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Archive for June 7th, 2017

Astros’ McCullers Jr., Dodgers’ Wood voted AL & NL Pitcher of the Month

Lance McCullers Jr. (courtesy MLBpressbox.com)

Alex Wood (courtesy MLBpressbox.com)

Houston Astros starting pitcher Lance McCullers Jr. has been voted American League Pitcher of the Month for May, and Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Alex Wood has been voted National League Pitcher of the Month for the second month of the 2017 season.

Others receiving votes for AL Pitcher of the Month included Chris Sale (5-0, 4.24 ERA, 40.1 IP, 58 SO) of the Boston Red Sox and his teammate, AL Reliever of the Month Craig Kimbrel (1-0, 0.00 ERA, 7 SV, 25 SO).

Others receiving votes for NL Pitcher of the Month included Alex’s aforementioned teammate Kershaw (3-1, 2.43 ERA, 40.2 IP, 39 SO); Max Scherzer (3-1, 2.27 ERA, 43.2 IP, 60 SO) and Stephen Strasburg (4-0, 2.78 ERA, 32.1 IP, 43 SO) of the Washington Nationals; Zack Greinke (4-1, 3.28 ERA, 35.2 IP, 44 SO) and Robbie Ray (3-2, 2.56 ERA, 1 CG, 1 SHO) of the D-backs; Carlos Martínez (4-1, 2.03 ERA, 44.1 IP, 41 SO) of the St. Louis Cardinals; and NL Reliever of the Month Greg Holland (1.17 ERA, 8 SV, 7.2 IP, 15 SO) of the Rockies.

In recognition of their Pitcher of the Month Awards, Lance McCullers and Alex Wood will each receive a specially designed trophy, suitably engraved, for their accomplishments.

McCullers compiled a 4-0 record with a 0.99 ERA and 37 strikeouts over 36.1 innings pitched in six starts to earn his first career AL Pitcher of the Month Award. Among all Major League starters in May, McCullers recorded the lowest ERA, surrendering just four earned runs on 21 hits and 10 walks. Lance finished the period tied for second in wins, third in strikeouts and fifth in innings pitched among AL hurlers. This is Houston’s second consecutive AL Pitcher of the Month Award, following Lance’s teammate Dallas Keuchel. The last time two pitchers from the same club in the AL were awarded monthly honors for April and May was 2012, when Jake Peavy (April) and Chris Sale (May) took home consecutive monthly honors for the Chicago White Sox.

On May 23rd against the Detroit Tigers, McCullers, who is the son of former Major Leaguer Lance McCullers, logged 5.0 innings of shutout ball, limiting Detroit hitters to just one hit and one walk. The performance concluded a streak of four starts and 24.0 shutout innings pitched, the longest innings streak by a Major League pitcher this season. In Lance’s final start of the month on Sunday afternoon against the Baltimore Orioles at Minute Maid Park, the 23-year-old right-hander tossed 6.0 innings, yielding three runs (two earned) with eight strikeouts and two walks. With the outing, McCullers improved to 6-1 on the season and won his fourth straight decision. The Tampa, Florida native has now allowed no more than three runs in each of his 26 career home starts. The streak is the fourth-longest in Major League history and the longest in AL history. Clayton Kershaw holds the all-time mark of 30 consecutive such starts at Dodger Stadium from June 5, 2013 through June 6, 2015.

In addition, the streak of 26 straight starts at home without allowing more than three earned runs is the longest in Major League history by any pitcher to start his career. Entering play today, the Astros pace the AL in a host of pitching categories, including ERA (3.49), strikeouts (537), WHIP (1.20), opponents’ batting average (.230) and saves (18). Propelled by its dominant pitching staff, Houston owns the best record in the Majors with a mark of 38-16 (.704) and lead the AL West by 11.5 games. Detroit’s Michael Fulmer (3-2 2.19 ERA, 1 CG, 37.0 IP) also received votes for AL Pitcher of the Month. The 2016 AL Rookie of the Year logged 7.0-or-more innings in each start during his excellent month, and has delivered a quality start in each start this season. With his 10th consecutive quality start on May 27th against the Chicago White Sox, Fulmer matched teammate Justin Verlander (March 31 – May 19, 2011) for the longest streak of quality starts by a Tigers pitcher to begin a season since 1913.

