Reds manager says Griffey's benching not for fly ball error

CINCINNATI -- Ken Griffey Jr. joked about his absence from the Cincinnati Reds' starting lineup against Florida on Tuesday night.

"It's a good, solid benching after a dropped ball, from what I understand," he said in mock anger. "Let's not call it a day off."

The 38-year-old Griffey, hitting .250 with 18 RBIs, is without a home run in 63 at-bats since connecting against Houston's Chris Sampson on April 23.

Griffey dropped Mike Rabelo's fly ball for an error Monday that allowed two unearned runs to score, but that was not a factor in the decision. Reds manager Dusty Baker had planned for Griffey to be out of the lineup Tuesday.

Baker originally intended to rest Griffey on Sunday in New York, then started him.

"Winning the second of the doubleheader on Saturday threw a monkey wrench into that," Griffey said. "We were trying to win the series."

Griffey, three home runs shy of 600, was not in the starting lineup for the third time in 40 games.

Baker, who often fills out lineup cards for each game of a series before it begins, had his lineup for Tuesday stocked with more right-handed batters than normal against left-hander Mark Hendrickson.

"He sure didn't want a day off," Baker said of Griffey. "You've just got to do it. It has nothing to do with the game last night."