Saturday, October 2, 2010
Jays' Encarnacion joins 20-HR club
With each home run, the Toronto Blue Jays seem to tie or break a statistical mark.
In a 5-4 loss on Saturday to the Minnesota Twins, Edwin Encarnacion hit his 20th home run of the season. He's the seventh Blue Jay this season with at least 20 HR: Jose Bautista (54), Vernon Wells (31), Aaron Hill (26), Adam Lind (22), Lyle Overbay and John Buck, each with 20. (Alex Gonzalez hit 17 HR with Toronto before he was traded to the Atlanta Braves, and he has six HR with the Braves.)
Seven players with at least 20 home runs ties the MLB single-season record, set by four other teams - 2009 Yankees, 2005 Rangers, 2000 Blue Jays and 1996 Orioles.
Encarnacion's home run was a two-run shot, giving him 50 RBI this season. If he finishes with 20 HR and 50 RBI, he would be the 18th player since 1900 with at least 20 HR and 50 RBI or fewer in a season with 350 plate appearances. Only two players since 2000 have had 20 HR, 50 RBI or fewer in a season with at least 350 plate appearances: The Pittsburgh Pirates' Garrett Jones in 2009 (21 HR, 44 RBI), and Jeremy Giambi in 2002 with the Oakland Athletics and Philadelphia Phillies (20-45).
Also in Saturday's game, Bautista drew his 100th walk of the season. He's the 14th player in history with 50 home runs and 100 walks in a season, and the first since Ryan Howard and David Ortiz in 2006. Bautista is the first right-handed American-League hitter with 50 HR, 100 BB in a season since Mark McGwire in 1996.
The Blue Jays now have 255 HR this season, two shy of the 1996 Baltimore Orioles for third-most HR in a single season.