In five starts, Wood recorded a 5-0 record with a 1.27 ERA and an impressive 41:7 strikeout-towalk ratio across 28.1 innings pitched in en route to claiming his first career monthly award. Alex is the first Dodgers pitcher to be awarded NL Pitcher of the Month since teammate Clayton Kershaw last May. Among qualified NL starters, Wood finished his impressive month first in wins and ERA. Alex allowed just 22 hits and did not surrender a home run.

Earlier this month, Wood, who also claimed NL Player of the Week honors for the period ending May 15th, joined Andy Benes (2000) and Jon Lester (2010) as the only pitchers since 1893 to win consecutive starts while striking out at least 10 batters in each start despite pitching no more than 6.0 innings in either outing. In those two starts, a May 8th tilt against the Pittsburgh Pirates and a May 13th contest against the Colorado Rockies, Wood posted consecutive games with more than 10 strikeouts for the first time in his five-year Major League career.

On May 26th against the Chicago Cubs at Dodger Stadium, Wood fired 5.0 shutout innings, permitting two hits with eight strikeouts and two walks. The outing capped off his award-winning month with his fifth consecutive victory in as many decisions, extending his career-high win streak to six games. The 26-year-old lefty enters play today in the midst of a four-start scoreless streak, dating back to his May 8th start against the Pirates, which includes 23.1 scoreless innings. Through the first two months of the season, the University of Georgia product is the only NL starter to have posted four consecutive starts without allowing an earned run.

Houston’s AL Pitcher of the Month, McCullers, is the only other starter in the Majors to accomplish the feat. Entering play today, Los Angeles pitchers pace the Senior Circuit in ERA (3.19) and WHIP (1.16); are tied for the league-lead in opponents’ batting average (.232); and trail only the Arizona Diamondbacks (518) in strikeouts with 513 punchouts. Led in large part by their outstanding pitching, the Dodgers own a 33-22 record (.600) and trail the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks by a half-game in the very competitive NL West.

 

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY MLB MEDIA RELATIONS; COURTESY MLBpressbox.com

 

 

Yankees’ Judge, Dodgers’ Bellinger named AL & NL Rookie of the Month

Aaron Judge 2016 swinging By Arturo Pardavila on Flickr, CC BY 2.0, https commons.wikimedia.org

Cody Bellinger tracking fly ball 2017 By Johnmaxmena2 - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https commons.wikimedia.org

New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge has been voted American League Rookie of the Month for the second consecutive month, and Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder/first baseman Cody Bellinger has been voted National League Rookie of the Month for May.

Others receiving votes for NL Rookie of the Month included Hunter Renfroe (.255, 15 R, 14 XBH, 17 RBI) of the Padres; German Márquez (4-1, 2.64 ERA, 30.2 IP, 25 SO) and April’s Rookie of the Month Antonio Senzatella (4-1, 4.11 ERA, 35.0 IP, 26 SO) of the Colorado Rockies; and Jesús Aguilar (.328, 11 R, 12 XBH, 12 RBI) of the Milwaukee Brewers.

In recognition of their Rookie of the Month Awards, Aaron Judge and Cody Bellinger will each receive a specially designed trophy, suitably engraved, for their accomplishments.

