Jose Bautista hits three bombs, grounds out in eighth

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4:30 p.m. EDT: Jose Batista grounded out to shortstop with a man on and two outs in the eighth.  Unless the Blue Jays can send nine men to the plate in the ninth (or the Twins score eight runs to tie the game at 11), he’s done for the day at three homers.

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Jose Bautista, who reclaimed the major league lead in homers by hitting his13th in extra innings Saturday, homered in the third, fourth and sixth innings of Sunday’s game against the Twins.

With the contest still ongoing, he’s due at least one more at-bat.

Bautista popped out foul in his first plate appearance today before taking Twins starter Brian Duensing deep in the third.  His subsequent two homers came off Kevin Slowey.

If he can do it again, he’d come the first player since the Blue Jays’ Carlos Delgado to hit four homers in a game.  Delgado accomplished the feat against the Devil Rays on Sept. 25, 2003.

Only 15 players in major league history have hit four homers in a game.

Must-Click Link: Remembering Eddie Grant the first major leaguer to die in combat

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As you get ready for Memorial Day weekend and whatever it entails for you and yours, take some time to read an excellent article from Mike Bates over at The Hardball Times.

The article is about Eddie Grant. You probably never heard of him. He was a journeyman infielder — often a backup — from 1905 through 1915. If you have heard of him, it was likely not for his baseball exploits, however: it was because he was the first active baseball player to die in combat, killed in the Battle of the Argonne Forest in October 1915.

Michael tells us about more than Grant’s death, however. He provides a great overview of his life and career. And notes that Grant didn’t even have to go to war if he didn’t want to. He was 34, had the chance to coach or manage and had a law degree and the potential to make a lot of money following his baseball career. He volunteered, however, for both patriotic and personal reasons. And it cost him his life.

Must-read stuff indeed. Especially this weekend.

The Indians are unveiling a Frank Robinson statue on Sunday

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The Cleveland Indians will unveil a Frank Robinson statue at Progressive Field on Saturday.

Robinson’s tenure in Cleveland was not long, but it was historic. On April 8, 1975, he became the first African-American manager in Major League history. He was a player-manager. One of the last ones, in fact. He spent two years in that role and then a third year — a partial year anyway — as a manager only. Robinson would go on to manage the Giants, Orioles and the Expos/Nationals, compiling a career record of 1065-1176 in 16 seasons. He is now a top MLB executive.

Robinson was, of course, a Hall of Fame player as well, lodging 21 seasons for the Reds, Orioles, Dodgers, Angels and Indians. He won two MVP awards and hit for the Triple Crown in 1966. Overall he hit 586 home runs – 10th all time – and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982. For an inner-circle Hall of Famer with that kind of resume he is still, strangely enough, underrated. I guess that happens when your contemporaries are Willie Mays, Hank Aaron and Mickey Mantle.

Anyway, congrats to Frank Robinson for yet another well-deserved honor in a career full of them.