Alfonso Soriano joined some elite company on Saturday.
One day after Soriano became the fourth player in baseball history with 40 homers and 40 stolen bases in a season, the Washington Nationals wrap up their three-game series with the Milwaukee Brewers on Sunday.
Soriano, who has 45 homers, stole his 40th base in the first inning of the Nationals’ 8-5 win over the Brewers on Saturday. Jose Canseco (Oakland, 1988), Barry Bonds (San Francisco, 1996) and Alex Rodriguez (Seattle, 1998) are the only other members of the 40-40 club.
“I got close in 2002, but it was never in my mind to try for it again,” said Soriano, who had 41 steals and 39 home runs that year with the New York Yankees. “Forty-40—not many people have done that. It’s very difficult.”
Soriano, who reluctantly moved from second base to the outfield following his trade to Washington from Texas, leads the NL with 21 outfield assists. He has already set a career-high in homers and is three shy of his career best in stolen bases.
He had not stolen a base since Sept. 10, getting caught three times before Saturday.
“What he’s done this year, the total package, has never been done before,” manager Frank Robinson said. “It’s quite an accomplishment. Where it ranks? I don’t know.”
Bernie Castro had two triples Saturday, tying a franchise record, as the Nationals (64-84) won for the third time in five games. Brian Schneider went 2-for-3 to extend his hitting streak to a career high-tying 10 games.
Prince Fielder homered and drove in three runs for the Brewers (67-81), who lost for the 16th time in 21 games. Milwaukee also matched its loss total from last season when it finished the season with a .500 record.
“We struggled in some areas after the All-Star break,” manager Ned Yost said. “I have a pretty good idea of what we need to improve on for next year.”
Doug Davis (10-10, 4.95 ERA) will start the finale for Milwaukee. He allowed four runs and walked four batters in six innings of Monday’s 4-3 loss to Pittsburgh.
“The walks killed me,” Davis said Monday. “Minus those, I think I had a pretty decent outing. I don’t know what it was, if I was just trying a little too hard or what it was. Sometimes you don’t really have your best stuff. And I didn’t really have my fastball tonight.”
Davis is 1-3 with a 3.18 ERA in six career starts against the Nationals. He allowed two runs in eight innings without receiving a decision in Milwaukee’s 4-3 loss on June 3 in his only start against them this season.
Mike O’Connor (3-7, 4.83 ERA), who starts Sunday for Washington, allowed three runs in 5 1-3 innings in that game without receiving a decision in his only start against the Brewers.
O’Connor made his first relief outing after 17 starts on Tuesday, allowing one run in two innings. The rookie left-hander returned from the disabled list six days earlier, allowing just three hits in five scoreless innings but didn’t get a decision in Washington’s 7-6 win over St. Louis.