Judge batted .347 (33-for-95) with 17 runs scored, five doubles, a triple, seven home runs, 17 RBI, 15 walks and three stolen bases to claim his second straight monthly award, becoming the first AL rookie to do so since Cleveland’s Tyler Naquin took home back-to-back monthly honors last season (June & July). Judge is the first AL rookie to claim the award in the season’s opening months since Nomar Mazara of the Texas Rangers was awarded AL Rookie of the Month in both April and May of last season. Among AL rookie leaders with a minimum of 20 at-bats, Aaron finished the period first in a number of offensive categories, including hits, runs scored, extra-base hits (13), home runs, RBI, walks and onbase percentage (.441).

Judge concluded the month tied for first in stolen bases, and second in batting average and slugging percentage (.642). On May 2nd against the Toronto Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium, Judge went 2-for-3 with three runs scored, a pair of home runs, two walks and four RBI in New York’s 11-5 victory. With the outing, the 32nd overall selection in the 2013 MLB Draft became the youngest Yankee (25 years, 6 days) with at least two homers and two walks in a game since Hall of Famer Mickey Mantle (24 years, 289 days) on August 4, 1956 against the Detroit Tigers.

On Tuesday night against the Baltimore Orioles at Camden Yards, Judge connected for his Major League-leading 17th home run of the season. The 25-year-old slugger became just the second rookie in Major League history to club at least 17 home runs before the start of June, joining Mark McGwire, who hit 19 round-trippers for the Oakland Athletics in April/May 1987. In last night’s rubber-match against the Orioles, the Linden, California native delivered his third multi-hit game in his last four contests, while scoring his 40th run of the 2017 campaign. Now tied with Corey Dickerson of the Tampa Bay Rays for the AL lead, Judge became the first Yankees player to record at least 40 runs scored through the team’s first 50 games since Curtis Granderson also scored 40 runs in 2011.

Entering play today, the Yankees lead the AL East by 2.0 games and own a record of 30-20 (.600). Others receiving votes for AL Rookie of the Month included James Hoyt (1-0, 3.65 ERA, 12.1 IP, 21 SO) of the Houston Astros and Jorge Bonifacio (.267, 15 R, 10 XBH, 14 RBI) of the Kansas City Royals.

Bellinger hit .245 (26-for-106) with 22 runs scored, five doubles, a triple, nine home runs, 27 RBI, 11 walks and a stolen base to earn his first career monthly award. Cody is the first Dodgers player to win NL Rookie of the Month since teammate Corey Seager took home rookie honors last June. Among qualified NL rookie sluggers with at least 20 at-bats, the 21-year-old finished the month first in runs scored, hits, extra-base hits (15), home runs and RBI; tied for first in stolen bases; second in walks; third in slugging percentage (.566); and tied for fourth in doubles. On May 6th against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park, Bellinger, who is the son of former Major Leaguer Clay Bellinger, went 2-for-4 with a home run, stolen base and career-high five RBI. With his first career grand slam in the ninth inning of the Dodgers’ 10-2 win over the Padres,

Cody became the first Dodger in the modern era (since 1900) to hit five roundtrippers in his first 11 Major League games, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Additionally, the Scottsdale, Arizona native became just the second player to debut since 1920 (when RBI became an official statistic) to record at least five home runs and 14 RBI in his first 11 games since Mark Quinn belted five homers and 16 RBI for the Royals in 1999. Following his multi-homer output the night before, as part of a three-hit game, Bellinger became the first player in club history since 1913 to log two multi-homer games in his first 10 career games (also April 29th vs. Philadelphia).

In Monday’s tilt against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium, Bellinger connected for his 11th home run of the 2017 campaign. With the solo homer, the Dodgers’ fourth round selection in the 2013 MLB Draft became the fastest Dodger in franchise history to reach 11 round-trippers, accomplishing the feat in 32 games. Bellinger is the first Dodger player to record 10-or-more homers in a calendar month since Matt Kemp (12) in April 2012. Since 1913, only four players have hit more homers through the first 32 games of their career, all doing so with 12 home runs: Mike Jacobs (2005-06, NYM/FLA); Kevin Maas (1990, NYY); Dave Hostetler (1981-82, MON/TEX); and José Abreu (2014, CWS). In addition, the 11 blasts match teammate Joc Pederson (May 2015) and James Loney (September 2007) for the most home runs by a rookie in any month in club history.

