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Griffey drills home run No. 542, moves to 12th on career list

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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CINCINNATI -- Ken Griffey Jr. is letting his performance do the talking for him for a while.

Griffey hit his second three-run homer in as many games and made his third spectacular catch in the same span to lead the Cincinnati Reds to a 7-3 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Tuesday night.

The center fielder has hit four home runs and driven in 18 runs since being activated from the disabled list on May 11, after missing almost a month with a strained tendon in his right knee.

Griffey, apparently upset about recent criticism of his defense, refused to speak with the media after Tuesday's game, but manager Jerry Narron, teammates and opponents had plenty to say.

"Any questions about Ken Griffey Jr. can be put to rest," Narron said. "Junior's definitely one of the best hitters in baseball. I told the coaches the other day that I still think he'll lead the team in RBI, even though he missed a month. I thought it would take him three weeks to a month to get into shape, but the way he's playing, it looks like he'll make a liar out of me."

"I'm still a fan," said Cincinnati second baseman Brandon Phillips, who went 2-for-5 and scored on Griffey's homers Monday and Tuesday. "When he does something, I get excited like I'm sitting in the stands or watching on TV."

The Reds were losing 3-1 when Felipe Lopez and Phillips led off the fifth inning with singles to right off left-hander Dana Eveland. Griffey then hit a 1-0 pitch 411 feet into the stands in right for his sixth homer of the season and third in the last four games. He hit a grand slam at Detroit on Saturday and a three-run homer in the first inning on Monday.

It was Griffey's 542nd homer, putting him 12th on the career list, six behind Mike Schmidt. Eveland is the 346th pitcher to give up at least one homer to Griffey.

In the top of the fifth, Griffey ran into the wall in right-center to rob Geoff Jenkins of his bid for an extra-base hit. He hit the wall in left-center to rob Bill Hall on Monday night and added a sliding catch of a sinking liner by Carlos Lee.

"Griffey's a really great player," Milwaukee manager Ned Yost said. "He's done everything to beat us -- hitting, defense. When he's healthy, he's still one of the best."

"We, as players, know how difficult the game is," said Rich Aurilia, whose single drove in Griffey in the first inning with Cincinnati's first run. "To do what he does is amazing. He's in the top 1 percent all-time. When it happens, it's not a surprise to us."

Elizardo Ramirez (2-3) went five innings for his first win in four starts since beating Washington 4-2 on April 24. He allowed three runs and five hits with three strikeouts and three walks.

Chris Hammond and Todd Coffey combined for four innings of shutout relief.

Eveland (0-1), making his third start of the season and first on the road, set a career high with seven strikeouts. But he gave up eight hits and four runs with one walk and a hit batsman in 4 2/3 innings.

The Brewers have lost four of their last five games.

Griffey doubled into the right-field corner with two outs in the first and scored on Aurilia's broken-bat single up the middle.

The Brewers took a 3-1 lead in the third when Rickie Weeks doubled with one out, and Jenkins and Lee walked one out later. Prince Fielder cleared the bases with a double to deep left-center field.

The Reds added three runs on sacrifice flies. Griffey and Aurilia hit ones in the sixth and Jason LaRue had one in the seventh.

Notes

  • Yost was ejected by plate umpire Bill Welke in the first inning after the two argued over a comment Welke made to Milwaukee's Brady Clark. "It was a difference of opinion," Yost said.
  • Griffey extended his season-high hitting streak to seven games.
  • Aurilia's RBI was the 600th of his career.
  • Aurilia had been hitless in 11 at-bats before his first-inning single.
  • Lee went 0-for-3 and has three hits in his last 30 at-bats. He hasn't hit a home run since April 9.
  • Milwaukee reliever Joe Winkelsas made his second career appearance. His first was in 1999 for Atlanta.
  • Milwaukee reliever Carlos Villanueva made his major league debut in the ninth.
 
