Twins slugger Joe Mauer made history on Friday night after slashing a two-out single against the Athletics’ Sean Manaea in the fifth inning. The ball rolled into left field to mark Mauer’s 2,086th career hit, good for second-most in franchise history.
The 35-year-old first baseman/DH accomplished the feat in a 15-year span with the Twins, eclipsing the 2,085 hits Hall of Fame infielder Rod Carew collected with the club during the first 12 seasons of his career. Carew eventually polished off a 19-year track in the majors after scooting just beyond the 3,000-hit mark, with 3,053 knocks to his name. Mauer still needs another 219 hits to take first place from Hall of Famer Kirby Puckett, whose 2,304 hits have yet to be bested by any franchise player so far.
While Mauer’s fifth-inning single broke an important record, it wasn’t quite enough to narrow the team’s one-run deficit. Manaea induced a fly out from Logan Forsythe to bring the inning to a close, and the A’s advanced to a four-run lead following Matt Chapman‘s three-RBI blast off of Oliver Drake. The Twins currently trail 5-1 in the bottom of the eighth.
Robert Murray and MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reported earlier, respectively, that the Phillies signed pitcher Francisco Liriano and infielder Neil Walker to minor league contracts. If he makes the major league roster, Liriano will earn a salary of $1.5 million with an additional $1.25 million available through performance incentives. Walker’s contract information is not yet known.
Liriano, 36, struggled from 2016-18 but enjoyed a productive year out of the bullpen for the Pirates this past season. He posted a 3.47 ERA with 63 strikeouts and 35 walks over 70 innings. The lefty was quite effective against same-handed batters, limiting fellow lefties to a .659 OPS. That would figure to be a key component if Liriano makes the Phillies’ Opening Day roster.
Walker, 34, hit .261/.344/.395 with eight home runs and 38 RBI over 381 plate appearances with the Marlins last year. The veteran is versastile, having played first, second, and third base along with both corner outfield spots in recent seasons. Despite Walker’s versatility, it is tough to see room on the Phillies’ roster for him, barring injuries to other players. It never hurts to have depth.