On a night when the Twins honored the greatest slugger in team history, Harmon Killebrew, Jim Thome returned from the disabled list after missing three weeks with an oblique injury and hit the 592nd and 593rd homers of his career.
Throughout his 21 seasons Thome has homered once every 21 at-bats versus left-handed pitchers compared to once every 11 at-bats against right-handed pitchers, but both of last night’s bombs came versus southpaws.
Thome is now seven homers away from becoming the eighth player to join the 600-homer club and 16 homers away from tying Sammy Sosa for seventh on the all-time list with 609 long balls.
Moving up any further than that is likely out of the question, at least for this year, but Thome already ranks fourth all time among left-handed hitters behind only Barry Bonds, Babe Ruth, and Ken Griffey Jr.
The Marlins announced on Sunday that outfielder Giancarlo Stanton will defend his Home Run Derby title when the city of Miami host’s the All-Star Game festivities next month.
Stanton, 27, defeated Todd Frazier in the finals of last year’s Home Run Derby at Petco Park, hitting 20 home runs to Frazier’s 13. Stanton hit a total of 61 home runs in the Derby. This will be the third Home Run Derby in which Stanton has participated.
Stanton also went 1-for-3 with a solo home run to help the Marlins defeat the Cubs 4-2 on Sunday. He’s now batting .274/.357/.551 with 20 home runs and 49 RBI in 311 plate appearances.
Yankees outfielder Aaron Hicks left Sunday’s game against the Rangers after four innings due to soreness in his right oblique. After the game, Hicks said he expects to go on the 10-day disabled list and miss the next three to four weeks, MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch reports.
Hicks was 1-for-2 with a single before departing on Sunday. He entered the game batting .288/.397/.515 with 10 home runs and 37 RBI in 198 plate appearances. It is by far the best season of his career.
Jacoby Ellsbury is on his way back from a concussion, so the Yankees will only have to bridge the gap in center field for a week or two. Mason Williams could draw some starts in center field in the meantime.