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Mookie Betts joins 30/30 club


American League MVP Award candidate Mookie Betts stole his 30th base of the season on Wednesday afternoon as the Red Sox took on the Orioles. Betts walked to lead off the second inning against Donnie Hart, then swiped second base. He was stranded, but it didn’t matter much as the Red Sox lead 10-3 as of this writing.

Betts joins the Indians’ José Ramírez in the 30/30 club this season. The two are the first members of the 30/30 club since Mike Trout and Ryan Braun in 2012. Their 30/30 seasons are the 24th and 25th since 2000, and Betts’ is the 61st all-time.

Betts, who is 2-for-2 as this is published, entered the afternoon batting a major league best .343, slugging a major league best .639, and has scored a major league-high 125 runs. He also has a .434 on-base percentage, 32 home runs, 80 RBI, and 46 doubles. According to Baseball Reference, he has accrued 10.7 Wins Above Replacement, the highest total since Barry Bonds put up 11.8 in 2002.

Thanks in large part to Betts’ efforts, the Red Sox are on their way to their 107th win of the season. The previous high in team history was 105 set way back in 1912. The Red Sox will face the winner of the AL Wild Card game (Yankees or Athletics) in the ALDS and will have home field advantage throughout the playoffs.

Donaldson ejected for kicking dirt on plate after home run

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Minnesota’s Josh Donaldson managed to get ejected while hitting a home run.

Donaldson barked at plate umpire Dan Bellino for the second time in the sixth inning of a 4-3 loss to the Chicago White Sox on Thursday.

With the score 2-2, Bellino called a strike when the 2015 AL MVP checked his swing on a 2-0 pitch from Reynaldo Lopez.

Manager Rocco Baldelli came out to speak with Bellino, and Donaldson homered down the left-field line on the next offering. After rounding the bases, Donaldson kicked dirt at home plate as he crossed it.

Bellino ejected him immediately, and Donaldson, realizing he had missed home plate, returned to the plate to touch it and then argued as he kicked more dirt on it.

Donaldson also had argued with Bellino on a 1-1 breaking ball in the first inning that appeared to be high but was called a strike, leading to a strikeout.

“We need Josh on the field, out there playing, and at third base,” Baldelli said. “That’s when we’re at our best. And so that’s really the end of it. I think we can move past it at his point, and go from here.”

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