Reds-Braves: Big Day for Ken Griffey Jr. and Jay Bruce

Molly GraySenior Analyst IMay 31, 2008

Ken Griffey Jr. hit his 599th career homer Saturday, placing him one away from the rarely reached mark of 600.

The homer came in the Reds’ 8-7 win against the Atlanta Braves. The win came from a 10th inning homer by 21-year-old Jay Bruce, who made his major-league debut on May 27.

This marked Bruce’s first major-league homer after having two three-hit games and a four-hit game so far this week.

In his five games since debuting, Bruce has batted in three runs with a batting average of .556. Saturday’s home run helped increase his slugging percentage to .722.

The lefty connected on a 2-1 count and sent the ball deep into the right field stands.

The rookie was greeted by his teammates at home plate and welcomed the sound of 38,585 fans chanting his name.

The extra-inning win put the Reds up 2-0 on the series with Atlanta, and 3-2 on the season against the Braves.

Others to score in the game: Phillips homered in the 1st, Encarnacion batted in Bruce in the 2nd, Teixiera homered in the 3rd, Johnson had an RBI in the 4th, Francoeur homered in the 7th and Ross batted in Freel in the 9th to keep the Reds alive.

Francisco Cordero pitched the 10th, procuring his second win of the season.

Atlanta pitcher threw the losing pitch to Bruce in the 9th, bringing his ERA to 2.51 on the season.

The Braves continued their troubles on the road, falling to 7-20. The Braves are having plenty of trouble closing out so far in 2008. They are 0-5 in extra innings and 2-16 in one-run games overall.