Anthony Rendon has started his MLBrun with a new team with a bang…
The 29-year-old Mexican American professional baseball player, who helped the Washington Nationals win the World Series last year, left his first game in a new uniform with a 1.000 batting average.
Rendon went 2-for-2 in his spring training debut with the Los Angeles Angels, driving in a run and scoring one Tuesday during a 7-3 win over the Cincinnati Reds.
Back from spending time with his wife and newborn child, the MLB All-Starthird baseman played three innings on the field.
“It’s inevitable. You’ve got to get out there every day to get comfortable,” Rendon said. “So day one, you take in stride and take it slow, too. Not try to get too crazy.”
Rendon, who signed a $245 million, seven-year contract as a free agent in December, was just one of the big-name Angels players to play for the first time this February. He batted third, between AL MVP Mike Troutand designated hitter Shohei Ohtani, the two-way star from Japan who also pitches.
Outfielder Justin Uptonand first baseman Albert Pujolsalso were in the lineup for the first time.
“Definitely exciting. Just trying to see how it’s going to pan out throughout the year,” Rendon said. “Kind of getting used to each other and getting in the dugout and seeing what guys’ routines are, and you don’t want to get in anybody’s way at all.”
The major league leader in RBI last season, Rendon has hit .301 or better the past three seasons, with two 100-RBI campaigns. He has totaled 83 home runs in that span, including a career-high 34 last season.
Last October, his home run off Zack Greinkebegan Washington’s late rally in Game 7 at Houston for the championship.
“Right now he’s one of the better clutch hitters in the game. He almost 100 percent of the time works a great at-bat,” Angels manager Joe Maddonsaid. “He is one of those dudes that can handle good pitching well and you can’t say that about everybody.”
Rendon heard the cheers from the small crowd at Tempe Diablo Stadiumas he walked up for his first at-bat as an Angel in the bottom of the first inning. He worked the count to 3-and-2 before lining a single to left field, moving Trout to second base.
Rendon scored easily from second base on Pujols’ two-out, bases-loaded single.
In the second, Rendon picked up his first RBI wearing Angels red when he sliced a two-out, opposite-field single to right field to drive in David Fletcher.
Pete Alonso is living proof that persistence pays off…
The 24-year-old part-Spanish American Major League Baseball player began the 2019 season fighting just to make the New York Mets‘ Opening Day roster. But he ends it as the National League Rookie of the Year after slugging a rookie record 53 home runs, driving in 120 runs and becoming a cult hero for Mets fans for his energy and enthusiasm and one memorable bare-chested postgame interview.
Alonso was a near unanimous selection of the award’s 30 voters, getting 29 first-place votes. Atlanta Braves starter Mike Soroka received the other first-place vote and finished second, with San Diego Padres shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. finishing third.
Soroka posted a 2.68 ERA and won 13 games as the ace of the division-winning Braves. Tatis slashed .317/.379/.590 and dazzled fans with his defensive plays in the infield, but an injury ended his season at 84 games.
“To just win the award, doesn’t matter if it’s unanimous or not,” Alonso said on Monday night. “It’s still such a blessing.”
Alonso’s 53 home runs broke Aaron Judge‘s rookie record of 52 set in 2017, as Alonso became the sixth Rookie of the Year in Mets history, the first since Jacob deGrom in 2014.
He joins Judge, Giancarlo Stanton and Chris Davis as the only active players with 50 home runs in a season and he’s just the 30th player in MLB history to reach that mark.
His 120 RBIs are the seventh most for a rookie in major league history and the most since Albert Pujols had 130 in 2001.
Alonso’s storybook season was no sure thing back in spring training, however. Although he led the minors with 39 home runs in 2018, the Mets had a glut of infielders with Robinson Cano, Jed Lowrie, Todd Frazier and Dominic Smith all in the mix at first, second and third base along with Alonso. There were also concerns about Alonso’s defense, and many teams start their top prospects in Triple-A for a couple of weeks to manipulate the player’s service time.
Alonso, however, earned a roster spot after hitting .352 with four home runs in spring training. It also helped that Lowrie and Frazier began the season on the injured list.
Alonso, a second-round pick in 2016 out of the University of Florida, ran with the opportunity, hitting .378 with six home runs in his first 12 games. He said he was challenged by first-year general manager Brodie Van Wagenento “show up in shape and earn your spot.”
