Elias Says ...

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Major League Baseball

Ken Griffey Jr. hit the 536th home run of his career Sunday, tying him with Mickey Mantle for 12th place on the all-time list. Mantle ranked third on that list when he retired prior to the 1969 season. The top 10 at the time of Mantle's retirement were Babe Ruth (714), Willie Mays (587), Mantle (536), Jimmie Foxx (534), Ted Williams (521), Eddie Mathews (512), Mel Ott (511), Hank Aaron (510), Lou Gehrig (493), and Stan Musial (475).

Griffey was removed from Sunday's game during Cincinnati's five-run 12th inning after injuring his hamstring on the bases. Griffey missed a total of only seven games during his last three years with the Mariners (1997-99), playing 157, 161 and 160 games, respectively, in those seasons. But he's played only 62 percent (590 of 948) of Cincinnati's games since joining the club in 2000.

With a career average of one home run every four games, it's not unreasonable to speculate that a healthy Griffey might have hit 90 homers in the games he's missed during his tenure in Cincinnati. Were that the case, Griffey would currently rank fifth, all-time, and be in a position to challenge Mays' 660 homers next season.

Esteban Loaiza pitched eight innings of four-hit ball on three days' rest to earn the victory as Washington defeated the Phillies. Loaiza is 9-2 in 15 career starts with fewer than four days' rest; he has the most wins on "short" rest for any pitcher during the 11 seasons that he's been in the majors (1995-2005). Over that span, the only other pitcher to start on short rest as often as Loaiza is Scott Erickson (6-6 in 15 such starts).