Mookie Betts went 4-for-6 with two home runs and eight RBI out of the leadoff spot in Sunday afternoon’s 15-1 drubbing of the Blue Jays. His eight RBI ties a record for a leadoff batter. Four other players have accomplished the feat, according to MLB’s Stat of the Day Twitter account.
Betts hit an RBI single in the second inning to push his team’s lead to 2-0. He smacked a three-run home run in the fourth inning to make it 5-1, added a two-run home run in the sixth to up the lead to 7-1, and brought in two more runs with another single in the seventh to make it 11-1.
Betts has the third game of eight-plus RBI this season. Scooter Gennett had 10 RBI in his record-tying four-homer game last month and Anthony Rendon knocked in 10 himself at the end of April. Coincidentally, Betts was also the last member of the Red Sox to knock in eight-plus runs when he brought eight home on August 14 last year against the Diamondbacks.
After Sunday’s performance, Betts is hitting .286/.364/.509 with 15 home runs, 51 RBI, 56 runs scored, and 15 stolen bases in 366 plate appearances. He’s having a pretty good follow-up after finishing as a runner-up in AL MVP Award voting in 2016.
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.