The Kid isn't a kid anymore, but the Chicago White Sox are still glad to have him.
Ken Griffey Jr. drove in two runs in his debut with Chicago and Javier Vazquez won for the first time in seven starts, lifting the White Sox to a 4-2 victory over the Royals last night in Kansas City, Mo.
Chicago traded for Griffey, a 38-year-old slugger who's battled injuries and struggled most of this season.
White Sox players were thrilled to have Griffey in their lineup and a bigger-than-usual crowd seemed to be glad to see him at Kaufman Stadium for the first time since July 29, 1999, letting out a loud cheer when his image came up on the scoreboard during introductions.
Batting seventh for the first time since his rookie season in 1989 - he hit third for the Reds - Griffey fought off a tough pitch from Luke Hochevar (6-9) with two strikes, then lined a two-out single up the middle for the game's first run.
Griffey came up again with two outs and runners on the corners in the sixth, and fisted a ball between first and second for a single that put Chicago up, 2-0. He advanced on Nick Swisher's run-scoring infield hit, and scored on Juan Uribe's single to make it 4-0.
"He did just what he always does," White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. "It didn't surprise me at all what he did."
Pirates 3, Cubs 0 - Jeff Karstens threw six innings in his Pittsburgh debut, and the visiting Pirates snapped Chicago's five-game winning streak.
Karstens (1-0), acquired last week for outfielder Xavier Nady, was one of three newcomers who led the Pirates. Andy LaRoche, obtained in the Manny Ramírez deal, singled and scored a run.
Right fielder Brandon Moss, who came from Boston in the trade for Jason Bay, started one of Pittsburgh's four double plays.
Rays 5, Tigers 2 - Carlos Peña and Evan Longoria hit solo homers and Tampa Bay's bullpen limited visiting Detroit to one hit over the last 4 1/3 innings to lift the AL East leaders.
Grant Balfour (3-1) struck out three of the four batters he faced in relief of All-Star Scott Kazmir to get the victory.
Troy Percival worked the ninth to finish the four-hitter, moving ahead of Randy Myers for sole possession of eighth place on the career saves list with 348. The 40-year-old closer has converted 24 of 26 opportunities this season.
Rangers 9, Blue Jays 8 - David Murphy's two-run single with one out in the bottom of the ninth capped a three-run rally and lifted host Texas past Toronto.
Pinch hitter Jarrod Saltalamacchia drew a one-out walk from B.J. Ryan (2-4), and Michael Young followed with single. Brandon Boggs, who entered the game when Josh Hamilton left with dizziness after the sixth inning, doubled to score Saltalamacchia.
Twins 4, Indians 1 - Joe Mauer's two-run homer in the seventh inning spoiled another strong start by Jeremy Sowers (1-6) in host Minnesota's victory.
Mauer's seventh homer of the season broke a 1-1 tie and Brendan Harris added an RBI double to back Nick Blackburn (8-6), who gave up just one run on six hits in seven innings as Minnesota won for the sixth time in seven games.
Astros 7, Mets 3 - Pinch hitter Mark Loretta hit a tiebreaking grand slam off Aaron Heilman in the eighth inning and host Houston defeated New York.
Kazuo Matsui, Brandon Backe, and Carlos Lee had solo homers, all leading off innings against Pedro Martínez.
Cardinals 6, Phillies 3 - Ryan Ludwick homered twice and had four hits, Joe Mather added a three-run shot, and host St. Louis beat Philadelphia.
Nationals 5, Reds 2 - Odalis Perez (4-8) pitched into the eighth to earn his first home win and Washington ended a nine-game losing streak with a victory over visiting Cincinnati.
Brewers 9, Braves 0 - Jeff Suppan (6-7) pitched seven scoreless innings, Mike Cameron and Prince Fielder hit third-inning home runs, and Milwaukee beat host Atlanta to snap a five-game skid.
Rockies 5, Marlins 2 - Ubaldo Jimenez (8-9) allowed two hits in seven shutout innings to win his fourth straight start and Colorado beat Florida in Miami.