MLB Notebook: Ortiz poised for run at Sox record

MLB Notebook: Ortiz poised for run at Sox record

MLB Notebook: Ortiz poised for run at Sox record
In 1938, the Boston Red Sox and their fans had the distinct pleasure of witnessing Jimmie Foxx put together a brilliant season. In his third year with the franchise, Foxx claimed the rate stat Triple Crown, leading the AL with a .349 batting average, a .462 on-base percentage and a .704 slugging percentage. He also commanded the top spot on the American League leaderboards in walks (119), RBIs (175), total bases (398) and extra-base hits (92).

He failed to lead in home runs (meaning he fell one category shy of the traditional Triple Crown, which would have given him two in his career), but his 50 long balls did set a new Red Sox record. Those 50 would remain a Boston high mark until David Ortiz powered out 54 in 2006. Six years later, Ortiz might be taking aim at another of Foxx's single-season Red Sox records set in 1938.

Foxx's 92 extra-base hits that season remain the top total for the franchise, withstanding challenges from the likes of Ted Williams, Manny Ramirez, Nomar Garciaparra, Jim Rice and Ortiz himself. Big Papi already owns the second, third and fourth slots for the highest single season totals for the Red Sox in that category, and seems poised in 2012 to try and claim an even higher spot.

Ortiz hit his 400th career home run on Wednesday, making him the 49th player in history to reach the milestone. 352 of his 400 home runs have come as a DH, which is the most ever by a DH.

Ortiz is the 38th player in history to have at least 400 home runs through his age-36 season. The milestone home run gives him an AL-leading 46 extra-base hits this season. Ortiz has led the league in this category three previous times -- with 91 in 2004, 88 in '05, and 88 in '07.

If Ortiz were to finish as the leader in 2012, he would become the 20th player in history to lead his league at least four times. Honus Wagner, Babe Ruth and Stan Musial share top honors, with seven titles apiece.

The Nationals tied a season high with four home runs (they also had four on June 26) and defeated the Giants, 9-4. The club has scored at least eight runs in six of their past eight games. Before this stretch, they had scored eight-or-more runs a total of three times all season.

Carlos Ruiz
Ruiz went 2-for-4 with his 13th home run of the season, as the Phillies defeated the Mets, 9-2. Ruiz has 24 multi-hit games this season, two ahead of Yadier Molina for the most for any catcher in the Majors.

With the performance, Ruiz raised his slash line for the season to .357/.419/.598. In baseball's modern era, only three different full-time catchers -- Gabby Hartnett in 1930, Bill Dickey in '36, and Mike Piazza in '95 and '97 -- have ever finished a qualifying season with a batting average of at least .300, an on-base percentage of at least .400 and a slugging percentage of at least .600.

The Pirates defeated the Astros, 6-4, and coupled with a Reds loss later in the day, sit alone in first place in the NL Central. On May 11, Pittsburgh lost 1-0 to the Astros and fell to 14-18 and six games off the lead in the division. Since then, the club owns the best winning percentage in the NL, has scored the fourth most runs in the NL and has allowed the second fewest runs in the NL.

In Oakland's 3-2 win over Boston, rookie A.J. Griffin allowed two runs (one earned) in six innings. Griffin has made three starts in the Majors, and in each of them has gone six innings, while allowing two, zero and two runs.

The A's have 48 games this season in which their starter has gone at least six and allowed two-or-fewer runs -- by far the most in the Majors. Despite having eight different pitchers making starts for them this season, Oakland owns the fifth best starter's ERA in the Majors, and the best mark in the AL.

Justin Verlander
Verlander went the distance on a four-hitter and picked up his ninth win as the Tigers defeated the Twins, 5-1.

Verlander has gone at least six innings in 60 consecutive starts, leaving him one behind Catfish Hunter (1975-1976) for the third longest streak in the liveball era.

The complete game was the fifth of the season for Verlander. The last season that saw a Tigers pitcher with five at this stage of the year (through the club's first 82 games) was 1988, when Walt Terrell had five. Verlander leads the Majors with his five complete games.

Miguel Cabrera
Cabrera homered twice and hit a double in the Tigers win over the Twins. The three extra-base hits gave him 679 for his career, leaving him two behind Mickey Mantle for the 10th most in history for any player through his age-29 season.

Anthony Rizzo
Anthony Rizzo hit one of three Cubs home runs on the night and Chicago defeated Atlanta, 5-1. Since making his season debut on June 26, Rizzo is batting .323, with three home runs and six RBIs in 31 at-bats.

Michael Bourn
Bourn singled, doubled and tripled for his Major League leading 14th three-hit game of the year. Bourn has 106 hits for Atlanta. Over the past 50 seasons, that total is tied for the fourth most for any Braves player through the club's first 81 games.

Ralph Garr had 119 hits in 1974, Martin Prado had 115 in 2010, Rico Carty had 108 in '70, Felipe Alou had 106 in '66, and Garr also had 106 in '71.

Matt Holliday
In his third consecutive multi-hit game, Holliday went 3-for-4 with a double and an RBI, and St. Louis topped Colorado, 4-1. Over his past 17 games, Holliday is 33-for-64 (.516) with 10 doubles, four homers and 19 RBIs. Since his first season in 2004, Holliday is among the top-10 in the Majors in hits, runs, doubles, RBIs, total bases and extra-base hits.

Yasmani Grandal
Grandal hit a pinch-hit, two-run home run to break a 4-4 tie in the eighth inning of a Padres win. This gave him four homers in his first six Major League games. Grandal is the fourth player since 1918 to have four homers through his first six contests, joining Luis Medina, Sam Horn and Mike Jacobs.

Jason Kubel hit his 14th home run of the year -- a three run shot in the first inning -- to give the D-backs a home run in 15 consecutive games.

Arizona's streak of 15 consecutive games with a home run is a franchise record for a single year. The previous high mark had been 13 straight games, set in 1999. Over the course of this current streak, the team has hit 25 home runs, but owns a 7-8 record.

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