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Griffey hits 33rd homer; hitting streak 14 games

PITTSBURGH (AP) -- Ken Griffey Jr. was puzzled when he was
presented with a baseball after the Cincinnati Reds' 7-2 victory
over the Pittsburgh Pirates.

After 1,000 extra-base hits, it must be tough to keep track.

Griffey hit his 534th career home run to tie Jimmie Foxx for
13th place on the all-time list and slugged his 1,000th extra-base
hit to help the Reds win their fourth straight.

"He's one of the best to ever play the game," Reds manager
Jerry Narron said. "He's still one of the better players in
baseball today, still in that elite group today. But he's in that
elite group with anybody who's ever been out there on the field.
It's a lot of fun to watch him."

Griffey went deep against Pittsburgh starter Kip Wells in the
fourth inning for his 33rd homer of the season and fourth in as
many games, then doubled in the sixth to hit the four-digit
milestone. He has 430 doubles and 36 triples.

But Griffey said he only remembers his accomplishments when told
of them by club officials. That's why he was surprised when the
Reds gave him the ball he hit into the right-field corner.

"I really don't worry about streaks and things like that,"
Griffey said. "I just want to go about things concentrating on
each of my at-bats, and what happens, happens. I don't really go up
there thinking about any of that."

Griffey also extended his hitting streak to 14 games. The
12-time All-Star has hit .458 (27-for-59) during the stretch, with
10 multihit games.

Luke Hudson pitched six strong innings for his fifth win in six
starts. Hudson (6-6) allowed one run and three hits, while walking
four and striking out seven. He has not given up more than three
earned runs in a start since July 16 against the Chicago Cubs when
he dropped to 1-5. Since then, his ERA has dropped from 10.05 to
6.36.

"I kept my head up the best I could during that tough
stretch," Hudson said. "I knew I was capable of having success. I
was able to make good pitches when I had to today."

Felipe Lopez had two RBI and Edwin Encarnacion added two hits
and two runs for the Reds, who have won four straight and 14 of
their last 16 on the road.

Wells held Cincinnati hitless for three innings before Griffey
connected to straightaway center. Two innings later, Griffey
doubled down the right-field line.

Griffey's hits were all Cincinnati could muster before a two-run
seventh. Lopez doubled with two outs to score Encarnacion and Jason
LaRue reached on an error, chasing Wells (7-14). Wells, pushed up a
day in the rotation because of an injury to starter Zach Duke,
allowed three runs -- two earned -- on four hits, while walking three
and striking out five.

"I thought Kip was outstanding," Pirates manager Lloyd
McClendon said. "He threw the ball extremely well, particularly on
short rest."

The Reds took a 3-1 lead when reliever Mile Gonzalez walked Adam
Dunn with the bases loaded to score Lopez.

Cincinnati added two more runs in the eighth on an RBI double by
Jacob Cruz and Lopez's sacrifice fly. Sean Casey hit a two-run shot
in the ninth for a 7-2 lead.

"We're playing real good baseball right now," Casey said.
"The bottom line is we are getting real good starting pitching. If
you get that and some timely hitting, you win ballgames."

Pittsburgh, which has lost five in a row and eight of nine, took
a 1-0 lead in the first when Craig Wilson doubled home Jason Bay.
Wilson was activated earlier in the day after missing 40 games
because of a broken bone in his hand.

The Pirates' other run came on Humberto Cota's home run to lead
off the seventh. Pittsburgh out-hit the Reds 8-7, but left nine men
on base.

"We had some opportunities offensively but couldn't get it
done," third baseman Ty Wigginton said.

Todd Coffey pitched two scoreless innings to earn his first
career save for the Reds, who moved to six games under .500 -- the
closest they have been to the break-even point since May 3 when
they were 10-16.

"If we keep playing the way we are and keep winning, there is
no reason to think we will not be up over .500 by the end of the
season," LaRue said. "We are really looking forward to this final
month."

Game notes
When Jack Wilson looked at strike three to end the fourth
inning, it marked the first time in 72 plate appearances the
Pirates shortstop had struck out. It was the longest such streak of
his career and had been the longest active streak in the majors. He
previously struck out Aug. 7. ... With 1,534 career RBI, Griffey
is within three of tying Joe DiMaggio for 38th on the all-time list
in that category. ... Jason Bay stole second and third base in the
fourth inning. He is 16-for-16 in stolen base attempts this season.
... The Reds assured themselves of winning the series, which
concludes Monday afternoon. They have won five series in a row away
from Great American Ball Park and have not lost a series on the
road since being swept June 28-29 in St. Louis.