Griffey hit one of four Cincinnati homers in its 9-4 win over Colorado Sunday.
The 35-year-old center fielder, who has been debilitated by injuries over the last few years, is beginning to show flashes of his former brilliance.
Griffey, a 12-time All-Star, has homered in three straight games for the first time since May 23-25, 2003. He has hit safely in 14 of his last 15 games, batting .373 (19-for-51) with six homers and 12 RBIs.
His solo shot on Sunday was the 521st of his career, tying him with Ted Williams and Willie McCovey for 14th on the all-time home run list.
“I really don’t put myself in that category,” Griffey said. “You look at the things (Williams has) done. I’ve got three hitting streaks of 10 games or more, and his career average is what, .340? He went to war. I play baseball. He took a chance on sacrificing his life for his country.”
Cincinnati backup catcher Javier Valentine hit his first career grand slam and a three-run homer, connecting from both sides of the plate en route to a career-high seven RBIs. He became the first Reds switch-hitter to homer from both sides of the plate since Pete Rose did it against Atlanta on Aug. 2, 1967.
”1967? Pete Rose? That’s big,” Valentin said excitedly.
“Anytime you do something Pete Rose did, that’s pretty special,” Reds manager Jerry Narron said. “And Griff tied a couple of big names, too. That’s a pretty big day.”
The lowly Reds have won a season high-tying three straight, and eight of their last 12.
Lee hit his major-league leading 28th homer and Carlos Zambrano threw eight strong innings as Chicago beat Pittsburgh 8-2 Sunday. Aramis Ramirez and Jeromy Burnitz also homered and had three hits apiece for the Cubs, who have won six of seven after a season-high eight-game skid.
“We are kind of clicking on the same page,” said Lee, who also leads the majors with a .372 batting average. “For a while there we would get good pitching and wouldn’t hit, or hit and not get good pitching. But right now we are on the same page and playing great baseball.”