There’s little reason to believe Jim Thome will slow down now.
Through this weekend’s games, no player in the big leagues had reached 20 home runs this season except for Thome, who hit his 22nd and 23rd in Sunday’s 8-2 victory over Kansas City.
Thome is batting .396 (19-for-48) with 10 homers and 23 RBIs in his last 13 games, showing his hand injuries that plagued him early this year are no longer be a factor.
“I hope it’s not something that’s going to pop up again. I haven’t really thought about it,” he said. “I’ve been good the last three weeks since we had that last cortisone shot. (Trainers Jeff Cooper and Mark Andersen) have done an excellent job at keeping me going.”
Thome should be able to keep going strong against the Expos. He’s hit .471 (8-for-17) with three home runs in six games—including five wins—against them this year. He singled in all three of his at-bats against Livan Hernandez, Tuesday’s starter for Montreal.
Hernandez has surrendered two home runs in three of his last four outings. He’s 0-5 with a 4.50 ERA in his last six starts.
This series pits teams at opposite ends of the NL East, with Philadelphia standing percentage points ahead of Florida for first place.
The Expos, owners of the worst record in the majors, are coming off a rare good weekend. They posted just their second double-digit scoring game of the season in Saturday’s 17-14 win over the Chicago White Sox, then won 4-2 on Sunday thanks to Orlando Cabrera’s two-run homer in the ninth inning.
“We are coming along and we are playing good,” Cabrera said. “We are getting our confidence back.”
Montreal had lost seven straight before winning both games this weekend.