CINCINNATI (AP) — Ken Griffey Jr. homered twice Saturday night, snatching the spotlight from Sammy Sosa’s quest for No. 600 and leading the Cincinnati Reds to an 8-4 victory over the Texas Rangers.
Slumping David Ross also homered twice for Cincinnati, which scored all its runs off five homers.
Sosa came into the game one homer shy of becoming the fifth player to reach 600. His grand slam on Friday night led the Rangers to a 9-7 win in the interleague series opener.
Slammin’ Sammy went 0-for-5 on Saturday. He missed out on a chance to duplicate his grand slam when he came to bat with the bases loaded in the fifth and grounded out against Aaron Harang (7-2).
Instead, Junior was the one who drew closer to the big, round number.
He hit a solo homer in the first inning off Jamey Wright (0-1), and added a two-run shot in the third that left him with 581. Griffey is eighth on the career list, two behind Mark McGwire.
He nearly had more. Griffey lined out to Sosa in right field in his next at-bat, then sent Sosa to the wall to catch his drive in the sixth inning off Ron Mahay.
Both sluggers are enjoying a resurgence.
The 38-year-old Sosa has 11 homers and is among the AL leaders with 51 RBIs, showing he still has some hop in his home run trot after sitting out a season. With one more homer, he will join Hank Aaron, Barry Bonds, Babe Ruth and Willie Mays at the 600 level.
The 37-year-old Griffey is showing some spring in his step as well. He leads the Reds with 18 homers and has hit six in his last eight starts. Best of all, he has avoided the serious injuries that derailed his chase of Aaron’s record 755.