Moreover, with 27 RBI, the versatile youngster established a new Dodgers rookie record for RBI in the month of May, and tied Dick Cox for the third-most RBI by a rookie in any calendar month, following James Loney (32, September 2007) and Del Bissonette (29, June 1928).

 

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY MLB MEDIA RELATIONS; COURTESY MLBpressbox.com

 

 

Boston’s Kimbrel, Colorado’s Holland voted AL, NL Reliever of the Month for May

Craig Kimbrel being congratulated 2016 By Keith Allison on Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0, https commons.wikimedia.org

Greg Holland (courtesy MLBpressbox.com)

Boston Red Sox closer Craig Kimbrel has been voted American League Reliever of the Month presented by The Hartford for May, and Colorado Rockies closer Greg Holland has been voted National League Reliever of the Month presented by The Hartford for the second consecutive month.

The American League Reliever of the Month presented by The Hartford, Craig Kimbrel, and the National League Reliever of the Month presented by the Hartford, Greg Holland, will each receive a specially designed plaque, suitably engraved, for their accomplishments. This is the inaugural season of the Reliever of the Month Awards presented by The Hartford. The Hartford, the Official Business Insurance & Employee Benefits Sponsor of MLB, has presented baseball’s annual Relievers of the Year Awards since 2015. The 2017 Relievers of the Year presented by The Hartford will again be presented during the World Series.

Kimbrel pitched in 12 games during May for the Red Sox, converting each of his seven save opportunities and striking out 25 opposing batters. Craig allowed just one walk, did not surrender a home run and finished the month without allowing an earned run over 12.2 innings of work to claim his fourth career monthly award, having won Delivery Man of the Month in August 2011, September 2012 and August 2013. Entering play today, opposing hitters have not recorded a hit in their last 31 plate appearances against Kimbrel, logging one walk and 18 strikeouts. This is Craig’s longest hitless stretch of his career, eclipsing his previous mark of 28 at-bats from May 11 – June 6, 2012.

The 29-year-old closer last surrendered a hit to Jonathan Villar of the Milwaukee Brewers on May 11th. In total, the Huntsville, Alabama native has retired 62 of his last 67 batters faced, including 42 of his last 45 opponents. Right-handed batters are 0-for-45 with three walks when facing the five-time All-Star this season, and 0-for- 48 (five walks), dating back to 2016. On May 25th against the Texas Rangers at Fenway Park, the 2011 NL Rookie of the Year (Atlanta) recorded four strikeouts in the ninth inning, matching the Major League single-season record. Kimbrel also accomplished the feat while playing for Atlanta on September 26, 2012, and joined A.J. Burnett, Zack Greinke and Chuck Finley as the only pitchers in MLB history to strike out four-or-more batters in an inning on more than one occasion, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. In addition, the third round selection in the 2008 MLB Draft joined Tim Wakefield as the only two Boston hurlers to accomplish the feat in Red Sox lore.

Following his dominant month on the mound, Kimbrel paces the Majors in strikeouts-per-nine innings (16.88), WHIP (0.38) and opponents’ batting average (.076). Closer Alex Colomé (1-0, 1.26 ERA, 10 SV, 15 SO) of the Tampa Bay Rays had an excellent month as well. With his 15th save of the season on Wednesday, the 2016 AL All-Star matched teammate Brad Boxberger’s club record (10) for saves in the month of May. Others receiving votes for AL Reliever of the Month included Andrew Miller (2-0, 0.61 ERA, 14.2 IP, 21 SO) of the Cleveland Indians; Roberto Osuna (1-0, 1.42 ERA, 8 SV, 17 SO) of the Toronto Blue Jays; Dellin Betances (1-0, 0.00 ERA, 5 SV, 18 SO) of the New York Yankees; Ken Giles (1-0, 1.80 ERA, 8 SV) of the Houston Astros; Matt Bush (1-0, 0.82 ERA, 5 SV, 11.0 IP) of the Texas Rangers; and David Holmberg (0.87 ERA, 10.1 IP, 6 SO) of the Chicago White Sox.

