Ken Griffey Jr. of the Seattle Mariners was speechless after he hit his 40th home run of the season during a 9-3 victory over the Detroit Tigers at Seattle on Wednesday.
After the game, Griffey declined to say anything to the media about his accomplishment.
With his two-run, first-inning homer against Mike Moore, Griffey became the 10th-youngest player to hit 40 home runs in a season.
“Forty home runs is a lot of home runs,” Seattle Manager Lou Piniella said. “It’s what separates the big boys from the bigger big boys.”
Griffey, 23, is one of 13 players to hit 40 homers in a season before their 24th birthday.
He also grabbed a share of the major league home run lead with Texas’ Juan Gonzalez. Last year, Gonzalez, then 22, hit 43.
“If you look at where our team is and our record, all you can say is MVP ,” Seattle third baseman Mike Blowers said. “He’s the guy who means the most to his team. Who knows where we’d be without him.”
Toronto 8, Oakland 3--Rickey Henderson led off the game with a home run and Randy Knorr added a three-run homer in the third inning at Oakland as the Blue Jays extended their winning streak to four games.
The American League East-leading Blue Jays moved 2 1/2 games ahead of the New York Yankees, who lost to the Chicago White Sox, 5-3. The Athletics, who are last in the American League West, have lost 12 of their last 13 games.
Henderson, traded to the Blue Jays in late July for pitcher Steve Karsay and outfielder Jose Herrera, led off the first inning against his former teammates with a home run against A’s starter Mike Mohler.
Chicago 5, New York 3--Frank Thomas set a team record with his 38th home run, then drove in the go-ahead run in the eighth inning when he was hit by a pitch at New York as the White Sox extended their winning streak to five games.
Jack McDowell (21-7), leading the majors in victories, won for the ninth time in 10 decisions.
McDowell, the only 20-game winner in the majors, gave up six hits in 7 1/3 innings. He struck out five and walked two. Roberto Hernandez pitched 1 1/3 innings for his 31st save.
Texas 9, Boston 7--The Rangers scored two runs in the 12th inning at Boston to beat the Red Sox in a game that lasted 5 hours 28 minutes.
Texas remained 5 1/2 games behind the division-leading White Sox in the AL West, while Boston fell 7 1/2 games behind the Blue Jays in the East.
Texas used 27 players, including 10 pitchers, while Boston used 21 players, seven of them pitchers. The major league record for pitchers used by one team is 11 by Seattle in a 16-inning game last Sept. 25.
Cleveland 12, Minnesota 7--Felix Fermin had three hits and three runs batted in for the Indians at Minnesota.
On Tuesday night, it took 22 innings for the Twins to win, 5-4, in a game that lasted 6 hours 17 minutes. Wednesday night’s nine-inning game ended in 3:10.
Milwaukee 7, Kansas City 1--Jaime Navarro pitched a seven-hitter and B.J. Surhoff drove in three runs for the Brewers at Milwaukee.
Navarro (9-9) struck out six and walked none for his fifth complete game.