MLB Notebook: Miggy has company in 40-HR club
If Miguel Cabrera is going to indeed capture the American League Triple Crown this season, the home run portion of the headwear is not going to come easy. The AL now has five players -- including Cabrera -- with at least 40 home runs, with the four not named Cabrera all going deep on Monday night.
No other season in which an AL Triple Crown winner has been coronated have so many players reached the milestone. In 1901, Nap Lajoie paced the brand new league with 14 home runs, and eight years later, Ty Cobb wore the crown after compiling nine homers (all of the inside-the-park variety).
Jimmie Foxx's Triple Crown season in 1933 saw him hit 48, 14 more than runner-up Babe Ruth. The next season, Foxx was one of two players to reach 40, with his 44 five shy of matching the total of Triple Crown winner Lou Gehrig. Ted Williams hit 36 and 32 homers, respectively, in his Triple Crown seasons in 1942 and '47.
Mickey Mantle's 52 home runs were 20 more than the No. 2 guy in 1956, and in 1966, Frank Robinson and his 49 home runs represented the only 40-homer player in the league. Then in 1967, Carl Yastrzemski and Harmon Killebrew left the rest of the AL in the dust, each hitting 44 long balls, with no other player hitting more than 36.
The Rangers' Josh Hamilton hit his AL-leading 43rd home run on Monday, going 1-for-3 with a pair of walks. The 43 are tied for the 12th most in Senators/Rangers history, with Alex Rodriguez and his 57 in 2002 holding the mark.
Toronto's Edwin Encarnacion hit his 41st home run Monday, tying Carlos Delgado (2000) and Tony Batista (2000) for the eighth-highest single-season total in Blue Jays history.
Adam Dunn hit two home runs in the White Sox's 5-4 win over the Indians, giving him 41 for the season.
Dunn has hit at least 40 home runs in six seasons (2004-08, '12), which is tied with Willie Mays, Mark McGwire, Jim Thome and Albert Pujols for the eighth most in history. Ruth is the all-time leader, with 11.
Dunn is the sixth White Sox player to hit at least 40 in a season. Frank Thomas reached the mark five times, while Paul Konerko did it twice. Albert Belle, Jermaine Dye and Jim Thome each hit 40 for the team once.
Curtis Granderson hit his 40th home run in New York's 6-3 win over Minnesota on Monday. Granderson, who hit 41 home runs in 2011, joins Ruth, Gehrig, Mantle and Jason Giambi as Yankees to reach 40 in consecutive seasons. The years for the others: Ruth (1920-21, 1923-24 and 1926-32), Gehrig (1930-31), Mantle (1960-61) and Giambi (2002-03).
Cabrera, meanwhile, stayed stuck on 42 home runs, collecting one single in four at-bats in Detroit's 6-2 win over the Royals on Monday. Cabrera, second in the AL in home runs, owns an eight-point advantage in the batting race over Mike Trout (.331 to .323) and a cushion of nine RBIs, with his 133 ahead of Hamilton's 124.
Ryan Zimmerman went 3-for-4 with four RBIs, as the Nationals defeated the Brewers, 12-2. Zimmerman's line gave him 141 career multi-RBI games, the fifth most in Expos/Nationals history. Tim Wallach (205) is the leader, followed by Andre Dawson (197), Gary Carter (187) and Vladimir Guerrero (176).
Bryce Harper went 1-for-3, scored twice and stole two bases to give him 16 for the season. Those 16 swipes are tied for the fifth most in history for a player in his age-19 or younger season. Ken Griffey Jr. stole 16 bases in 1989 and Edgar Renteria matched that total in 1996. Harper's 19 home runs (second), 50 extra-base hits (first) and 226 total bases (fourth) all rank among the highest totals for any player's age-19 or younger season.
Washington's Ian Desmond stole his 20th base. With 24 home runs, Desmond is the 14th shortstop to notch a 20-20 season.
Milwaukee's Aramis Ramirez collected his 50th double, becoming the seventh third baseman in history with that many.
50-plus Doubles by a Third Baseman
In the first game of a doubleheader -- an Orioles 4-1 win -- Adam Jones went 4-for-4 and hit his 32nd home run. In the second game -- an Orioles 9-5 loss -- Jones collected two more hits, including his 38th double. With three triples also on his ledger, Jones' 73 extra-base hits are the second most in Brewers/Browns/Orioles franchise history for a center fielder. Only Brady Anderson, with 92 in 1996, had more.
Justin Verlander threw eight innings of two-run ball to improve to 16-8 on the season in the Tigers' win over Kansas City. Verlander struck out eight to bring his total to a Major League-leading 231. Verlander also led the Majors with 250 K's in 2011; the last AL pitcher to lead the Majors in back-to-back seasons was Johan Santana in 2005-2006.
In the first of seven scheduled meetings over the final week and a half, the Rangers defeated the Athletics, 5-4, on Adrian Beltre's game-ending RBI single in the bottom of the ninth.
The victory increased the Rangers' lead over the A's in the AL West to five games, and reduced their magic number for clinching the division to five.
Oakland's loss, coupled with the Orioles' split in their doubleheader, gives Baltimore a one-and-a-half game lead for the top AL Wild Card spot. In the race for the second spot, Oakland is two up on the Angels and three ahead of the Rays.
In addition to the game-ending single, Beltre also doubled and homered. Since the beginning of August, Beltre has 17 home runs (tied for the most in the Majors), 37 RBIs (tied for the 10th most), and 61 hits (tied for 11th most). In 49 games since Aug. 1, Beltre owns a .326/.374/.679 line.
Matt Holliday drove in two runs and Yadier Molina hit his 21st home run as St. Louis defeated Houston, 6-1.
Holliday's two RBIs gave him 100 for the season, and 870 in his nine-year career. His five 100-RBI seasons through his first nine years are tied for the 31st most in history, while the total of 870 through nine seasons represents the 37th most all time.
Molina's 21 home runs are tied for the third most for a Cardinals catcher. Ted Simmons had 26 in 1979, 22 in '78, and 21 in '77 and '80.
Derek Jeter went 1-for-3 with a pair of walks, the hit being his Major League-leading 207th of the season. Jeter's 207 tie him with Sam Rice's total in 1930 for the third most for a player in his age-38 or older season. Paul Molitor had 225 in 1996, and Pete Rose had 208 in 1979.
Roger Schlueter is senior researcher for MLB Productions. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.