“I felt like I answered the bell,” Alonso said.
He finished April with nine home runs, bashed 10 more in May and entered the All-Starbreak with 30 home runs. In Cleveland, he took home the $1 million prize for winning the Home Run Derby, upstaging fellow rookie Vladimir Guerrero Jr.in the final round with a 23-22 victory after Guerrero had bashed 40 home runs in the semifinals.
“It’s survive and advance,” Alonso said after his win. “You’ve got to go in with kind of a killer instinct. It doesn’t matter how many you hit; you just need to have one more than the guy you’re facing.”
Alonso also won over fans when he pledged 5% of his winnings to the Wounded Warrior Projectand another 5% to the Tunnel to Towers Foundation.
Along the way, Alonso became a fan favorite, not just for his prodigious home runs — he hit 15 of at least 430 feet — but also for his infectious joy and his ability to win over New Yorkers. When the Mets began surging back into the playoff race in early August, he issued a not-safe-for-work rallying cry playing off the “Let’s go Mets!” chant. After a walk-off bases-loaded walk beat the Philadephia Phillies on September 6, Mets teammates ripped off Alonso’s jersey and he conducted interviews on SNY and MLB Network bare-chested.
“I’m not taking my shirt off for this one,” Alonso joked on MLB Network’s broadcast while accepting the award.
He wore custom-made cleats on September 11 to honor the victims of 9/11, even ordering a pair for each of his teammates. “For me, I just come from a place where I want to show support, not just for the victims but their families as well, because no one really knows how deep those emotional scars can be,” Alonso said at the time.
He smashed his 42nd home run on August 27, breaking the Mets’ team record shared by Carlos Beltran and Todd Hundley. With three games remaining in the regular season, Alonso was one homer away from tying Judge. He matched him with a home run at home against the Braves in Game 160 and then surpassed Judge in Game 161 with a third-inning home run off Mike Foltynewicz, a towering shot to right-center. Alonso raised both arms over his head in triumph, received hugs from teammates and a standing ovation from the crowd, and then he wiped tears from his eyes while playing first base the following inning.
“To me, it just means so much,” Alonso said after the game. “I didn’t know I was going to be overcome with all that emotion. At that point, I might as well just let it out.”
Albert Pujolsis making Major League Baseballhistory…
The 39-year-old Dominican professional baseball player, a first baseman and designated hitter for the Los Angeles Angels, had two hits and three RBIs during Wednesday’s game against the Pittsburgh Pirates, setting the MLB record for career hits by a foreign-born player.
“I mean, what more can we say? He’s one of the greatest players to ever play the game, one of the greatest hitters to ever play the game,” Angels manager Brad Ausmus said. “And he’s going to pass some other names I’m sure that are very well known and have plaques hanging in Cooperstown.”
Pujols had an RBI single in the 4th inning. His 3,167th hit moved him past fellow Dominican Republic native Adrian Beltre (3,166) and into sole possession of 15th place for career hits.
“He just keeps doing what he does,” said Dillon Peters, who allowed two runs in six innings while striking out six after an erratic start. “Everybody here looks up to him, and it’s just awesome to watch him chase his dream and chase all the milestones he’s already overcome. And there’s going to be more to come.”
Pujols drove in Los Angeles’ first run with his record-setting single, helping spark the struggling Angels to their fifth win in the past 18 games.
“Forget about the record. It’s my job to come here every night and try to help this ball club to win when I can,” Pujols said. “With my defense or with my offense when I get that opportunity, and that’s what I did tonight. It was an effort where everybody contributed.”
He may be a rookie, but Yordan Alvarez is already making Major League Baseball history…
The 22-year-old Cuban professional baseball first baseman and outfielder for the Houston Astros homered and knocked in a pair of runs on Monday in an 11-1 winover the Oakland A’s, making him the first player to have 35 RBIs in his first 30 career games since runs batted in became an official statistic in 1920.
Alvarez has surpassed Albert Pujols, who had 34 RBIs in his first 30 games with the St. Louis Cardinalsin 2001.
“I was very happy and very grateful [about the record], something I just found out about when I got here to the clubhouse,” Alvarez said through an interpreter.
“Especially with [Pujols], it’s an honor and a privilege. When we were in Anaheim, I spoke with him, and he gave me a lot of advice, a lot of information to help me out.”
