ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Seattle's Ken Griffey Jr. broke a week-long homer drought by hitting his AL-leading 40th in the fourth inning against Tampa Bay on Tuesday night.
Griffey had a RBI double and a single in his first two at-bats against Wilson Alvarez, then hit a 407-foot solo shot against the left-hander for a 5-1 Mariners' lead.
It was Griffey's first homer since he hit two against Texas on July 14.
Griffey began the night four homers behind Mark McGwire in their quest to break Roger Maris' single-season record of 61. It's the fourth time in his career that Griffey has hit at least 40 in a season.
The homer was Griffey's fifth in his past 12 games and enabled him to reach 40 in the Mariners' 100th game. The quickest he had reached that plateau before this year was 112 games in 1994.
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