Copyright 2015 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Since coming off the DL, Ken Griffey Jr. has blasted four home runs and knocked in 18 runs.  (AP)
Since coming off the DL, Ken Griffey Jr. has blasted four home runs and knocked in 18 runs. (AP)

Players of the Game
Cincinnati

K. Griffey
AB 4
R 2
H 3
HR 1
RBI 4
Milwaukee

P. Fielder
AB 4
R 0
H 2
HR 0
RBI 3
 

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Milwaukee Brewers
Rickie Weeks, 2B3130101 .307
Brady Clark, CF4000012 .257
Geoff Jenkins, RF3100112 .268
Carlos Lee, LF3100101 .268
Prince Fielder, 1B4023000 .327
Bill Hall, SS4000022 .285
Corey Koskie, 3B4030000 .302
Chad Moeller, C4000003 .245
Dana Eveland, P2000011 .000
    Joe Winkelsas, P0000000 .000
    Jorge De La Rosa, P0000000 .000
   a- Jeff Cirillo, PH1000000 .375
    Dan Kolb, P0000000 .000
    Carlos Villanueva, P0000000 .000
   b- Gabe Gross, PH1000010 .214
Totals333833612 
a-flied out for De La Rosa in the 7th
b-struck out for Villanueva in the 9th
Batting
2B - Rickie Weeks (5, Ramirez), Prince Fielder (13, Ramirez), Corey Koskie (17, Ramirez)
RBI - Prince Fielder 3 (27)
2-OUT RBI - Prince Fielder 3 (17)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - Hall
Milwaukee Brewers
Dana Eveland (L,0-1) 4.2844271 8.22
Joe Winkelsas 0.1000100 0.00
Jorge De La Rosa 1222000 6.75
Dan Kolb 1111100 3.29
Carlos Villanueva 1100020 0.00
HBP - Encarnacion (by Dana Eveland)
WP - Dan Kolb (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Dana Eveland 92-58, Joe Winkelsas 9-3, Jorge De La Rosa 12-9, Dan Kolb 13-6, Carlos Villanueva 18-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Dana Eveland 5-2, Joe Winkelsas 1-0
Batters Faced - Dana Eveland 25, Joe Winkelsas 2, Jorge De La Rosa 5, Dan Kolb 4, Carlos Villanueva 4
Cincinnati Reds
Felipe Lopez, SS5220021 .305
Brandon Phillips, 2B5220010 .311
Ken Griffey Jr., CF4234000 .268
Rich Aurilia, 1B3012111 .269
Adam Dunn, LF3000121 .226
Austin Kearns, RF4120022 .295
Edwin Encarnacion, 3B2010100 .266
Jason LaRue, C2001101 .226
Elizardo Ramirez, P2010011 .222
   a- Scott Hatteberg, PH1000003 .295
    Chris Hammond, P0000000 .000
   b- Javier Valentin, PH1000001 .232
    Todd Coffey, P0000000 .000
Totals3271274911 
a-grounded out for Ramirez in the 5th
b-lined out for Hammond in the 7th
Batting
2B - Felipe Lopez (9, De La Rosa), Ken Griffey Jr. (5, Eveland), Austin Kearns (14, Kolb)
HR - Ken Griffey Jr. (6, Eveland)
SF - Ken Griffey Jr. (2), Rich Aurilia (2), Jason LaRue (1)
RBI - Ken Griffey Jr. 4 (25), Rich Aurilia 2 (16), Jason LaRue (9)
2-OUT RBI - Rich Aurilia (5)
SB - Brandon Phillips (10, 3rd base off De La Rosa/Moeller)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
DP - F. Lopez-Aurilia
Cincinnati Reds
Elizardo Ramirez (W,2-3) 5533330 3.72
Chris Hammond (H,2) 2200020 5.87
Todd Coffey 2100010 0.65
Pitches-Strikes - Elizardo Ramirez 83-49, Chris Hammond 28-21, Todd Coffey 17-13
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Elizardo Ramirez 7-4, Chris Hammond 1-3, Todd Coffey 3-1
Batters Faced - Elizardo Ramirez 22, Chris Hammond 8, Todd Coffey 6
Game Information
Attendance - 16528
Game Time - 2:42
Temperature - 72
Umpires - Home - Bill Welke, First Base - Tim McClelland, Second Base - Marty Foster, Third Base - Field Culbreth