Holland was perfect in save opportunities, converting each of his eight opportunities in nine games over 7.2 innings pitched en route to claiming his second consecutive NL Reliever of the Month Award. This is Greg’s fourth career monthly honor, having also won Delivery Man of the Month in July and September of the 2013 season. Holland, who won the 2014 Mariano Rivera AL Reliever of the Year Award, posted a 1.17 ERA with 15 strikeouts and just one free pass. With his final save during his award-winning month on May 21st, the Major League saves leader converted his 19th opportunity of the 2017 campaign, establishing a franchise record for consecutive converted saves to begin a season. Holland extended that streak to 20 saves in 20 opportunities last night in his first game in June.

The two-time AL All-Star recorded a strikeout in eight-of-nine contests, while recording multiple punchouts on six occasions. Holland, who missed the 2016 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery, posted a scoreless streak of 12 games and 10.2 innings from April 21st – May 21st. During his excellent stretch, the right-hander registered 11 saves and a 17:2 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Helped in large part by their trustworthy closer, the Rockies are currently tied with the Arizona Diamondbacks for the top spot in the NL West with a mark of 34-22 (.607). Closer Corey Knebel (0.71 ERA, 3 SV, 12.2 IP, 27 SO) of the Milwaukee Brewers was also dominant last month. The 25-year-old has recorded at least one strikeout in each of his 27 appearances this season, which is the third-longest streak for a reliever to begin a season in the Modern Era, according to Elias. Aroldis Chapman owns the top two streaks, posting runs of 37 games (May 11 – August 13, 2014) and 29 games (April 5 – June 16, 2012). Entering play today, Knebel ranks second in the Majors, and first in the NL, with 46 strikeouts among relievers, trailing only Chris Devenski of the Astros (47).

Others receiving votes for NL Reliever of the Month included Raisel Iglesias (12.0 IP, 0.00 ERA, 5 SV, 14 SO) of the Cincinnati Reds; Josh Fields (2-0, 0.63 ERA, 14.1 IP, 14 SO) and Kenley Jansen (1-0, 0.87 ERA, 18 SO) of the Los Angeles Dodgers; Matt Albers (1-0, 2.31 ERA, 2 SV, 11.2 IP) of the Washington Nationals; Brad Hand (17.2 IP, 2.55 ERA, 24 SO) of the San Diego Padres; Fernando Rodney (9.2 IP, 0.00 ERA, 7 SV, 9.2 IP) of the D-backs; Paul Sewald (1.42 ERA, 19.0 IP, 24 SO) of the New York Mets; David Phelps (0.00 ERA, 11.2 IP, 14 SO) of the Miami Marlins; and Arodys Vizcaíno (1-1, 0.73 ERA, 12.1 IP, 14 SO) of the Atlanta Braves.

 

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY MLB MEDIA RELATIONS; COURTESY MLBpressbox.com

 

Latest NL All-Star balloting update shows Nationals’ Zimmerman overtaking Cubs’ Rizzo at 1B

Ryan Zimmerman of the Washington Nationals has overtaken the top spot at first base, surpassing Anthony Rizzo of the Chicago Cubs in the latest National League balloting update for the 2017 MLB All-Star Game presented by Mastercard, it was announced earlier today on MLB Network. The next balloting update for the American League will be announced tomorrow. The 2017 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Ballot, which is available exclusively online via MLB.com, Club sites and mobile devices, will be accessible until the voting period ends on Thursday, June 29th at 11:59 p.m. (ET).