The left-handed slugger is hitting .342 with 11 home runs and 35 RBIs since he made his MLB debut with the Astros on June 9.
At the time, he was tearing up the Pacific Coast League, with 23 home runs and 71 RBIs in 56 games.
Alvarez was one of three Cuban-born Astros players — along with Yuli Gurriel and Aledmys Diaz— to homer in the 11-1 trouncing of the A’s on Monday. That had happened only once before in MLB history, when Jose Abreu, Alexei Ramírez and Dayan Viciedoall homered for the Chicago White Sox in 2014.
Pete Alonso may be a rookie, but he’s already makin’ a name for himself in Major League Baseball…
The 24-year-old part-Spanish American professional baseball player and New York Mets first baseman, ready to play in the All-Star Game on Tuesday night in Cleveland, has set the National League rookie record with 68 RBIs before the break.
He hit his 30th home run of the season Sunday in an 8-3 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies, driving in two runs with the shot, to set the mark.
He was tied with Albert Pujols, who had 66 for the St. Louis Cardinalsin 2001. Walt Droposet the major league mark of 83 for the Boston Red Soxin 1950.
His 30 home runs are tied for the second most by a rookie in major league history before the All-Star break. The New York Yankees‘ Aaron Judge also hit 30 in 2017. Mark McGwireholds the major league record, with 33 for the Oakland Athletics in 1987 before the break.
And the hits just keep coming for Victor Martinez…
The 38-year-old Venezuelan baseball player, a designated hitter and first baseman for the Detroit Tigers, reached 2,000 career hits on Friday night.
Martinez, heard the crowd roar and felt his heart swell, as he picked up the milestone hit on the same field where he began his MLB career, against the franchise that signed him as a teenager out of Venezuela.
Detroit’s switch-hitter singled in the second inning off Cleveland Indians‘ Carlos Carrasco to reach the plateau. After reaching first base, Martinez received a lengthy standing ovation from the large Cleveland crowd, fans that adored him during his eight seasons with the Indians from 2002-09.
Martinez hugged Detroit first-base coach Omar Vizquel, his teammate in Cleveland and a fellow Venezuelan, before tipping his cap to the crowd. Players on both benches applauded and the game was briefly halted to acknowledge the feat.
“It’s special to have it done here,” Martinez said following the Tigers’ 11-2 loss. “For me, it was even better. Nothing against the Indians, I feel like it’s where everything started for me. I will always remember this day, until I die. What the fans did to me with that ovation. It made me feel so proud and so good that they stand up for me. I just want to let them know too that I will always have the Indians in my heart, always.”
Martinez is the ninth active player to reach 2,000 hits, joining Ichiro Suzuki, Adrian Beltre, Albert Pujols, Carlos Beltran, Miguel Cabrera, Robinson Cano, Matt Holliday and Jose Reyes.
To attain the milestone in Cleveland and with Vizquel, the career hits leader among Venezuelan-born players, at his side made it even more meaningful for Martinez.
“He congratulated me and told me it was awesome, and at the same time, I wasn’t hearing and stuff,” Martinez said. “It was a pretty cool moment.”
Martinez was a three-time All-Star with the Indians, who signed him in 1996. He broke down in tears when Cleveland traded him to the Boston Red Sox at the deadline in 2009 for three pitchers.
And although he’s had a long run with the Tigers, Cleveland will remain dear to Martinez.
“This is my seventh year in Detroit, but this was a place that I called home, and I’m always going to have Cleveland in my heart,” he said. “It was the team that gave me a chance to be a professional baseball player, gave me a chance to become a major leaguer. It’s a pretty special place.”
Martinez, too, is a pretty special hitter.
He entered the season with a .301 career average and the five-time All-Star has been one of the game’s toughest outs from the day he broke into the big leagues.
“There aren’t a lot of people who can say they got 2,000 major league hits,” Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. “He probably grinded out every single one of those at-bats to get those hits. It’s something he should be proud of.”
The 37-year-old Dominican baseball star, an infielder for the Los Angeles Angels, on Saturday became the ninth Major League Baseball player to hit 600 home runs when he hit a grand slam off the Minnesota Twins’ Ervin Santana.
Pujols is the only player whose 600th home run was a grand slam.
