Meanwhile, in Brandon Phillips vs. Joey Votto land …

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From today’s Reds-Dbacks game, a sequence that will never get recounted by the folks like Paul Daugherty who like to say Joey Votto is a bum and Brandon Phillips is the team MVP.

Third inning: Shin-Soo Choo leads off with a single. The second batter — today Todd Frazier — strikes out looking.  Choo reaches second on a wild pitch. Joey Votto comes up and isn’t given a thing to hit, walking on four straight pitches. Another wild pitch sends Choo to third, Votto to second.  Then Brandon Phillips grounds out to score a run.

The two-hole hitter does nothing.  Votto, clearly a hitter the pitcher wants no part of, is given nothing to hit because he’d rather face Phillips.  Chance, circumstance and wildness put the runners in scoring position and what would be considered a failed at bat in most other situations gives Phillips is oh-so-valuable RBI.

But sure, if we want to go with the notion that Votto is somehow less of a player because of it, feel free.

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

Max Kepler
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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.