Welcome to The Walk Off, the nightly MLB recap from Big League Stew. Here we’ll look at the top performers of the night, show you a must-see highlight and rundown the scoreboard. First, we start with a game you need to know about.
There were many notable moments on a wild Wednesday night around Major League Baseball. However, we’d say the three biggest belonged to three legends who at some point down the road will likely rent space in Cooperstown.
In one night, all three reached a milestone worthy of its own headline. That they did it on the same night though seems pretty significant in its own right, so we’ll honor them together.
We begin with Pujols, who started the Angels 8-2 win against Marco Estrada and the Blue Jays by going back-to-back with Mike Trout. That not only marked Pujols’ 24th this season, but the 584th of his career. That moved him past Mark McGwire and into sole possession of 10th place all-time.
The only men ahead of him now are Barry Bonds (762), Hank Aaron (755), Babe Ruth (714), Alex Rodriguez (696), Willie Mays (660), Ken Griffey Jr., (630). Jim Thome (612), Sammy Sosa (609) and Frank Robinson (586), and it shouldn’t be long before Robinson is behind him too.
What a remarkable career he’s enjoyed.
Speaking of great careers, David Ortiz reached yet another milestone on Wednesday.
Despite the Red Sox 4-3 loss to the Rays in 11 innings, Ortiz delivered his 30th home run of the season. That made him the oldest player in MLB history to hit 30 home runs in a season. Beyond that, Ortiz has now reached 100 RBIs for the tenth time as a member of the Red Sox. That passed Ted Williams for the most 100-RBI seasons in franchise history.
Oh, and it’s the fourth time Ortiz has reached 30 homers, 100 RBI and 40 doubles in the same season. Only Pujols, Lou Gehrig, Stan Musial, Hank Greenberg, Mark Teixeira and Miguel Cabrera have done that before him. The territory Ortiz reaches becomes more elite with each passing game.
That brings us to Beltre.
In a game that also featured Yu Darvish’s historic first career home run, Beltre delivered the game winner in the Rangers 6-5 win against the Reds. Beltre’s two-out double in the eighth inning not only drove home Ian Desmond with the go-ahead run, it also gave him 2,900 hits for his career.
Beltre is only the 39th player in MLB history to reach the plateau. It also means the countdown to 3,000 is officially underway, and there’s no reason to believe Beltre won’t reach that milestone during the first half of the 2017 season.
Gary Sanchez: The amazing beginning continues. Sanchez launched his ninth home run in 19 games since being recalled on Aug. 3. He also worked well with starter Masahiro Tanaka to help lead the Yankees to a 5-0 win against the Mariners. Focusing on his offense though, Sanchez has enjoyed quite a run to begin his Yankees career. Even when you include his two games from last season, he’s making some Yankees history.
Yup, Gary Sanchez is 1st Yankee in franchise history with 9 HR in his first 21 career games.
— Katie Sharp (@ktsharp) August 24, 2016
Yankees with 15+ extra-base hits in first 21 career games:
— Katie Sharp (@ktsharp) August 24, 2016
When you’re in that company, nothing more needs to be said.
Miguel Cabrera: Not to be outdone by anyone, Cabrera went 4-for-5 in the Tigers 9-4 win against the Twins. That included his 436th career home run, which puts him two behind Andre Dawson for 43rd on the all-time list. He drove in two and scored two.
Rich Hill: Blister issues delayed Hill’s Dodgers’ debut for over three weeks, but it proved to be worth the wait. Hill went toe-to-toe with Giants stud Johnny Cueto, tossing six scoreless innings. That allowed the Dodgers to take advantage of Cueto’s lone mistake. In the fourth inning, Justin Turner launched a solo home run that held up as the only tally in the Dodgers 1-0 win. And with that, the Dodgers now own a three-game lead in the NL West.
Jose Fernandez snapped the Royals nine-game winning streak with a dominant outing. Fernandez pitched seven scoreless innings in Miami’s 3-0 victory, striking out nine. In doing so, Fernandez became Miami’s single-season strikeout leader. He now has 213, surpassing Ryan Dempster’s mark of 209 in 2000.
Also, he got one giant pie to the face.
REST OF SCOREBOARD
Astros 5, Pirates 4: Houston handed Gerrit Cole his third straight loss, scoring five runs in five innings.
Brewers 7, Rockies 1: Milwaukee completed a three-game sweep of Colorado behind a big game from Ryan Braun. The veteran outfielder delivered his 24th career multi-homer game, including a two-run shot in the seventh that served as the knockout punch.
A’s 5, Indians 1: Oakland completes a surprising series win thanks to a five-run fifth inning. Kendall Gravemen pitched well again too, allowing two runs on six hits over 6 2/3 innings.
Cubs 6, Padres 3: It’s another win for emerging Cy Young candidate Kyle Hendricks. In six innings, the Cubs right-hander allowed two runs on four hits while striking out eight. He’s 3-0 with a 1.53 ERA in August.
Orioles 10, Nationals 8: Washington scored five in the ninth inning, including Daniel Murphy’s first career grand slam. They even scored one against Zach Britton, ending his scoreless streak at 43 appearances. It still wasn’t enough to avoid their third straight loss.
Phillies 5, White Sox 3: Down goes James Shields again. He allowed four runs over six innings to fall to 5-16.
Cardinals 8, Mets 1: Every Cardinals starter had two hits except for leadoff man Matt Carpenter, who led-off the game with a home run. Mets starter Jacob deGrom has now allowed 25 hits over his last two starts.
Diamondbacks 10, Braves 9: Arizona blew a five-run eighth-inning lead, but wins it in 11 on Brandon Drury’s walk-off sacrifice fly.
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