Griffey's bid for 500 reaches warning track

Updated: June 13, 2004, 4:35 PM ET
Associated Press

CLEVELAND -- Ken Griffey Jr. hit his 499th career homer in the third inning of the Cincinnati Reds' game against the Cleveland Indians on Sunday.

Ken Griffey Jr.

Griffey, seeking to become the 20th player to hit 500 homers, connected on a 2-2 pitch from starter Cliff Lee to give the Reds a 5-1 lead.

Griffey's homer was his 18th this season -- 10th in his last 22 games -- and moved him within one of reaching a milestone he would have gotten to much earlier if not for a string of injuries the past few seasons.

In his next at-bat, Griffey was nearly beaned by Lee, who was immediately ejected by plate umpire Matt Hollowell.

Griffey then just missed hitting No. 500, sending a long fly to right off reliever Kazuhito Tadano that was caught by Jody Gerut at the wall.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press