Roger Schlueter

MLB Notebook: Blue Jays flexing muscle

MLB Notebook: Blue Jays flexing muscle

MLB Notebook: Blue Jays flexing muscle
In 2010, the Blue Jays -- led by Jose Bautista and his Major League-leading 54 home runs -- compiled a total of 257 homers to tie the 1996 Orioles for the third-most in history.

That Toronto club, which fell seven home runs shy of matching the 1997 Mariners for the most in a single season, played their 68th game of the year on June 18, hit one home run in that game and increased their total to 104 long balls for the season.

With their six home runs in Tuesday night's 10-9 win over the Brewers, the 2012 Blue Jays -- once again led by Bautista, but getting significant contributions from Edwin Encarnacion and Colby Rasmus -- have 100 home runs through 68 games.

After entering the ninth trailing by a run, the Blue Jays got back-to-back homers from Rasmus and Bautista. The two shots marked the second time in the game the Blue Jays had consecutive home runs; in the sixth, Rasmus, Bautista and Encarnacion hit three straight.

• With Rasmus batting second and Bautista hitting third, it marked the first time in Blue Jays history the club got multihomer games from both their No. 2 and No. 3 hitters.

• The three consecutive homers in the sixth marked first time since April 9, 2005, that Toronto put together back-to-back-to-back home runs. In that game against the Red Sox, Vernon Wells, Corey Koskie and Shea Hillenbrand went deep in a seven-pitch span against David Wells.

• In addition to accounting for all six of Toronto's home runs, the top four batters in the Blue Jays' lineup -- Brett Lawrie, Rasmus, Bautista and Encarnacion -- combined for eight hits in 19 at-bats, eight runs scored and seven RBIs.

• Bautista's two homers gave him 22 for the season. The total stands as the third most for any player in Blue Jays history through 68 team games. Carlos Delgado had 24 in 2000 (and finished with 41), while in 1987, George Bell had 23 after 68 team games and finished with 47.

Ichiro Suzuki went 4-for-5 with two doubles to bring his career hit total to 2,503. His 2,500th career hit came on a single in the first inning.

Ichiro is the 95th player in baseball history to reach the milestone, and the first Mariners player to have that many hits. Suzuki's 2,503 hits through his first 12 Major League seasons are already 30 more than any other player in history had accumulated. Paul Waner, with 2,473, had the second most.

Most Hits from Age-27 Through Age-38 Seasons
Player Hits
Ichiro Suzuki 2,503
Pete Rose 2,473
Doc Cramer 2,248
Ty Cobb 2,221
Stan Musial 2,208
Lou Brock 2,196
Sam Rice 2,175
Derek Jeter 2,169*
Wade Boggs 2,166
Honus Wagner 2,163
*Jeter is currently in his age-38 season
Suzuki's 2,503 hits have come in his age-27 through age-38 seasons. That total for those seasons stands as the most.

Suzuki has 48 games with at least four hits -- the 17th most for any player since 1918. Over that span, Pete Rose, with 73, had the most.

Philadelphia's Cole Hamels allowed two runs in eight innings in a 7-2 win over the Rockies and improved to 10-3 for the season. Among left-handers since 2006 (his first season), Hamels:

• Is tied with Cliff Lee for the third-most wins (84) behind CC Sabathia and Ted Lilly

• Is second in strikeouts (1,190) behind Sabathia

• Is fifth in ERA+, at 125

• Is fourth in innings pitched (1,258 1/3)

• Owns the second-lowest WHIP (1.137), behind Johan Santana

• Owns the seventh-highest rate of strikeouts per nine innings (8.51)

• Owns the second-best strikeout-to-walk ratio (3.79), behind Lee

The top four hitters in the Angels' lineup -- Mike Trout, Torii Hunter, Albert Pujols and Mark Trumbo -- were 11-for-17 with 10 runs scored and 10 RBIs in a 12-5 win over the Giants.

Trout was 4-for-4 with four runs scored. He's had four games this season in which he collected at least three hits and scored three runs. Those four are the most in the Majors.

Pujols hit his 11th home run and drove in four to give him 43 RBIs this season. Pujols has 456 career homers and 1,372 career RBIs. The home run total is the highest for any player in history through his first 12 seasons, and the RBI total stands as the fourth highest, putting Pujols behind Joe DiMaggio (1,466), Al Simmons (1,458) and Lou Gehrig (1,450).

Trumbo posted his second game with at least five RBIs this season. Others to have two this year (which is the most for any one player): Carlos Beltran, Adam Dunn, Josh Hamilton, Mark Teixeira and Matt Wieters.

Here and there
• In the Pirates' 7-2 win over the Twins, Andrew McCutchen went 3-for-4, doubled, homered, walked, drove in two runs and stole a base. Since his debut in 2009, this game marked the 14th time McCutchen collected an extra-base hit, walked and swiped a base in a contest. Only Michael Bourn (19), Carlos Gonzalez (17), Bobby Abreu and Ryan Bruan have had more.

• A game after R. A. Dickey threw a one-hit shutout, Santana (six innings) and three relievers combined for a five-hit shutout, as the Mets blanked the Orioles, 5-0. New York has thrown back-to-back shutouts three different times this season, with all three occurrences featuring starts by Santana and Dickey. The Mets have a total of eight team shutouts this season -- second in the Majors to the Angels' nine.

• Asdrubal Cabrera hit a game-ending, two-run home run off of the Reds' Aroldis Chapman, giving Cleveland a 10-inning, 3-2 win. Chapman has allowed two homers in 34 1/3 innings this season, with both of them coming while facing the Indians.

Roger Schlueter is senior researcher for MLB Productions. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.