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Griffey Powers Mariners

September 02, 1997|From Associated Press

SEATTLE — Ken Griffey Jr. cranked up his chase of Roger Maris' record by homering in his first two at-bats, giving him a major league-leading 46 and sending the Seattle Mariners past the San Diego Padres, 9-6, Monday night.

Griffey, with three home runs in two days, has 24 games left to break Maris' mark of 61 set for the New York Yankees in 1961.

"We've worked real hard to be here and this is when it counts. I'm just going out and playing. Whatever happens is going to happen," Griffey said.

Griffey also drove in four runs, making him the American League leader with 126 runs batted in, and scored four times. He also doubled, walked and stole a base.

Jeff Fassero (14-8) pitched seven innings and gave up four hits, including a two-run homer to Archi Cianfrocco in the seventh.

Steve Finley hit a grand slam in the Padre ninth against Bobby Ayala. Finley's shot traveled 446 feet into the third deck in right field.

Griffey started a four-run first inning when he hit a 3-and-2 pitch by Joey Hamilton (10-5) the opposite way over the left-field fence.

He made the score 5-0 for Seattle when he led off the third by hitting a 1-and-0 pitch 441 feet into the right-center stands.

Griffey also made an effortless over-the-shoulder catch near the warning track in center with one on to end the seventh.

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