Thome hops to 10th on the all-time career home run list

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Jim Thome blasted two home runs in the Twins’ 8-6 loss to the Rays on Saturday, moving into sole possession of 10th place on Major League Baseball’s all-time career home run list.  Here’s a look at the updated list, with the still-active names in bold:

Barry Bonds            762
Hank Aaron             755
Babe Ruth               714
Willie Mays              660
Ken Griffey Jr.          630
Sammy Sosa          609
Alex Rodriguez     595
Frank Robinson     586
Mark McGwire         583
Jim Thome            574
Harmon Killebrew   573
Rafael Palmeiro     569
Reggie Jackson     563

That’s some rather impressive company, and it really must have been a special day for Thome.   According to MLB.com’s Kelly Thesier, the veteran slugger received a phone call from
Killebrew shortly
after passing him on the list. 

“I’m happy for him. Jim is a great guy and if anyone passed me, I’m
glad it was him,” Killebrew said from Arizona. “I hope he hits a bunch more over the rest of the year
for the Minnesota Twins.”

Thome, 39, has done everything that the Twinkies have asked of him this season since signing a bargain one-year, $1.5 million contract in the winter.  Through 124 at-bats, he has a .258/.388/.597 slash line, 10 home runs and 25 RBI.  He also owns a 1.058 OPS against right-handed pitchers.

Clayton Kershaw struggles with control, walks six Marlins

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Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw entered Wednesday night’s start against the Marlins without having issued a walk in his previous three starts. In fact, his last walk came on April 3 when he issued a free pass to Paul Goldschmidt with the bases empty and two outs in the bottom of the first inning. All told, Kershaw was on a streak of 26 walk-less innings before he took the mound at home to take on the Marlins.

Kershaw started off Wednesday in character, striking out the side in the first inning. He issued a walk in a tough second inning, but escaped without allowing a run. Kershaw walked two more in the third and again danced out of danger. In the fourth, Kershaw walked Lewis Brinson to load the bases with no outs and — you guessed it — didn’t end up allowing a run. His errant control finally came back to bite him in the fifth when Kershaw issued back-to-back two-out walks, then served up a three-run home run to Miguel Rojas down the left field line. His night was done when he completed the inning. Five innings, three runs, five hits, six walks, seven strikeouts, 112 pitches.

The six walks Kershaw issued over five innings marked his first six-walk outing since April 7, 2010 when he issued six free passes to the Pirates in 4 2/3 innings. The only other time he walked as many was on August 3, 2009 against the Brewers in a four-plus inning outing. Kershaw hasn’t even walked five batters in an outing recently — the last time was September 23, 2012 against the Reds.