Miguel Tejada joins 300-homer club

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Miguel Tejada took Ted Lilly deep Wednesday night to become the 129th player in major league history to reach 300 homers.
It was Tejada’s eighth homer in 194 at-bats since the Padres picked him up prior to the trade deadline. He hit just seven in 401 at-bats for the Orioles over the first four months of the season.
Tejada ranks third all-time for homers as a shortstop with 289. Only Cal Ripken (345) and Alex Rodriguez (344) have hit more. Ernie Banks is fourth at 277.
Tejada is also third on the all-time list for homers by a player who spent the bulk of his career as a shortstop. A-Rod, of course, tops that one, with 608 homers to date, but he’ll probably finish his career with more games at third than at short. If that’s the case, only Ripken, with 431 homers, would have more than Tejada. Robin Yount is fourth at 251, followed by Jose Valentin (249), Vern Stephens (247), Derek Jeter (234) and Nomar Garciaparra (229).
Those will be interesting facts in building a Cooperstown case for Tejada someday. He’s never really seemed like a Hall of Famer, but by the time he’s eligible, he’ll rank second or third all-time for homers by a shortstop and somewhere between fifth and seventh in RBI (depending on how one wants to rank A-Rod and whether Jeter passes him). He also won an MVP award, and he amassed a very impressive consecutive games streak (he played in 162 games in six straight seasons). I don’t think he belongs, but there’s an argument to be made.

John Lackey stole the first base of his career

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Cubs starter John Lackey stole the first base of his 15-year career on Wednesday against the Reds. Of course, he spent the first 11 and a half years of his career in the American League, where opportunities to bat, let alone attempt to steal a base, were rare. Lackey entered Wednesday having taken 250 plate appearances, reaching base just 31 times on 17 singles, seven doubles, and seven walks for a .134 on-base percentage. One can imagine the 38-year-old is not exactly the swiftest base runner.

Still, Lackey managed to swipe a bag in the fourth inning. He singled with two outs against Homer Bailey. Then, with an 0-1 count on Ben Zobrist, Lackey broke for second even before Bailey began his windup. Tucker Barnhart stood up to alert Bailey that Lackey was running, so Bailey wheeled around and threw to second base, but Lackey slid into the bag easily safe. It wasn’t a pretty slide, but it did the job.

Lackey, however, was picked off of second base by Barnhart later that inning. Bailey threw a 3-2 fastball wide of the strike zone, walking Zobrist. Lackey had wandered too far off of second base, so Barnhart threw behind Lackey and the tag was applied by Zack Cozart. Lackey was called safe initially. The play was reviewed and the ruling on the field was overturned, ending the fourth inning.

Base Ba’al giveth and Base Ba’al taketh away.

Video: Aaron Judge sends a baseball into the upper deck at Citi Field

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Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge hit another jaw-dropping home run, victimizing Mets starter Robert Gsellman in the top of the fourth game of Wednesday night’s game at Citi Field. Left fielder Yoenis Cespedes didn’t even move. The ball traveled 457 feet and was hit 117 MPH off the bat, according to Katie Sharp of River Ave Blues.

The home run moved Judge’s AL-best total to 37, putting him two ahead of the Royals’ Mike Moustakas. Along with the prodigious dinger total, he has 80 RBI, 90 runs scored, and a .291/.421/.616 triple-slash line in 499 plate appearances. Judge is on pace for 50 dingers. If it holds, that would give him the rookie record for home runs in a season. Mark McGwire currently holds the record, having hit 49 for the Athletics in 1987.