Donaldson, Bautista, Encarnacion have each surpassed 30-homer, 100-RBI marks
By Roger Schlueter
Special to MLB.com |
Here are five interesting items from around the big leagues on Thursday …
• In the Blue Jays' 5-0 win over the Braves, Josh Donaldson connected for his 39th home run of the year and Edwin Encarnacion powered out his 33rd homer -- a solo shot that gave him his 100th RBI of the season. With Encarnacion reaching 100 RBIs, Toronto has three right-handed hitters who have gone 30-100 this season (Donaldson is at 39-120 and Jose Bautista has produced a 35-102 line). The Blue Jays are the fifth team in history to have three right-handed hitters do this, joining the 1996 Rockies (Dante Bichette, Ellis Burks, Vinny Castilla and Andres Galarraga), '96 Athletics (Geronimo Berroa, Mark McGwire and Terry Steinbach), 2000 Astros (Moises Alou, Jeff Bagwell and Richard Hidalgo) and '03 Braves (Andruw Jones, Javy Lopez and Gary Sheffield).
• Marco Estrada delivered eight innings of three-hit ball to notch the win for the Blue Jays. Estrada is holding the opposition to a .206 batting average -- the lowest among American League qualifiers. Only one Toronto hurler -- Roger Clemens with a .198 mark in 1998 -- has finished a season with a lower batting average against.
• Royals second baseman Omar Infante hit a three-run homer in the second, a two-run double in the fifth and a two-run single in the seventh to drive in seven of Kansas City's eight runs in an 8-4 win over Cleveland. Infante was the second Royals player in the past six days to drive in at least seven runs, after Mike Moustakas set a team record with nine RBIs on Saturday. However, Infante became the first Kansas City second baseman to have a seven-RBI game since Frank White on Aug. 19, 1986.
• In the Cubs' 9-6 win over the Pirates, Anthony Rizzo hit his 30th home run of the year. Rizzo, who also banged out 32 round-trippers in 2014, joined Ron Santo (1964-65) as the only Cubs to have multiple 30-homer seasons through their age-25 season. Of the 1,244 players have produced a 30-homer season, only Don Baylor in 1986 was hit by more pitches than the 27 times Rizzo has been plunked this year. In '86, Baylor had 31 long balls and was hit by a pitch 35 times. On the opposite end of the spectrum, there have been 51 times in which a player has hit at least 30 homers without being touched by a pitch all season. Jimmie Foxx was a master of this, accounting for five such campaigns -- he was hit just 13 times in 9,676 career plate appearances. Mickey Mantle and Hank Aaron each had three.
• Mike Trout hit a grand slam and a solo home run to highlight the Angels' 11-8 victory over the Twins. Trout's big day pushed him past 300 total bases for the fourth time in his five-year career. He and Ted Williams are the only two players to have at least four seasons with 300 or more total bases through the end of their age-23 seasons.
Milestone watch for Friday
• Chris Sale has 250 strikeouts this year -- the fifth-highest total in a season for a White Sox pitcher. Sale could shoot up the list tonight, with the following tallies directly in front of him: Ed Walsh's 254 in 1912, Walsh's 255 in '11 and Walsh's 258 in '10. In other words, a nine-strikeout game tonight gives Sale the second-most K's in a season for a White Sox pitcher. Also, Sale need 13 strikeouts to become the 11th pitcher in White Sox history to reach 1,000 in a career.
• Adrian Beltre is two extra-base hits shy of becoming the 37th player to reach 1,000. He would be the 14th player to reach 1,000 through his age-36 season.
Roger Schlueter is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.