Philadelphia at Cincinnati

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Philadelphia (2-4)000010010270
Cincinnati (4-2) 20110400x8120

Griffey's 594th career homer sparks Reds to rout of Phils

CBSSports.com wire reports
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CINCINNATI -- Ken Griffey Jr. doesn't give much thought to his statistics -- not even the big one that's fast approaching. The day to talk about that one will come soon enough.

For the moment, he's more wrapped up in smoothing out his swing and enjoying what he sees from the Cincinnati Reds' young starting pitchers.

Griffey hit his 594th career homer Sunday, a two-run shot that resumed his pursuit of a seldom-reached milestone and powered the Reds to an 8-2 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies.

Griffey's first homer of the season off Brett Myers (0-1) left him six shy of becoming the sixth player in major league history to reach 600 homers. He would join Barry Bonds, Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth, Willie Mays and Sammy Sosa.

One week into the season, he's still trying to get comfortable at the plate.

"It's a day-in, day-out process," Griffey said. "I don't even think about it."

Jeff Keppinger homered and drove in three runs for the Reds, who improved to 4-2 with another encouraging start by a newcomer.

Right-hander Edinson Volquez (1-0) struck out eight in 5 1/3 innings, the second time during the homestand a young Reds pitcher made a good first impression. Johnny Cueto had one of the best big league debuts in franchise history Wednesday, striking out 10 in seven innings of a 3-2 victory over Arizona.

"The first thing on my mind was I had to do a good job my first time in Cincinnati," Volquez said. "I think I did. I didn't go seven innings or have 10 strikeouts like J.C., but I think it was pretty good."

The 24-year-old Volquez, who was part of the trade with Texas for Josh Hamilton in December, got a standing ovation when he left with a 4-1 lead in the sixth. He gave up five hits and a pair of walks.

Griffey has the feeling that something good is in the making with the rotation.

"We're in the making of having a lot of fun," Griffey said. "We've got to go out and do our jobs to support them."

Like Cueto, Volquez took advantage of the hitters' unfamiliarity with his fastball or his approach. He got Jimmy Rollins to take a 94 mph fastball for a called third strike in the third inning, then caught Shane Victorino looking at a 95 mph fastball on the corner.

"He was throwing all the guys inside hard and getting strikes," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "Plus, he was kind of overpowering."

Pat Burrell had a run-scoring single in another subpar showing by a Phillies offense that led the league in runs last season.

Myers moved back into the rotation after the Phillies got closer Brad Lidge from Houston in the offseason, a move that helped the defending NL East champions in a couple of ways. So far, it hasn't translated into a win.

Lidge missed the first four games while still recovering from knee surgery in February. Myers got a no-decision on opening day, lasting five innings in an 11-6 loss to Washington. Against the Reds, he gave up eight hits, three walks and four runs in five innings.

There's a difference of opinion over what's wrong with Myers, who is accustomed to throwing his fastball in the low- to mid-90s.

"His breaking pitches looked OK," Manuel said. "The velocity on his fastball so far is not what it was last year. He was throwing everything he had up there, but his fastball was sitting up there at 88, 89, 90 mph."

Myers didn't feel any difference in his fastball. He thought the main problem was that the Reds wouldn't swing at pitches just out of the strike zone.

"I just couldn't put anybody away," said Myers, who threw 95 pitches. "I was throwing every pitch as hard as I could. I was pretty irritated at myself with not being able to put people away."

Griffey's two-run homer in the first inning came in his 16th at-bat of the season and set a tone. Keppinger led off the third with his second homer of the season, and broke the game open with a two-run double in the sixth off Clay Condrey.

Notes

  • Myers is the 378th pitcher to give up a homer by Griffey, who was 3-for-9 career off the right-hander before he connected.
  • It was Griffey's 100th career homer in his hometown. Of those, 62 have come at Great American Ball Park.
  • Volquez was 3-11 in 17 starts and three relief appearances for the Rangers.
  • The Phillies have been held to three or fewer runs three times this season, setting up their 2-4 start.
  • Lidge made his first appearance since coming off the disabled list on Saturday, pitching a perfect eighth. He struck out Griffey for the second out.
  • Phillies second baseman Chase Utley hit his 150th career double.
 
