Miguel Cabrera went deep for home run #40 this afternoon, creeping closer and closer to the Major League lead in his quest to obtain a second consecutive Triple Crown. Current leader Chris Davis, though, blasted his 45th home run of the season to keep pace, a two-run blast in the eighth inning against Rockies reliever Edgmer Escalona. The homer put the O’s up 7-2, and reliever Josh Stinson pitched a scoreless ninth to nail down the victory.
Overall, Davis went 4-for-5 with the homer, a double, two RBI, and three runs scored.
Cabrera leads the AL in batting average, .360 to Mike Trout’s .333. He leads Davis in RBI, 120 to 115, and trails him in home runs, 45 to 40. While the races in the AL East and NL Central certainly portend to be captivating down the stretch, so too will the back-and-forth between the game’s two best sluggers in Cabrera and Davis.
Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports that the Blue Jays and third baseman Josh Donaldson are tabling extension talks as the two sides weren’t able to build any momentum towards agreement on a new contract.
Donaldson said, “We’re not quite there. That, to me, right now is not the major focus and I’m turning the page.” He added, “I want to play this season and really focus on winning games because, ultimately, our goal is to win a World Series and I don’t want to hinder that at all.” Donaldson also said he expects to hit free agency.
The 32-year-old avoided arbitration with the Blue Jays last month, agreeing on a $23 million salary for the 2018 season. He’s a free agent at season’s end. Last year, the three-time All-Star hit .270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs, 78 RBI, and 65 runs scored in 496 plate appearances. Donaldson missed six weeks in the first half with a calf injury, but was able to return and post terrific numbers, so his health — at least that aspect of it — shouldn’t be a concern going into spring training.
If Donaldson does reach free agency, he’ll join a star-studded group that will likely also include Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Charlie Blackmon, and A.J. Pollock.