Griffey Belts Home Run #596

CHICAGO -- Put No. 596 in the books for Ken Griffey Jr.
The Reds' right fielder is only four home runs away from 600 for his career after he slugged a three-run shot to right-center field Thursday against the Cubs at Wrigley Field. It stretched Cincinnati to a six-run lead before a five-game losing streak was snapped in a 9-2 win.

"The most important thing was the win," Griffey said.

Reliever Jon Lieber, who gave up the deep ball, was the 380th pitcher to be victimized by a Griffey long ball.

Griffey, 38, has three home runs this season and two in the series at Chicago. Overall, he is batting .286 with 11 RBIs.

Cincinnati will open a six-game homestand on Friday against the Brewers. It's possible that homer No. 600 could come at Great American Ball Park as the Griffey watch tightens.

But don't count on it.

"Let's see, 100 was at home in Seattle," Griffey said. "Two hundred was in Boston; 300 was in Cleveland; 400 was Colorado; 500 was St. Louis. What do you think the odds are going to be?"

Griffey said he's still given no thought about reaching the milestone. He ranks sixth on the all-time home run list behind Sammy Sosa, who has 609 homers.

"I'm probably more excited than he is," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "He doesn't show much excitement. He's done some tremendous things with his career and his life. I'm pulling for him to get this one over with."

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.