Copyright 2014 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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Edinson Volquez gives up the ball to skipper Dusty Baker after going 5 1/3 innings, striking out eight.  (AP)
Edinson Volquez gives up the ball to skipper Dusty Baker after going 5 1/3 innings, striking out eight. (AP)

Players of the Game
Cincinnati

J. Keppinger
AB 5
R 3
H 3
HR 1
RBI 3
Cincinnati

K. Griffey
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 1
RBI 2
 

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Philadelphia Phillies
Jimmy Rollins, SS4011010 .269
Shane Victorino, CF4000021 .130
Chase Utley, 2B4120001 .429
Ryan Howard, 1B3000122 .200
Pat Burrell, LF3021102 .421
Geoff Jenkins, RF4010021 .263
Pedro Feliz, 3B3000024 .211
    Clay Condrey, P0000000 .000
    Brad Lidge, P0000000 .000
   a- Eric Bruntlett, PH1000000 .500
Carlos Ruiz, C4110010 .188
Brett Myers, P1000000 .000
    Greg Dobbs, 3B2000000 .125
Totals33272210  
a-popped out for Lidge in the 9th
Batting
2B - Chase Utley (2, Lincoln), Carlos Ruiz (2, Volquez)
SH - Brett Myers (1)
RBI - Jimmy Rollins (4), Pat Burrell (6)
2-OUT RBI - Pat Burrell (3)
SB - Jimmy Rollins (2, 2nd base off Volquez/Bako)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
DP - Utley-Howard
Philadelphia Phillies
Brett Myers (L,0-1) 5844342 6.30
Clay Condrey 2444200 9.82
Brad Lidge 1000010 0.00
IBB - Griffey by Clay Condrey
WP - Clay Condrey (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Brett Myers 93-57, Clay Condrey 39-19, Brad Lidge 20-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brett Myers 5-6, Clay Condrey 4-1
Batters Faced - Brett Myers 26, Clay Condrey 11, Brad Lidge 3
Cincinnati Reds
Corey Patterson, CF5121011 .250
Jeff Keppinger, SS5333001 .435
Ken Griffey Jr., RF4222110 .263
Brandon Phillips, 2B5030000 .375
    Todd Coffey, P0000000 .000
Adam Dunn, LF3011101 .176
    Mike Lincoln, P0000000 .000
    Juan Castro, 2B0000000 .000
Edwin Encarnacion, 3B3000112 .125
Joey Votto, 1B3000023 .167
    Jared Burton, P0000000 .000
   a- Norris Hopper, PH-LF1000001 .000
Paul Bako, C3110103 .286
Edinson Volquez, P1000001 .000
    Jeremy Affeldt, P0000000 .000
    Scott Hatteberg, 1B1100100 .083
Totals34812755  
a-grounded out for Burton in the 6th
Batting
2B - Corey Patterson (2, Myers), Jeff Keppinger (3, Condrey), Brandon Phillips (2, Myers)
HR - Jeff Keppinger (2, Myers), Ken Griffey Jr. (1, Myers)
SH - Edinson Volquez (1)
RBI - Corey Patterson (4), Jeff Keppinger 3 (4), Ken Griffey Jr. 2 (5), Adam Dunn (2)
2-OUT RBI - Corey Patterson (2)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
PB - Paul Bako (1)
Cincinnati Reds
Edinson Volquez (W,1-0) 5.1511280 1.69
Jeremy Affeldt (H,1) 0.1000000 3.86
Jared Burton (H,1) 0.1000010 2.70
Mike Lincoln 2211010 3.38
Todd Coffey 1000000 4.50
Pitches-Strikes - Edinson Volquez 95-57, Jeremy Affeldt 5-2, Jared Burton 6-4, Mike Lincoln 31-20, Todd Coffey 7-5
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Edinson Volquez 3-5, Jeremy Affeldt 1-0, Mike Lincoln 4-1, Todd Coffey 1-2
Batters Faced - Edinson Volquez 23, Jeremy Affeldt 1, Jared Burton 1, Mike Lincoln 8, Todd Coffey 3
Game Information
Attendance - 26566
Game Time - 2:46
Temperature - 61
Umpires - Home - Mike Winters, First Base - Hunter Wendelstedt, Second Base - Marvin Hudson, Third Base - Randy Marsh