Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Alex Rodriguez sly like a Foxx
When Alex Rodriguez went on the DL August 21 with a left calf strain, it seemed like his streak of 30 home runs and 100 RBI seasons would end at 12 straight. Upon his return September 5th, the New York Yankees slugger needed just three RBI to reach 100 RBI, but he had to hit nine HR to reach 30.
That seemed like a daunting task when you consider Rodriguez's track record. The last time he hit at least nine home runs from September 5th through the end of the regular season was in 2002. While with the Texas Rangers, he hit nine HR from that point on to finish the year with a career-high 57 HR.
But Rodriguez would go on a tear down the stretch this season, culminating with Wednesday's home run against the Toronto Blue Jays, which gave him nine since his return from the DL and 30 for the season. He became the first player since RBI became an official statistic in 1920 to have 13 straight seasons with at least 30 HR and 100 RBI, passing Hall of Famer Jimmie Foxx.
It's the 14th season in which Rodriguez has hit at least 30 HR, one year shy of Hank Aaron's MLB record in that department. His 13 straight seasons of 30 HR alone is tied with Barry Bonds for the most all-time.
Elsewhere in MLB:
• With three home runs Wednesday, the Blue Jays set a single-season team record for home runs with 247. That total is good for fifth in MLB history. Their 146 home runs at Rogers Centre are the third-most at a home ballpark, trailing only the 2005 Texas Rangers (153) and 1996 Colorado Rockies (149).
• Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz collected his 1,000th career RBI as a designated hitter. Ortiz is the second player in MLB history to reach the 1,000 RBI mark as a DH, trailing only Edgar Martinez (1,003).
• Derek Lowe improved to 5-0 this month with a 5-1 win over the Florida Marlins. Lowe is the first Atlanta Braves pitcher to go 5-0 in September since Dave Jolly in 1954.
• Kevin Millwood improved to 4-16 as he helped the Baltimore Orioles shut out the Tampa Bay Rays 2-0. Millwood allowed a season-low one hit against his fastball and the Rays missed his slider 40 percent of the time, the best rate this year for the veteran.