Arizona’s Luis Gonzalez is chasing history and his next double could put him in the same company as Babe Ruth, Willie Mays, Ted Williams and Hank Aaron.
Gonzalez is aiming to become the 21st player in history to hit 500 doubles and 300 home runs in a career when the Diamondbacks host the Colorado Rockies in their series finale on Thursday.
Gonzalez got closer to that select club when he hit his 499th career double, plating the go-ahead run in Arizona’s 5-4 victory.
It was his 50th double of his career against Colorado, his most against any team. His 125 career RBIs against the Rockies also is a personal best against an opponent.
“I’m still in awe about it,” Gonzalez said of the group he may join. “I look at the list and see the names on it. I have all the respect in the world for all the former major league players.
“Nowadays I think the art of the double is kind of gone, because everybody counts on the home run. But for me it’s an exclusive club I can be a part of.”
Gonzalez, 38, holds most of the Diamondbacks’ offensive records with 1,186 hits, 211 home runs and 706 RBIs.
“Gonzo’s been a pretty special player here in Arizona,” Diamondbacks manager Bob Melvin said, “the face of our team and probably the most popular sports figure in Arizona. The accolades keep piling on and they’re well-deserved.”
Colorado’s Josh Fogg will try to stifle Gonzalez and the Diamondbacks as he looks to continue his success against them.
The right-hander is 3-0 with a 2.39 ERA in his career against Arizona. Fogg also has kept Gonzalez hitless in six career at-bats.
Fogg also is trying to help the Rockies (5-3) rebound from their first loss in five games. The team had their franchise-record four-game season-starting road winning streak end on Wednesday.
He won his first start in a Colorado uniform on Friday. He allowed four runs and five hits with a walk and three strikeouts in the Rockies’ 10-4 win over San Diego.
Arizona will counter with right-hander Russ Ortiz, who also is making his second start of the season. Despite pitching well, he lost his 2006 debut in the Diamondbacks’ 3-1 setback to Milwaukee after allowing only three runs and three hits over six innings.
He has a 10-5 record with a 3.89 ERA against the Rockies, but has dropped his last two starts giving up eight runs and seven walks in eight innings.
Colorado first baseman Todd Helton is 16-for-49 (.327) with three homers and nine RBIs against Ortiz.
Helton has been playing through an illness so far this season and is 10-for-27 (.370) with one homer and six RBIs through eight games.
“I’m not feeling too well overall,” Helton said. “It has nothing to do with hitting. I’m just trying to get through it. I’m sick. Maybe it’s slowing me down a little bit at the plate. I chink one in here or there.”