The Angels designated hitter is the first player to reach 600 home runs since Jim Thome in 2011. The six-year gap between Thome’s and Pujols’ reaching the mark is the longest between players reaching 600 home runs since the 31-year gap between Hank Aaron (April 1971) and Barry Bonds (August 2002).
Among hitters with 600 home runs, only Babe Ruth (.342) had a higher career batting average than Pujols’ current .308 career mark.
Only Willie Mays and Aaron had more at-bats at the time of their 600th home runs than Pujols’ current total of 9,341.
Pujols’ overall accomplishments have been reflected in the three MLB MVP Awards he has won.
With his 600th home run, he joined Barry Bonds and Alex Rodriguez as the only players in major league history with three MVP Awards and 600 home runs.
Pujols (37 years, 138 days) is the fourth-youngest player to reach 600 home runs, behind Rodriguez (35 years, eight days), Ruth (36 years, 196 days) and Aaron (37 years, 81 days).
Pujols ranks second in St. Louis Cardinals history with 445 home runs, trailing Hall of Famer Stan Musial (475). They’re the only two players in Cardinals history who hit more than 300 home runs, and Pujols hit his in half as many seasons with the Cardinals as Musial. They both won three MVPs in Cardinals uniforms.
Pujols is the second player born outside of the United States to hit 600 homers. The other was Sammy Sosa, who had 609. Four of the five top non-U.S.-born home run hitters were from the Dominican Republic (Sosa, Pujols, Manny Ramírez with 555 and David Ortiz with 541). Cuban-born Rafael Palmeiro has the third-most home runs hit by a non-U.S.-born player, with 569.
Saturday’s home run was Pujols’ 78th at Angel Stadium, which ranks third for ballparks at which he has homered. The leaders are Busch Stadium (110) and Busch Stadium II (94).
David Ortiz has officially earned his place in the annals of Major League Baseball history.
The Dominican professional baseball player, nicknamed “Big Papi,” has become the 27th player in MLB history to reach the 500-home run threshold.
Ortiz, a designated hitter for the Boston Red Sox, vaulted into the 500 club after hitting two home runs Saturday night in the team’s 10-4 victory against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field.
Ortiz is also the fourth player in the team’s history, and the fourth Dominican Republic native to surpass the 500 mark in his career.
Ortiz hit No. 499, a three-run home run, in the first inning off Rays left-hander Matt Moore, driving a 1-2 fastball over the right-field fence.
After popping out to short center field on a 3-0 pitch in the third inning, Ortiz led off the fifth inning against Moore, greeted by chants of “Let’s go, Papi,” and drove a 2-2 pitch into the seats.
Ortiz’s teammates poured out of the dugout and the relief pitchers ran in from the bullpen to greet him after he jogged slowly around the bases, stepped on home plate, brought his fingers to his lips, and then pointed to the sky.
Ortiz, just 10 weeks shy of his 40th birthday, achieved the milestone with a three-month power surge that has been matched only twice by a player of his age or older, Barry Bonds and Henry Aaron, over a full season.
On June 10, Ortiz had just six home runs and was batting .219, a performance that invited wide speculation that his celebrated career was winding down. Among qualified designated hitters in the American League, Ortiz ranked last in most major categories.
Red Sox principal owner John W. Henry acknowledged the skeptics.
“The guy, he’s the best hitter I’ve seen for the Red Sox for a long time,” Henry said at the time. “He’s not in his prime. He’s not going to hit 50 home runs. But is he going to hit 30? It doesn’t look like it this year. Is he getting older? Yes. But I don’t think any of us know [if the end is nearing].”
Even Ortiz revealed a sliver of doubt.
“Everybody’s time is up at some point,” he said. “I don’t think that’s my problem, though. I’ll keep on trying like I normally do.”
With 28 home runs in the span of just 273 at-bats, Ortiz erased all doubts that he’ll return in 2016 for his 20th season in the big leagues, the past 13 with the Red Sox.
He joins Manny Ramirez, Jimmie Foxx and Ted Williams as Red Sox players who have hit 500 home runs, and Sammy Sosa, Ramirez and Albert Pujols as fellow Dominicans who have reached that threshold.
Ortiz also solidified his case for induction into baseball’s Hall of Fame, a place which only this past year opened its doors to a second Dominican player, Ortiz’s former Boston teammate Pedro Martinez, and has historically resisted the inclusion of designated hitters.