Griffey sets 2-month HR record American League

May 24, 1994|By McClatchy News Service

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Ken Griffey proved last night that he belongs to the ages. The Seattle Mariners proved they belong in the AL West.

Another home run -- his 21st of the season -- gave Griffey the fastest two-month start of any hitter in major-league history.

Another poor start by Dave Fleming and a barrage of extra-base hits by the Oakland Athletics, and the Mariners remained mired in mediocrity, beaten, 7-5, by the weakest team in the worst division in baseball.

"You saw history," manager Lou Piniella said of Griffey afterward. "That's a heck of an accomplishment for a young superstar."

Griffey's fourth home run in as many games, his ninth in the past 10 games, his 14th of May, broke a tie with Mickey Mantle (1956) for the most homers hit before June 1 -- and Griffey still has seven games left this month.

In defeat, Griffey was swarmed by the media and acknowledged he didn't quite know what to make of the record.

"I just hit it an hour ago," Griffey said. "I haven't thought much about it yet. I didn't know there was a record until I read about it four home runs ago."

Griffey was walked twice last night, singled and scored in a fourth-inning rally and hit a bases-empty homer in the seventh that cut the A's lead to 6-5.

When he came to the plate the final time, with two outs in the ninth inning and a runner on first, reliever Dennis Eckersley treated him with respect.

"He threw everything away," Griffey said. "I hit it hard, I just hit it where they were playing me."

When Griffey flied out to left, ending the game, the Mariners' record dropped to 19-24. They dropped out of first place, percentage points behind the Texas Rangers and California Angels.

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