Jason Kipnis, who already has a streak of homering in four straight games in his very young career, went 5-for-5 with a homer and four runs scored Wednesday in the Indians’ 10-3 win over the Tigers. It was his sixth homer in 16 games as a major leaguer.
Kipnis became the first rookie to finish with five hits and four runs scored in a game since Mark Reynolds (May 25) and David Murphy (Aug. 22) both did so in 2007. Andre Ethier also pulled off the feat on May 19, 2006. No other active player had such a game as a rookie.
It’s also the earliest in a career that any player has had a 5-for-5 game since Houston’s Josh Anderson had one in his ninth game on Sept. 16, 2007. Reynolds was in his 10th game when he did it earlier in 2007. Austin Jackson did it in his 23rd game on April 30, 2010.
Finally, with the homer tonight, Kipnis became the first player to collect six homers in his first 16 games since Chris Davis and Taylor Teagarden did so for the Rangers in 2008.
Kipnis has struck out 20 times already and his defense has looked a little rough at times, but he certainly appears to be here to stay. The converted outfielder has showed enough promise at second base to remain there for at least the beginning of 2012, and if he needs to move to left field at some point, he’ll likely have the bat to pull it off.
Jaime Garcia has been at the center of trade talks for several days now, but on Friday night, he commanded center stage for an entirely different reason. The Braves’ southpaw went head-to-head with Dodgers’ lefty Alex Wood and mashed his first career grand slam: a two-out, 399-foot blast that cleared the wall in right field and put the Braves up 9-0 in the fifth inning.
The bases-loaded knock was the third career home run for Garcia, whose contributions at the plate have been few and far between over his nine-year track in the major leagues. Not only did the homer mark an impressive career first for the 30-year-old, but it was just the second pitcher grand slam in Braves’ history and the first since 1966.
Garcia looked almost as impressive on the mound during Friday’s series opener, issuing one run, four hits and three strikeouts through his first six innings. The Braves currently lead the Dodgers 12-1 in the top of the seventh inning.
As for whether the slam will affect negotiations between the Braves and Twins? MLB.com’s Mike Petriello put it best:
Athletics’ first baseman Ryon Healy had a scary moment during Friday’s loss to the Mets. Lucas Duda smacked a single to the first base side, where the ball took a high hop and caught Healy in the left temple. He crumpled to the ground after getting struck by the one-hopper, but was eventually able to stand and walk off the field with assistance from a trainer.
Prior to the injury, Healy went 2-for-3 at the plate with an RBI single in the first inning. He was replaced by Yonder Alonso, who finished off the rest of the night’s 7-5 loss with a walk in two plate appearances.
Following the game, manager Bob Melvin told reporters that Healy did not appear to have sustained a concussion as a result of the hit. Healy said he thinks he’ll be good to go for Saturday’s game, though a final decision likely won’t be made until tomorrow.