Jim Thome hits 610th home run, passes Sammy Sosa on all-time list

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Jim Thome just keeps mashing those taters.

Thome connected for a solo home run off Derek Lowe in the top of the fourth inning this evening against the Indians.

It was Thome’s first home run as a member of the Orioles and the 610th home run of his career, passing Sammy Sosa for sole possession of seventh place on the all-time list. Just icing on the cake, it happened in Cleveland, where he began his career and amassed 337 of those home runs over parts of 13 seasons.

Thome, who turns 42 next month, has six home runs this season. The future Hall of Famer is now staring up at Ken Griffey, Jr., who ranks sixth all-time with 630 home runs.

Mariners claim Kaleb Cowart off waivers from Angels

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The Mariners announced that the club claimed Kaleb Cowart off waivers from the Angels. Interestingly, the Mariners list Cowart as both an outfielder and a right-handed pitcher. Cowart has never pitched professionally, but the Mariners will try him as a two-way player next season, Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times reports. Cowart was a highly regarded pitcher in high school.

Cowart, 26, has played all over the field, spending most of his time at third base and second base, but also logging a handful of innings at first base, shortstop, and left field.  He hasn’t hit much at all, owning a career .177/.241/.293 triple-slash line across 380 plate appearances in the big leagues. It makes sense to try another angle.

Shohei Ohtani, of course, is helping to popularize the rebirth of the two-way player. In his first year in the majors after having played in Japan for five years, Ohtani won the AL Rookie of the Year Award by posting a .925 OPS in 367 plate appearances along with a 3.31 ERA over 10 starts. Don’t expect Cowart to hit those lofty numbers, but additional versatility could prolong his life in the majors.