Encarnacion hits 2 HRs, reaches 400 for career


ANAHEIM, Calif. — Edwin Encarnacion paused at the plate and watched while his 400th homer flew toward the Mariners’ bullpen beyond left field. He pumped his fists as he circled the bases while his teammates went wild for the milestone.

Although Seattle’s season has been mostly dismal, Encarnacion has done his best to provide something to cheer. His latest power barrage even propelled the Mariners to a rare series win.

Encarnacion hit two homers to become the third active player with 400 homers, and Tom Murphy added two more homers in the Mariners’ 9-3 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Sunday.

Encarnacion and Daniel Vogelbach hit back-to-back homers in the sixth, and Encarnacion added a solo shot in the seventh for his 35th career multihomer game and his second against the Angels this month. His first home run Sunday, which came in the sixth inning, traveled 408 feed to left center. He homered again an inning later, 386 feet to left field.

Kyle Seager connected in the ninth for the Mariners’ sixth homer, their most in a game since May 12, 2015. Seattle took two of three from Los Angeles for its first series win since mid-May and its first road series victory since mid-April.

But the Mariners were focused on celebrating Encarnacion, who also got his 1,200th career RBI in the process. He is the only player with at least 20 home runs in each of the past eight seasons.

“I feel really good that I accomplished this,” Encarnacion said. “I’ve been waiting for it for a long time.”

While becoming the 56th player in baseball history to hit 400 homers and first to accomplish the feat in a Mariners uniform, Encarnacion pushed into the AL lead with his 20th homer of the season. Even at 36 years old, Encarnacion shows few signs of slowing: His 282 homers since 2012 are the most in the majors.

“What can you say (except) unbelievable,” Seattle manager Scott Servais said of the milestone. “There’s what, 19,000 guys that have played? Little disappointed nothing showed up on the (scoreboard) here, to be honest. But everybody in our dugout knew what was going on, how important it was to him. He’s been a true professional since we got him. Nothing but happy for him.”

Although his name frequently comes up in trade rumors around the struggling Mariners, he’s not planning beyond the next game and his next statistical goal, which might be 500 homers.

“We’ll see,” Encarnacion said with a smile. “I’m ready for it, but I don’t think about that. I just try to keep winning.”

The only other active members of the 400-homer club are Miguel Cabrera and Albert Pujols, who remained stuck on 644 homers after going 0 for 4 with two flyouts to the warning track in center.

Information from The Associated Press and ESPN Stats & Information was used in this report.

Source link