Houston Astros ace Justin Verlander reached a pair of milestones Saturday night, becoming the 18th major league pitcher to reach 3,000 career strikeouts and the 19th in the modern era (since 1900) to record 300 strikeouts in a season.
Personal Award - Baseball Wiretap
Mets slugger Pete Alonso hit his 53rd home run of the season Saturday night, breaking the MLB rookie record Yankees star Aaron Judge set in 2017.
A 24-year-old who debuted on Opening Day, Alonso launched a 93 mph fastball on a 1-2 count from Atlanta Braves right-hander Mike Foltynewicz just to the right of straightaway center field. The solo shot gave New York a 3-0 lead in the third inning, which would hold as the final score.
Twins slugger Nelson Cruz hit his 400th career home run, becoming the 57th player in major league history to reach the mark.
Cruz connected in the fourth inning Sunday for his 40th homer of the season. He became the third player in Twins history to hit 40 home runs in a season, joining Harmon Killebrew and Brian Dozier.
"It's nice to do it in front of the fans. I think they deserve it,'' Cruz said. "They've been such a big influence for us as a team. They come up every day with that energy.''
CC Sabathia wiped tears away with his hands and the top of his jersey. Honored at Yankee Stadium ahead of his retirement at season's end, his emotions came out as his wife, mother and children read tributes on a video broadcast on the center-field scoreboard.
"This is the first time I got emotional,'' Sabathia said after the Yankees' regular-season home finale Sunday against Toronto, an 8-3 victory.
Houston Astros right-hander Gerrit Cole became the 18th major league pitcher since 1900 to strike out at least 300 batters in a season Wednesday night.
Cole reached the milestone by getting Shin-Soo Choo of the visiting Texas Rangers to whiff on an 89 mph changeup to end the sixth inning. It was Cole's eighth strikeout of the game.
The San Francisco Giants helped manager Bruce Bochy reach yet another milestone before his retirement at the end of the season.
San Francisco's 11-3 rout of the Boston Red Sox on Wednesday night was Bochy's 2,000th career victory as a manager in the majors.
"I've been lucky. I've been blessed to have been doing this this long. That's what it means," Bochy said.
Gary Pressy has played the organ at Wrigley Field for 2,679 consecutive Chicago Cubs games -- and counting. That streak, however, will come to an end after this season.
The 61-year-old Pressy, who began his career with the Cubs in 1987, is retiring after this season.
"I've been there a third of a century, 33 years, and I think the cup is full," Pressy told the Chicago Tribune on Friday. "I was debating it back and forth, but I really just wanted to spend more quality time with my family. Around the All-Star break I really got to thinking about it and made my decision."
Gerrit Cole celebrated his 29th birthday by allowing one hit with 15 strikeouts in a season-high eight innings, and the Astros routed Felix Hernandez and the Mariners 21-1 on Sunday to complete a four-game sweep.
Cole (16-5) won his 12th straight decision and joined Pedro Martinez as the only pitchers in major league history with 14 or more strikeouts in three straight games. Cole leads the major league with a career-high 281 strikeouts, and his 2.73 ERA in second in the AL behind the 2.52 for teammate Justin Verlander.
Carlos Carrasco made his return to the mound from leukemia Sunday and the Indians pitcher was applauded by both teams in a touching scene during Tampa Bay's 8-2 victory that completed a three-game sweep.
The right-hander entered in the seventh inning for his first major league appearance since being diagnosed with a treatable form of leukemia in June. He received a standing ovation from the Tropicana Field crowd, and players from both sides cheered while standing in front of their respective dugouts.
Justin Verlander pitched his third career no-hitter, punctuating a dominant season with an overpowering performance to lead the Astros past the Blue Jays 2-0 on Sunday.
Verlander struck out 14 and allowed just one runner, walking Cavan Biggio with one out in the first inning.