Yangervis Solarte is already a fan favourite. His energy on the field in contagious, and the reason behind it is even better. He also isn’t half bad on the field.
Then he had eight hits in one day.
On Thursday, in the Toronto Blue Jays’ doubleheader against the Cleveland baseball, Solarte easily stole the show. In the first game, after rolling and face planting when advancing to third base in the third inning, Solarte collected five hits, one of them a game-winning grand slam in the top of the 11th.
He led off his second game with a home run, giving the Blue Jays the lead. He added a double and single later.
He is not human.
It broke the franchise record for most hits in a doubleheader, previously held by Paul Molitor in September of 1995.
Perhaps the Toronto Sun headline put it best: “Solarte has game for the ages as Blue Jays outlast Indians.”
And he did it all with a bandage on his upper lip and cuts on his chin and nose.
Excluding Solarte, the doubleheader was still eventful. Josh Donaldson, in his first day back from the disabled list, hit two home runs and two doubles over the two games, and Kevin Pillar extended his hitting streaks to nine games with hits in both games. Teoscar Hernandez lost his hit streak after going 0-4 in the second game.
In between games, a storm of moves reshaped the roster. With Tim Mayza already up as the 26th man for the doubleheader, the Blue Jays placed Steve Pearce on the disabled list with an oblique strain (aggravated during the first game), optioned Danny Barnes, called up Joe Biagini and purchased the contract of Luis Santos.
As a result, Gift Ngoepe was removed from the 40-man roster.
Yesterday morning, the Blue Jays placed Justin Smoak on the paternity list and optioned Ngoepe to triple-A Buffalo. They recalled Dwight Smith Jr., activated Donaldson from the DL and recalled Mayza.
Some other stuff:
- Ichiro Suzuki isn’t retiring, but he’s coming close to it. He’ll transition to a front office position this season, and speculation is that he’ll play in the series in Japan next season before officially retiring.
- Major League Baseball is going to Europe. The New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox will play a regular-season series in London in 2019, and I can’t wait.
- The Texas Rangers are offering a scholarship for an original formula or statistic to be used in their front office, which is pretty awesome (except that the reward is only $5,000). Read more here.