Curtis Granderson hit his 30th and 31st homers Wednesday to lead the Yankees to a 9-3 win over the Angels.
The second homer gave him a new career high with 47 games left to play. He hit 30 homers in 160 games in his final year with the Tigers in 2009.
Granderson had already long blown past his career high for RBI. He knocked in four more runs tonight, giving him 91 RBI for the season. His previous high-water point was 74 in 2007.
Granderson, though, still has a ways to go in runs scored. Even though he leads the majors with 104 runs scored — 20 more than Jacoby Ellsbury in second place — he’s 18 short of matching his high total of 122, also from 2007.
Besides new highs in homers, RBI and likely runs and OPS this season, Granderson could also set a personal best in steals. He’s at 22 right now, leaving him four shy of his total from 2007. He also needs 14 walks to match his high of 72 from 2009.
But tonight wasn’t all about Granderson: Robinson Cano missed the cycle by a single and rookie Ivan Nova improved to 7-0 in his last eight starts. The Yankees also beat a pitcher making his major league debut for the first time in seven tries. Granderson’s three-run homer off young Angels right-hander Garrett Richards set the tone in the first, and the Yankees ended up knocking him around for six runs in five innings.
Angels DH Albert Pujols passed Mark McGwire for sole possession of 10th place on baseball’s all-time home run leaderboard, slugging his 584th career home run in the first inning of Wednesday night’s game against the Blue Jays.
Mike Trout had already slugged a solo home run off of Jays starter Marco Estrada to bring Pujols to the dish. Pujols jumped on an 0-1 cut fastball, sending it out to left-center field, clearing the fence by a few feet.
Pujols, who finished 4-for-4 with the homer and an RBI double, is batting .257/.321/.441 with 24 home runs and 99 RBI on the year. His next target on the home run leaderboard is Frank Robinson at 586.
Orioles closer Zach Britton had appeared in a major league record 43 consecutive games without allowing an earned run, spanning May 5 to August 22. That streak came to an end on Wednesday evening against the Nationals.
The Orioles entered the bottom of the ninth inning holding a 10-3 lead, but reliever Parker Bridwell immediately found himself in hot water. He yielded back-to-back singles to Danny Espinosa and Clint Robinson. He was able to strike out Trea Turner, but walked Jayson Werth to load the bases. Daniel Murphy then crushed his first career grand slam to make it a 10-7 game. That prompted manager Buck Showalter to bring in Britton.
Britton, too, was knocked around. He served up a single to Bryce Harper, followed by a double to Anthony Rendon that scored Harper, pushing the score to 10-8 and ending Britton’s streak. Wilson Ramos reached on a fielder’s choice back to Britton, but the lefty finally finished the game by getting Ryan Zimmerman to ground into a game-ending 4-6-3 double play.
Britton now holds a nice 0.69 ERA with 38 saves and a 61/16 K/BB ratio in 52 innings of work this season.