Zimmerman, who trailed the position by nearly 94,000 votes last week, has a total of 670,671 votes, while Rizzo has accumulated 657,702 votes. Zimmerman is aiming for his second career All-Star selection (2009) and first starting assignment. Entering play today, the 32-year-old leads the Majors with a .374 batting average to go along with 16 home runs and 48 RBI. Rizzo is bidding for his fourth career All-Star selection (2014-16) and second straight fan-elected start. The last Cubs infielder to earn a starting nod from the fans in consecutive seasons was Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg, who claimed eight straight starts at second base from 1986-93.

On the left side of the infield, a close three-way race has emerged at shortstop between leader Corey Seager of the Dodgers (604,783), Zack Cozart of the Cincinnati Reds (547,750) and 2016 All-Star starter Addison Russell of the Cubs (537,688). Seager leads NL shortstops with 39 runs scored and 36 walks, while Cozart paces the position with nine home runs, five triples and a .344 batting average. Seager and Russell are each vying for their second All-Star selection (2016), while Cozart is aiming for his first Midsummer Classic appearance.

The remaining NL leaders include: second baseman Daniel Murphy of the Nationals (1,149,130); third baseman Kris Bryant of the Cubs (895,752); catcher Buster Posey of the San Francisco Giants (917,359); and outfielders Bryce Harper of the Nationals (1,459,235), Charlie Blackmon of the Colorado Rockies (979,961) and Jason Heyward of the Cubs (498,079). Murphy continues to rank second overall in the NL behind his teammate Harper, and is trailed at second base by Javier Báez of the Cubs (715,928). Colorado’s Nolan Arenado (613,571) follows Bryant at third base, and Cubs backstop Willson Contreras (511,029) remains second behind Posey. Heyward, who is fighting off fierce competition for the third outfield spot, is trailed by his Cubs teammate Ben Zobrist (472,114), Atlanta’s Matt Kemp (457,586) and Kyle Schwarber of the Cubs (423,394). Giancarlo Stanton (398,569) and Marcell Ozuna (392,973) of the host Miami Marlins are also close behind in the competitive race.

The Esurance MLB All-Star Game Ballot, the largest program of its kind in professional sports, is being conducted exclusively online for the third consecutive season. Fans around the world can cast their votes for starters a total of 35 times with the 2017 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Ballot, including a maximum of five valid ballots cast in any 24-hour period. The 2017 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Ballot is available in English and Spanish, and offers audio CAPTCHA functionality for visually impaired fans. Banco BHD León once again sponsors online All-Star balloting in the Dominican Republic, making Spanish-language ballots available to fans in the Dominican Republic via LasMayores.com, the official Spanish-language Web site of Major League Baseball.

Details regarding the unveiling of the 2017 American League and National League All-Star Teams will be available in the coming weeks. The AL All-Star Team will have nine elected starters via the fan balloting program, while the NL All-Star Team will have eight fan-elected starters. The pitchers and reserves for both squads – totaling 23 for the NL and 22 for the AL – will be determined through a combination of “Player Ballot” choices and selections made by the Commissioner’s Office.

Following the announcement of the American League and National League All-Star rosters, fans will begin voting to select the final player for each League’s 32-man roster via the 2017 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Final Vote. Fans will cast their votes from a list of five players from each League over the balloting period. Now in its 16th season with over 680 million votes cast, fans again will be able to make their Final Vote selections on MLB.com, Club sites and their mobile devices.

This year’s final phase of All-Star Game voting again will have fans participating in the official voting for the Ted Williams All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet. During the Midsummer Classic, fans can vote exclusively at MLB.com and the 30 Club sites – online or via their mobile devices – with the 2017 All-Star Game MLB.com MVP Vote, and their collective voice will represent 20 percent of the official vote determining this year’s recipient of the Arch Ward Trophy.

