Fans could root for left-handed starter Mark Buehrle in his quest for a 14th consecutive 200-inning major league season (currently at 194), Edwin Encarnacion’s pursuit for a third straight 100-RBI campaign (93) or Dioner Navarro, who needs two home runs for a career-high 14.
Then there’s right-fielder Jose Bautista, who many consider to be wrapping up his most complete season as a major leaguer.
Bautista raised his batting average to .288 with a three-hit night in Monday’s 14-4 drubbing of the visiting Seattle Mariners.
Among Bautista’s three hits was his 35th homer of the season while his two runs batted in gives him 103 RBIs to match his total from 2011.
Baltimore’s Nelson Cruz, who hasn’t gone deep since Sept. 8, leads the majors with 39 home runs, followed by Houston’s Chris Carter and injured Miami Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton, each with 37.
Bautista, Boston’s David Ortiz, Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels and Chicago White Sox rookie Jose Abreu have 35 long balls.
Bautista has now homered three times in his past five games and 10 times in the past 26 days.
It wouldn’t be a shock if the 34-year-old added another five in the Jays’ final six games to reach 40. It might be more surprising if Cruz, Carter, et al kept the baseball in the park for the remainder of the week.
So we ask you, will Bautista have a final week of the season to remember and win his third major league home run title in the past five years? He led baseball with 54 in 2010 and 43 in 2011.
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