bruce, the rookie who's just getting started, was the center of attention in the cluster of disbelieving Cincinnati Reds at home plate.
Bruce extended his amazing weeklong debut with his first homer, a solo walkoff shot in the 10th inning that gave the Cincinnati Reds an 8-7 victory over the stunned Atlanta Braves.
Griffey was on deck when Bruce connected. He rounded the bases while 38,585 fans chanted "Bruuuce!" in unison, flipped his helmet into the air halfway to home, then got pummeled by teammates when he hopped on the plate.
"That's the first walkoff home run in my life, at any level," Bruce said.
The Reds' top prospect is 11 for 19 in his first five games in the majors. Griffey got the Reds rolling with a two-run drive in the first off Jair Jurrjens, leaving him one away from becoming the sixth player to reach 600 career homers. Jurrjens was the 383d pitcher to give up a homer to Griffey, who also had a sacrifice fly and a double.
The Braves built a 7-6 lead on homers by Greg Norton, Mark Teixeira, and Jeff Francoeur, only to let it slip away in the ninth. Rafael Soriano - whose first pitch in the ninth sailed untouched to the backstop screen - gave up a walk and a single, then failed to look Ryan Freel all the way back to third base on David Ross's soft comeback grounder. Soriano threw to first, and Freel dashed for home and slid in headfirst, beating the relay.
Diamondbacks 4, Nationals 0 - Brandon Webb (10-2) threw his eighth career shutout, and Mark Reynolds homered twice as Arizona snapped a five-game losing streak with a victory over visiting Washington.
Webb (10-2) scattered six singles in his second complete game of the year and 14th of his career. Reynolds hit solo shots off Jason Bergmann (1-2) in the second and the seventh for his 10th and 11th homers. Reynolds also made a sprawling over-the-shoulder catch to rob Dmitri Young of a hit in the ninth.
Marlins 7, Phillies 3 - Ricky Nolasco pitched 6 2/3 strong innings and visiting Florida roughed up Cole Hamels in ending Philadelphia's five-game winning streak.
Luis Gonzalez hit a go-ahead two-run homer and Cody Ross and Jorge Cantu also went deep for the upstart Marlins, who moved back into first place in the NL East - a half-game ahead of the Phillies.
Chase Utley hit his major league-leading 19th homer for Philadelphia.
Mariners 5, Tigers 0 - Felix Hernandez allowed just two hits in seven innings and Kenji Johjima likely scored the most unusual run of his career with a steal of home off a botched squeeze in host Seattle's victory over Detroit.
Johjima added a two-run single in the first, backing a superb performance from Hernandez (3-5), who struck out seven and snapped his five-game losing streak.
Rays 2, White Sox 0 - Scott Kazmir won his fifth straight start, allowing three hits in seven innings of AL East-leading Tampa Bay's victory over visiting Chicago.
Cliff Floyd homered for the second straight game, helping the surprising Rays (34-22) go 12 games over .500 for the first time in franchise history.
Cubs 5, Rockies 4 - Alfonso Soriano homered and drove in three runs to help Chicago to its sixth straight win.
The NL Central-leading Cubs improved to 25-8 at Wrigley Field and handed the Rockies their sixth straight loss.
Royals 4, Indians 2 - David DeJesus homered and Kyle Davies pitched five strong innings just hours after being called up from Triple A Omaha to help snap host Kansas City's 12-game losing streak.
Brewers 4, Astros 1 - Ben Sheets (6-1) got within one out of pitching his third complete game of the season, and Prince Fielder and Russell Branyan homered to lead Milwaukee past visiting Houston.
Mets 3, Dodgers 2 - Carlos Beltran hit a tying homer and Fernando Tatis singled home the go-ahead run in the eighth, rallying the resurgent Mets at Shea Stadium.
Rangers 8, Athletics 4 - Josh Hamilton homered and drove in three runs for a major league-leading 61, as host Texas, which has won 22 of 34, moved over .500.
Pirates 14, Cardinals 4 - Luis Rivas hit a grand slam and Xavier Nady and Ronny Paulino drove in three runs apiece for visiting Pittsburgh.
Angels 3, Blue Jays 2 - Juan Rivera's bases-loaded pinch single in the 10th gave host Los Angeles a win over Toronto.
Yankees 7, Twins 6 - Bobby Abreu broke a 12th-inning tie with a one-out single as New York won in Minnesota.
Padres 5, Giants 1 - Josh Banks pitched a six-hitter to send visiting San Diego to its fifth win in six games.