MLB All-Star Week includes the MLB All-Star Game presented by Mastercard at Marlins Park (July 11th), Gatorade All-Star Workout Day featuring the T-Mobile Home Run Derby (July 10th), All-Star Sunday featuring the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game and All-Star Legends & Celebrity Softball Game (July 9th), All-Star FanFest at the Miami Beach Convention Center (July 7th-11th), plus a lineup of additional events taking place around the city. The 88th Midsummer Classic will be televised nationally by FOX Sports; in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS; and worldwide by partners in more than 180 countries. FOX Deportes will provide Spanish language coverage in the United States, while ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide exclusive national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB Network, MLB.com and Sirius XM also will provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information about MLB All-Star Week and to purchase tickets, please visit AllStarGame.com and follow @AllStarGame on social media.

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY MLB MEDIA RELATIONS; COURTESY MLBpressbox.com

 

Astros’ George Springer named AL Player of the Week

George Springer running bases 2016 By Keith Allison on Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0, https commons.wikimedia.org

Houston Astros outfielder George Springer has been named the American League Player of the Week for the period ending June 4th.

In recognition of his American League Player of the Week Award, George Springer will be awarded a watch courtesy of Rockwell.

Springer batted .500 (15-for-30) with 11 runs scored, a double, five home runs and nine RBI over six games to earn his first career AL Player of the Week Award, and the first for an Astros position player since his teammate Carlos Correa took home weekly honors on August 14, 2016. George paced the Majors in hits, runs scored, total bases (31) and slugging percentage (1.033). Among his AL counterparts, the 27-year-old finished the period tied for second in extra-base hits (6); tied for third in batting average; seventh in on-base percentage; and tied for seventh in RBI.

In Wednesday night’s away tilt against the Minnesota Twins, Springer went 4-for-4 with four runs scored, a pair of solo home runs and two walks. It was the slugging outfielder’s fifth multi-homer game of his career, and second of the season (also May 14th at NY Yankees). In addition, Springer matched a franchise record by safely reaching base in six plate appearances, joining J.R. Towles and Cody Ransom, who both accomplished the feat on September 20, 2007 against the St. Louis Cardinals. In George’s final game during his award-winning week, the 11th overall selection of the 2011 MLB Draft (by Houston) tallied three hits, including a pair of homers. The multi-hit output was his sixth in a row, and the dynamic outfielder matched Seattle’s Jean Segura (May 3rd-9th), Washington’s Ryan Zimmerman (April 26th-May 3rd) and Jose Abreu (April 23rd-30th) of the White Sox for the longest multi-hit streak in the Majors this season. Entering play today, the New Britain, Connecticut native is in the midst of a nine-game hitting streak, dating back to May 26th. During his torrid stretch, Springer slashed .476/.511/.1.000 with 14 runs scored, a double, seven home runs and 13 RBI. Led by Springer’s hot bat, the Astros have won each of their last 10 contests and own the best record in Baseball at 41-16.

On Saturday, first baseman Albert Pujols of the Los Angeles Angels became the ninth player in MLB history to reach the 600-home run plateau. At 37 years, 138 days, the 10-time All-Star became the fourth-youngest to join the elite group. Entering play today, Pujols is 141 RBI away from the 2,000 RBI milestone and 125 hits away from the 3,000-hit club. Other noteworthy performances included George’s teammate and May’s AL Player of the Month presented by Budweiser Carlos Correa (.393, 8 R, 4 HR, 12 RBI); Elvis Andrus (.520, 7 R, 5 XBH, 10 RBI) of the Texas Rangers; Ariel Miranda (2-0, 1.93 ERA, 1 CG, 10 SO) and Mike Zunino (.478, 4 2B, 11 RBI) of the Seattle Mariners;  J.D. Martinez (6 R, 7 XBH, 8 RBI) of the Detroit Tigers; Whit Merrfield (.500, 5 XBH, 5 RBI, .900 SLG) of the Kansas City Royals; and Yonder Alonso (.417, 8 R, 3 HR, .875 SLG) of the Oakland Athletics.

 

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY MLB MEDIA RELATIONS; COURTESY MLBpressbox.com

 

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