Ken Griffey Jr. hit his 597th career homer in the first inning Wednesday off Houston's Chris Sampson.

The solo shot was his fourth of the season and his first in a span of 22 at-bats. He needs three to become only the sixth player in major league history to reach 600, joining Barry Bonds, Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth, Willie Mays and Sammy Sosa.

Griffey's 199th homer with the Cincinnati Reds moved him ahead of Barry Larkin for eighth place on the franchise list. Eric Davis is next at 203. Griffey came to his hometown team in a trade with Seattle before the 2000 season.

It was Griffey's first homer on a seven-game homestand that concludes Thursday. The Reds will play nine games in San Francisco, St. Louis and Atlanta. Griffey hit his 200th, 300th, 400th and 500th homers in road games.

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