How much longer can the Padres keep Anthony Rizzo down?

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14 homers, 56 RBI.

Those are Anthony Rizzo’s totals in 44 games for Triple-A Tucson so far.

And they’re totals Brad Hawpe may struggle to match if he spends the entire season as the Padres’ first baseman.

Rizzo actually has slowed down a bit of late.  He’s hit a mere .329/.415/.671 in May after dominating Triple-A pitching to the tune of a .400/.471/.744 line in April.

But even Rizzo’s bad splits are terrific.  He’s doing his best work at home in Kino Stadium, but he’s still hitting .340/.411/.660 in road games.  Of course the left-handed hitter is tearing up right-handers, but he’s hitting a fine .333/.364/.500 in 30 at-bats against southpaws.

And with 56 RBI in just 169 at-bats, it’s obvious he’s saving his biggest hits for when it matters.  11 of his homers have come with men on base.  He’s hitting .410/.474/.860 with runners on and .458/.521/.949 with RISP.

The Padres, meanwhile, have gotten a .224/.270/.367 line with six homers and 22 RBI in 196 at-bats from their first basemen.  Hawpe is on pace for 13 homers and 42 RBI at the moment.

To be fair, Hawpe is getting the job done at the moment.  He’s actually been very good this month.  But with Eric Hosmer having graduated, Rizzo has taken over as the game’s best first base prospect and he’s moved up his timetable in a big way with his huge start.  If Hawpe goes into another slump, it’s going to be very difficult for the Padres to resist the lure of calling him up.

Twins reach historic home run total during 11-4 rout of White Sox

Max Kepler
AP Images
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The Twins trampled the White Sox on Friday night, cruising to a cool 11-4 lead over their division rivals and collecting their sixth double-digit win of 2019. Even more impressive, they picked up their 99th, 100th, and 101st home runs, a feat that’s rarely been matched in a team’s first 50 games of any given season.

The first homer of the night was delivered by Eddie Rosario in the third inning. Working against a single-run deficit, Rosario lifted an 0-1 fastball from the White Sox’ Reynaldo López, planting it firmly in the left field stands and evening the score, 4-4. Two batters later, Rosario’s solo home run got a sequel: a 398-footer from Miguel Sanó, this one postmarked for the upper deck in left.

In the fourth, now leading 5-4, the Twins saw a third and final homer from the bat of Max Kepler, whose center-field blast traveled a projected 397 feet to give the club a two-run advantage. Per MLB Stats, the Twins’ record — 101 homers in 50 games — stands second only to that of the 1999 Mariners, who managed to club 102 home runs before their 51st game of the season.

While the record has undoubtedly been a team effort, Rosario leads the pack with a team-best 15 homers so far this year, closely followed by C.J. Cron (13), Max Kepler (11), and Jonathan Schoop (10). Sanó, whose solo shot marked the team’s 100th home run of 2019, has just five, though there’s little doubt he’ll reach double digits before the end of the season.

According to MLB.com’s Do-Hyoung Park, the Twins also made it to an even 300 runs scored in 2019, for a satisfying average of six runs per game and a new franchise record (previous high mark: 273 runs scored in 1992). With the win, they improved to 34-16 on the year and continue to hold a comfortable eight-game lead in the AL Central.