Carlos Santana homered in both games of Thursday’s doubleheader against the Twins and the Indians switch-hitter has been such a force at the plate that it’s hard to remember he was hitting .159 as of June 1.
But it’s true, Santana had a .159 batting average through two months of the season while struggling defensively in an attempt to transition from catcher to third base.
Coincidence or not Santana’s last game at third base came on May 22 and since then he’s hit .279 with a .404 on-base percentage and .543 slugging percentage in 89 games, including 22 homers, 17 doubles, and 64 walks on the way to a .947 OPS.
Among all American League hitters during that same span Santana ranks first in walks, third in on-base percentage, fourth in homers, and sixth in slugging percentage. And now, even including his brutal first two months, Santana’s overall OPS is .818 compared to his career mark of .815. That’s a helluva turnaround.
Update (9:04 PM EST): The game went into a rain delay with one out in the bottom of the fifth inning of a 2-2 tie, so the game isn’t official yet. Which means the Orioles aren’t yet the official record holders.
A third-inning solo home run by Austin Meadows off of Asher Wojciechowski on Thurday night marked the 259th home run Orioles pitching has allowed this season, setting a new major league record, per MASN’s Roch Kubatko. The previous record was held by the 2016 Reds at 258. Willie Adames hit No. 260, a game-tying solo shot in the fifth inning. The Orioles will have 34 more games to add on to their record after tonight.
The Yankees have famously accounted for 61 of the 260 home runs (23.5%) against Orioles pitchers this season. The Red Sox are next at 28 followed by the Twins and Blue Jays at 23 each.
David Hess has accounted for the most home runs on the O’s staff, yielding 28 dingers. Dylan Bundy is next at 25 homers allowed.
The Orioles are not the only team that will pass the 2016 Reds. The Mariners are on pace to allow 275 home runs. The Yankees, 266. Phillies, 262. Angels, 259. Pretty amazing.