Mariners slugger Nelson Cruz had been sitting on 999 career RBI since hitting a solo home run one week ago against the Orioles. Cruz finally crossed into quadruple digits, blasting a solo home run off of Padres starter Joey Lucchesi in the bottom of the fifth inning on Wednesday night. Cruz’s homer, his 35th of the season, helped cut the Mariners’ deficit to two runs at 5-3.
Cruz, 38, has had a remarkable offensive career. He has spent 14 seasons in the big leagues, but the first four he wasn’t given the opportunity to play regularly. Still, he has managed 1,000 career RBI, something only 285 other hitters have done in their careers, along with 358 homers and an overall .275/.342/.519 batting line.
Cruz is tied for 86th on the all-time home run leaderboard with Yogi Berra and Carlos Lee. Cruz is a free agent after the season. Given his age and the recent trend of a weak free agent market, it remains to be seen just how much further up the ladder he can go. If he’s able to play and stay health next season, he should at least get to 400 career dingers, something only 55 players to date have done.