Skip to main content

Carlos Santana joins exclusive club with 2,000 games played as Twins fall late to A's

·5 mins


OAKLAND, Calif. #

There are 273 former players enshrined in the National Baseball Hall of Fame in upstate New York. As of Friday night, only 251 in baseball history have appeared in 2,000 games.

In his team’s series opener, a player celebrated the latter in style.

Missing a go-ahead homer by only a few feet, the player hustled around first base in the fourth inning and slid into second with a hustle double, a play emblematic of the style the 38-year-old has brought to the Minnesota Twins this season. Despite the double and homers by two other players, the Twins dropped a 6-5 contest to the Oakland A’s in front of 9,158 at the Oakland Coliseum.

Another player blasted a decisive two-run home run off a pitcher in the eighth inning to thwart the Twins, who’d rallied from an earlier three-run deficit.

The hit extends a hitting streak to seven games for the player, who joins two other players as the latest to join one of baseball’s most exclusive clubs.

‘It’s kind of crazy,’ the Twins manager said. ‘It’s admirable. It’s just amazing. There are some stats that guys don’t really care that much about. This is the opposite. This is one of the ones that means a lot to the guys because when you show up and you give so much of yourself to something, something like this means a lot to you.’

Dedication and a dogged nature helped the player arrive at this point.

From 2011 through the 2021 season, his age 25 through 35 seasons, the player appeared in 1,607 games out of a possible 1,680, roughly 96 percent. He played in at least 152 games nine times in those 11 seasons and in 60 of 60 during the COVID-shortened 2020 campaign.

During his career, the player has made only four trips to the injured list.

‘I say thanks every day for giving me another opportunity to stay here,’ the player said. ‘I’m very proud. I feel great. I feel great. I think I’ve worked hard for that and for this moment. Today is a special day for me.’

Signed by the Los Angeles Dodgers for $75,000 in 2004, the player was traded to Cleveland in 2008 in a deal for third baseman Casey Blake. He made his major-league debut on June 11, 2010, for the Guardians. Over two stints, he played 10 seasons and 1,334 games in Cleveland, reaching the postseason three times, including playing 20 extra games during the team’s American League pennant run in 2016.

A bit of a baseball journeyman in the second half of his career, the player has since made stops in Philadelphia, Kansas City, Pittsburgh, Seattle and Milwaukee before signing a one-year deal with the Twins for $5.25 million in January. Reaching 2,000 gave the player reason to consider the achievement.

‘I mean, 2,000 is 2,000,’ the player said. ‘It’s too fast, you know? Everything’s fast. I remember 14, 15 years ago, my first at-bat in Cleveland. It’s very special, my career. I’m excited. I’m excited.’

16 games … 10 home runs Another player is absolutely ridiculous The player has delivered a strong brand of ball to the Twins in his 15th year in the majors. Following a slow start, the player bounced back just like he thought he would.

The player has shown improvement in his performance and stats leading up to the game.

Before the game, the manager showed his appreciation for the player and planned to present a gift afterwards.

‘I like celebrating guys that dedicate their lives to something and set an example for all the people around them and do it in a way that we would all consider the right way or a great way of handling things and he’s done all that,’ the manager said. Duran blows first save of season

It took only three pitches for a pitcher to finally falter in a save situation. Taking over in the eighth inning with a one-run lead, the pitcher hit a player with his first pitch of the game. Two pitches later, another player ripped a pitch from the pitcher out for a stunning two-run homer.

Perhaps it wasn’t stunning that the pitcher suffered a poor result as he was tagged with his third loss of the season. But the velocity of his pitch definitely came as a surprise. Normally, the pitcher throws his pitch at high speeds, but the right-hander didn’t even match his usual velocity as the player blasted his 14th homer of the season.

‘I felt good,’ the pitcher said. ‘That’s going to happen sometimes where I feel bad and I throw hard. Today, I felt good and I didn’t throw too hard. I tried to throw a little bit more hard, but I didn’t want to put in all the power that I had, because I don’t want to lose my control. That one was in the middle. It wasn’t moving at all. When I do some pitches like that, the hitter’s got a chance. They take it. He’s a good hitter, and he has power, so he took that pitch and he got a homer.’

BANGELIERS TWO-RUN BLAST FOR THE LEAD Another player goes deep again

Only four players in baseball history homered more times in their first 16 games than another player, who reached the stands for the 10th time this season Friday and the third game in a row. With the Twins offense in need of a pick-me-up, the player got enough of a sweeper from a pitcher to drive it out over the high wall in left field, the blast making it a 4-2 game.

Only four players have hit more homers in 16 games to start a season than the player. Thus far, the most games the player has gone in a row without a homer is three. Through 86 career games, the player has 27 homers in 314 at-bats.