Braves infielder Brandon Phillips became the 286th member of the 2,000 hit club on Wednesday in the first game of a doubleheader against the Phillies. In the top of the first inning with a runner on second base and no outs, Phillips sent a 2-2 Jerad Eickhoff curve into shallow center field for an RBI single.
Phillips joins Adrian Gonzalez and teammate Nick Markakis as players who have recently joined the 2,000 hit club. Next up on the list is Twins first baseman Joe Mauer, who is at 1,949. Chase Utley, the active player closest behind Mauer, is more than 100 hits behind.
Phillips, 36, is in his 16th season in the majors. For the first 15 years, he was a full-time second baseman, but the Braves moved him to third base to make room for prospect Ozzie Albies at second. Phillips entered Wednesday’s action batting .293/.331/.427 with 11 home runs, 51 RBI, and 67 runs scored in 493 plate appearances.
TORONTO — The Blue Jays clinched a postseason berth Thursday without taking the field.
Toronto was assured of an AL wild card berth when the Boston Red Sox beat the Baltimore Orioles 5-3.
If Toronto holds its current position as the first of the AL’s three wild cards, the Blue Jays would open a best-of-three wild-card series at Rogers Centre next week.
“These guys are excited to be in this position,” Blue Jays manager John Schneider said after Wednesday’s 8-3 loss to the New York Yankees. “You’ve got three really good pitchers lined up against a good Boston team, playing at home. So I think it’s more excitement more than it’s nerves or anything. I think the guys are going to come out and be ready to roll on Friday night.”
Toronto became the fourth AL team to clinch a playoff berth, joining division champions Houston, the Yankees and Cleveland. The Astros and Yankees have first-round byes.
The Blue Jays last went to the playoffs in 2020, when they were knocked out with two straight losses to Tampa Bay.
Eight of the 12 berths in the expanded postseason have been clinched: The Los Angeles Dodgers and St. Louis earned division titles, and Atlanta and the New York Mets are assured no worse the wild cards while still competing to win the NL East. The Dodgers have a first-round bye.