CINCINNATI - Ken Griffey Jr. hit his 599th career homer Saturday, leaving him one shy of a seldom-reached mark, and Jay Bruce extended his amazing weeklong debut with a 10th-inning homer that lifted the Cincinnati Reds to an 8-7 victory over the Atlanta Braves.
Bruce's first big league homer off Manny Acosta (3-2) dealt another crushing road defeat to the Braves, who couldn't hold a one-run lead heading into the ninth.
Griffey was on deck when Bruce connected for the game-winning solo shot. The 21-year-old rookie rounded the bases, flipped his helmet into the air halfway to home, then got pummeled by teammates when he hopped on the plate.
The Reds' top prospect is 11-for-19 in his first five games in the majors, providing one big hit after another. He has a pair of three-hit games and a four-hit game.
The only thing he hadn't done in his amazing week was connect for a homer. He pulled it off on a 2-1 pitch from Acosta, sending it deep into the seats in right field.
While the Reds flooded onto the field and 38,585 fans chanted 'BRUUUUCE!' in unison, the Braves dropped their heads and trudged away in disbelief. They can't seem to do anything right on the road.
Francisco Cordero (2-0) pitched the 10th, sending the Braves to an excruciatingly familiar finish. Atlanta has lost its last 20 one-run games on the road since August, matching the second-longest such streak in major league history.
The Braves have one of the NL's best home records at 22-7, offset by their worst road mark at 7-20. That only begins to measure their near-miss misery. They are 0-5 in extra innings this season and 2-16 in one-run games overall.
They built a 7-6 lead on homers by Greg Norton, Mark Teixeira and Jeff Francoeur, only to let it slip away on a disputed play in the ninth. Rafael Soriano gave up a walk and a single, then failed to look Ryan Freel all the way back to third base on David Ross' comeback grounder.
Soriano threw to first, and Freel dashed for home and slid in headfirst, beating the relay. Manager Bobby Cox threw his cap and was ejected while arguing the call at the plate, a sign of Atlanta's mounting frustration.
Griffey got the Reds rolling with a two-run drive in the first off Jair Jurrjens, leaving him one away from becoming the sixth player to reach 600 career homers. He also had a sacrifice fly and a double.