Griffey Jr. ends Reds' six-game slide with three-run homer
CINCINNATI (Ticker) -- For the second time in as many years, Ken Griffey Jr. provided heroics on Father's Day.
Griffey delivered a tiebreaking three-run homer in the eighth inning as the
snapped a six-game losing streak with an 11-8 victory over the
Griffey, who hit his 500th career homer on Father's Day last year, belted a 3-1 offering from
(4-2) into the stands in right-center field to break an 8-8 tie. It was the 12th homer of the season and the 513th career blast for Griffey, whose father Ken Griffey hit 152 in his major league career.
The Griffeys are second on the all-time father-son home run list with 665, trailing Bobby and
by 370. Griffey Jr. is alone in 16th place on baseball's all-time list - eight behind Hall of Famers
for 14th place.
"It is a cheap way to get out of buying dad a Father's Day gift," Griffey said. "I called my dad after the game but he knew. He has the package and XM Radio."
Cincinnati, which avoided a four-game sweep and its second-longest losing streak of the season, never trailed but allowed Atlanta to pull even after building leads of 2-0, 7-2 and 8-7.
"It's tough when you're losing," Griffey said. "If you're getting your (tail) whipped that's one thing, but we haven't had any breaks."
The Reds missed chances to add to their lead. In the sixth inning,
hit a one-out triple but
took a called third strike from
. Griffey followed with a blistering line drive that Gryboski caught as he ducked.
"I just tried to hit the ball hard," Griffey said. "My mindset was to take it back through the middle."
"You can't keep saying 'woe is us.' You've got to keep scoring," Casey said.
's RBI double against Danny Kolb gave Cincinnati an 8-7 lead in the seventh inning, but Atlanta answered in the top of the eighth when
with a run-scoring single to center. Jones, who hit three home runs in the series, reached base five times with three walks, a double and a run-scoring single.
After Aurilia and Casey singled with one out in the eighth, Bernero fell behind Griffey, 3-0.
"I wasn't going to swing, 3-0," Griffey said. "I had to make him throw at least one more. You try to put as much pressure on the pitcher as you can. He had to throw three strikes. If he didn't, Wily Mo (Pena) and Adam (Dunn) have a chance to drive in runs."
(4-0) allowed the tying run in the eighth but worked around a single in the ninth to preserve just the Reds' sixth victory this month.
Dunn hit a three-run homer and
added a solo shot two batters later against
to give Cincinnati a 7-2 lead in the fifth inning.
Jones hit an RBI single to cap a four-run sixth for the Braves, who tied the score at 7-7 on rookie
's RBI single in the top of the seventh. Johnson had two hits for the Braves, who were seeking their second four-game sweep of the season.
"We're happy getting three out of four," Atlanta manager
said. "We scored enough runs. I think we should have swept them. It wasn't a good day to pitch I guess. When you score that many runs, you should win."
The Braves' bullpen had logged 8 2/3 scoreless innings in the series entering Sunday but allowed six runs in 3 2/3 innings in this one.
"We've done it for the most part," Foster said. "Everybody has off days. We were close. We almost had the sweep there."