MINNEAPOLIS -- Chicago White Sox center fielder Ken Griffey Jr. hit his 610th career homer Tuesday night in a 9-3 loss to the Minnesota Twins, moving him into sole possession of fifth place on baseball's career list.
He hit a two-run homer off Matt Guerrier in the ninth inning with that trademark sweet left-handed swing of his, sending the ball soaring above the baggie in right field as he trotted toward first base. The homer moved Griffey past Sammy Sosa.
But it was far too late for the White Sox, who had their lead in the AL Central division cut to 1½ games. Griffey went 1-for-3 with a walk on the night.
"The most important thing is the team. I probably would've been a little more excited if we won, but we didn't," said Griffey, who has just one other homer since being acquired by the White Sox in a trade with the Reds on July 31. "You guys have known me long enough that I'm not going to sugarcoat things. We need to win."
Griffey is hitting .250 with two homers and 16 RBIs in 36 games for the White Sox this season, not the numbers they were hoping for when they sent right-hander Nick Masset and infielder Danny Richar to the Reds looking for a boost down the stretch.
"I'm at the point where I'm searching and searching," Griffey said. "And hopefully eventually it happens."