Jose Abreu continued on Friday as he delivered his fourth multihomer game of the season. Abreu led off the fifth inning with his 24th home run, which at that time broke up a developing no-hit bid by R.A. Dickey. He later added his MLB leading 25th home run in the seventh. Both solo shots, combined with home runs by fellow Cubans Dayan Viciedo and Alexei Ramirez, fueled Chicago's 5-4 victory over the AL East leading Toronto Blue Jays.The amazing rookie season of
Despite missing two weeks of action, Abreu is still on pace to break Mark McGwire's rookie home run record of 49. McGwire set the record in 1987.
''It's not a surprise,'' White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. ''When he gets it on the barrel, it just seems to continue to go. It's like helium balls, they just continue to float.''
According to the Associated Press, Abreu is the fastest player to reach 25 home runs in MLB history at just 67 games. He's also the second player to have four multihomer games in his first 67 career games. The other was Atlanta's Bob Horner in 1978. Basically, he's rewriting milestones and footnotes that we haven't paid attention to in years.
As for his standing this season, Toronto's Edwin Encarnacion and Baltimore's Nelson Cruz also homered on Friday, meaning there's a three-way tie for the major league lead. That's one statistical race that could be very fun over the second half of the season.
TIGERS' WIN STREAK ENDS IN EXTRAS: The pesky Houston Astros struck again on Friday, ending the Detroit Tigers league best eight-game winning streak with a 4-3 victory in 11 innings. The incredible Jose Altuve led the way early, collecting four hits, one run, one RBI and two steals, including one of home plate. It was his league high 33rd multihit game on the season. Catcher Jason Castro added the finishing touches, lining a Blaine Hardy pitch over the right field wall to spoil Brad Ausmus' return to Houston as a manager.
BREWERS REACH 50 WINS ON RYAN BRAUN WALKOFF HIT: Those expecting the Milwaukee Brewers to fall back to the pack may be in for a rude awakening. They were the hottest team out of the gate, and they're still going strong, becoming the first team to reach 50 victories with a 3-2 walkoff win against the Colorado Rockies.
On Friday, Ryan Braun played the role of hero, singling home Mark Reynolds with the winning run in the ninth. It was Milwaukee's fourth walk-off hit of the season and Braun's first in three years. It was an interesting spot, too, considering first base was open and there were two outs in the inning. After a Colorado huddle, they elected to go after Braun instead of All-Star candidate Jonathan Lucroy, and the Brewers couldn't be happier with the results.
''Typically, there is probably a higher likelihood that they pitch around me,'' Braun said. ''I have been swinging so terribly and Luc has been swinging so great that that combination probably enticed them to at least come at me a little bit.''
One Brewer in particular, closer Francisco Rodriguez, had to be thrilled. In the top half of the inning, he blew his third save of the season, allowing a solo home run to Josh Rutledge. He still leads the league with 27 saves.
ONE MORE WALKOFF FOR THE ROAD: Josh Harrison has been Mr. Everything for the Pittsburgh Pirates this season. He's an infielder by trade, but he spent time in the outfield until the call was finally made to promote Gregory Polanco. All the while, regardless of where he started, he remained productive, and that continues now even in games when he's asked to come off the bench.
Harrison didn't enter Friday's game until the seventh inning as a pinch-hitter for pitcher Brandon Cumpton. He still wreaked plenty of havoc though, collecting two hits in extra innings. In the 10th, he singled, stole second and moved to third with some nifty baserunning on a fielder's choice. Despite those efforts, he was left stranded. In the 11th, he took matters into his own hands, doubling off the right field wall to score Clint Barmes as the Pirates clinched a big 5-4 win.
For the rest of Friday's results, check out our scoreboard.
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