Monday, June 25, 2007

Griffey Blasts 2, Passes McGwire; Biggio Closes In

American League Ken Griffey Jr., possibly the best outfielder of his era, tied and then passed Mark McGwire on the career home run list with a pair of homers - numbers 583 and 584 - for sole possession of 7th place all-time. Griffey bombed Seattle starter Miguel Batista in the 1st and 5th innings, though his effort was all the Reds could muster, losing 3-2 to the Mariners. Cincinnati 2 Seattle 3 Griffey's next target isn't far off. He's only two homers behind Frank Robinson at 586, and then it's on to 600. At 37, "The Kid" still has plenty of pop in his bat, with 21 homers already this season. With 600 in sight, Griffey (right) will be chasing Texas slugger Sammy Sosa, who has 601. Ahead of both Sosa and Griffey is Willie Mays with 660. It's conceivable that both players could reach Mays' mark, which is 4th all time. After that, time, and avoidance of injuries, will tell. Houston 12 Texas 9, 10 innings - The countdown to 3000 got into high gear for Craig Biggio as he stroked a pair of singles and a tie-breaking double to get the Astros over the Rangers on Sunday. The three hits gave Biggio 2996, and with a full slate of games this week, he'll likely reach the mark either on the road at Milwaukee (June 25, 26, 27) or at home against the Rockies (June 28, 29, 30). Batting in the #2 spot, right behind Biggio,
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rookie Hunter Pence went 4-6, scored 4 times and drove in a run with his 8th home run. Pence, a 2004 2nd round draft pick of the Astros, is near league leader Matt Holliday (.355) with a .353 batting average. Pence is just shy of being a qualified leader. His 207 at bats through 50 games, left him 23 short of the needed 230. Now that he's a regular in center field Pence should soon show up in the mix. Toronto 5 Colorado 0 - Nobody, not even the Toronto coaches, saw this coming. Dustin McGowan (4-3) tossed a no-hitter through eight innings, finally surrendering a single to lead off the ninth to Colorado's Jeff Baker. Undaunted, McGowan finished off the Rockies with a 1-hitter, issuing just 1 walk while striking out 7. The strong pitching performance helped the Blue Jays sweep the previously red-hot Rockies in the 3-game series and move into 2nd place in the AL East, 11 games back of Boston. Other AL Scores Tampa Bay 9 LA Dodgers 4 - Dodgers drop 2 of 3 at TB Chi Cubs 3 Chi White Sox 0 - Sox swept by Cubs, score 2 runs in 3 games LA Angels 4 Pittsburgh 3, 10 innings - Angels sweep, have won 7 of 8 National League Detroit 5 Atlanta 0 - The Tigers, already boasting the top batting average in the majors at .293, showed the Braves that they have a bit of pitching as well. as Andrew Miller and Chad Durbin combined for a 6-hit shutout on Sunday. Miller (3-1) worked the first 6 innings, with Durbin going the final 3 for his first save. Sweeping the series, the Tigers allowed just one run - Chipper Jones' solo homer on Saturday - over the three game span. The Braves have now been shut out in four of their last five games. Their hitters might as well be using fly swatters. Detroit opened up a 2-game lead over Cleveland in the AL Central. NY Mets 10 Oakland 2 - As the Braves struggled, the Mets pounded out another win and maintained their 3-game edge on surging Philadelphia. John Maine improved to 8-4 and Jose Valentin led the 14-hit assault with a 3-4 effort and 3 RBI, including his 3rd home run of the season. Boston 4 San Diego 2 - Josh Beckett (right) outgunned the Padres' Jake Peavy and became the first 11-game winner in the majors, allowing 2 runs on 6 hits over 8 innings. Beckett (11-1) struck out 8. Arizona 8 Baltimore 3 - With both the Padres and Dodgers losing, the Arizona Diamondbacks took their turn at first place in the NL West, taking 2 of 3 from the rapidly-disintegrating Orioles. With just a 1-game edge on San Diego and 1 1/2 on the Dodgers, the D-Backs open a 4-game home series against LA on Monday. Other NL Scores Minnesota 7 Florida 4 - J. Mauer, 2 HR (3), 3 RBI Washington 3 Cleveland 1 - J. Simontacchi (W, 5-5) 6 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 K Kansas City 4 Milwaukee 3, 11 innings Philadelphia 5 St. Louis 1 - S. Victorino, 3-run double in 8th San Francisco 7 NY Yankees 2 - Yankees, 36-37, 3rd in AL East Interleague Scoreboard: Friday (6/8): AL 8, NL 6 Saturday (6/9): AL 10, NL 4 Sunday (6/10): AL 9, NL 5 Monday (6/11): AL 0, NL 2 Tuesday (6/12): AL: 8, NL: 6 Wednesday (6/13): AL: 6, NL: 8 Thursday (6/14): AL: 7, NL: 5 Friday (6/15): AL: 6, NL: 8 Saturday (6/16): AL: 5, NL: 9 Sunday (6/17): AL: 9, NL: 5 Monday (6/18): AL: 7 NL: 3 Tuesday (6/19): AL: 3, NL: 11 Wednesday (6/20): AL: 10, NL: 4 Thursday (6/21): AL: 3, NL: 2 Friday (6/22): AL: 7, NL: 7 Saturday (6/23): AL: 8, NL: 6 Sunday (6/24): AL: 8, NL: 6 Total: AL: 107 NL: 90 Note: During interleague play, home teams are reported under their respective leagues.

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