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Saturday, August 13, 2022

Josh Donaldson Scores Baseball’s Two Millionth Run

In its 146th official season, Major League Baseball reached the two million-run plateau on Saturday when Josh Donaldson of the Minnesota Twins trotted home for the milestone.

Going into Saturday’s games, there were just 13 runs left to hit two million, and with several afternoon games, the competition was on for who would get his name added to the record books (at least temporarily).

That honor fell to Donaldson, who scored on a ground-rule double by Nelson Cruz in the first inning of his team’s game against the Kansas City Royals at Target Field. Donaldson touched home plate just moments ahead of players in other cities, including Tim Anderson of the White Sox, who was playing in Chicago, and Odubel Herrera of the Philadelphia Phillies, who was playing in Tampa.

“I don’t know what to think, I’ll be honest with you,” Twins Manager Rocco Baldelli said in a postgame video conference. “But I know J.D. only does big things, so I’m not surprised to hear that he scored the two millionth run of all time.”

The Elias Sports Bureau confirmed that Donaldson was the lucky guy, though his accomplishment received relatively little notice compared with the millionth run, which came amid a national promotional campaign in 1975.

The millionth run was supposedly scored by Bob Watson of the Houston Astros, but it was later concluded that the milestone had been recorded far earlier because records from some major leagues had not been factored into the total. Similarly, Donaldson’s name will not be associated with the two millionth run for long, as baseball will incorporate statistics from select Negro leagues in the near future.

As the milestone approached, there had even been some debate about when it would be reached, as another respected record keeper, Baseball Reference, had a figure slightly higher than Elias’s — by 97 runs — entering the season. The discrepancy resulted from statistical accounting anomalies like forfeits, disputed games and protested games and the sheer volume of over 221,000 games across a century and a half. Elias’s total is considered the official number by M.L.B.

The very first run in M.L.B. history was scored on April 22, 1876, by Tim McGinley, a catcher for the Boston Red Stockings, the antecedents of today’s Atlanta Braves. He scored in the top of the second inning at Philadelphia, as Boston beat the Athletics (no relation to the modern club), 6-5, in the first game of the first season (as recognized by M.L.B.).

Yankees Lose Second Straight to Detroit

DETROIT — Jonathan Schoop homered and Spencer Turnbull pitched well into the sixth inning as the Detroit Tigers beat the Yankees, 6-1, on Saturday.

Turnbull (4-2) allowed one run on three hits and three walks in five and two-thirds innings. He struck out six to improve to 3-0 with a 1.33 E.R.A. in his past four starts, including a no-hitter against the Seattle Mariners.

“I felt great other than one bad inning,” Turnbull said. “Once I got through that, I was able to get locked in again.”

Yankees starter Deivi Garcia (0-2) was called up from Class AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre before the game and allowed five runs — four earned — and five hits in four and a third innings.

“This was really a grind for me,” Garcia said. “I’m usually a lot more consistent with my pitches, but that wasn’t happening today.”

The Yankees have dropped the first two games of a weekend series at last-place Detroit after winning seven of nine. They hadn’t lost a series at Comerica Park since late August 2014.

“We obviously aren’t doing what we need to do offensively,” Yankees Manager Aaron Boone said. “We’ve got hitters in their prime with a track record of success at this level. We just need to make sure we’re getting them ready every day.”

Lindor Joins Homer Parade in Mets Win

Francisco Lindor, James McCann and Jonathan Villar hit three of the Mets’ season-high five homers, Taijuan Walker pitched five scoreless innings in his return from the injured list and the Mets routed Atlanta, 13-2, Saturday night as word spread that Braves star Marcell Ozuna had been arrested.

Brandon Drury and Billy McKinney piled on with homers during the Mets’ seven-run sixth inning. McKinney was playing his third game for the Mets after being acquired this week from Milwaukee.

Lindor connected in the seventh, his fourth homer since being traded by Cleveland in January and signing a $341 million, 10-year deal with the Mets.

Lindor raised his batting average to .191 with two hits, snapping a 1-for-17 slide. Booed frequently at Citi Field this month, he said before the game he understood fan frustrations and was working fervently to fix his swing.

Walker (4-1) had been out since May 17 with left side tightness but returned in top form, striking out eight while allowing two hits and a walk. The right-hander threw 80 pitches and slimmed his E.R.A. to 1.84 over nine starts since signing a $23 million, three-year contract with the Mets as a free agent.

The Mets have won four straight despite having 16 players on the injured list, improving to 25-20. They had 13 hits and topped three homers in a game for the first time this year.

Atlanta dropped to 24-26. The Braves haven’t had a winning record all season.

After Friday’s series opener was postponed by rain, the skies cleared in time Saturday for the teams to play on a soggy but manageable field. The temperature at first pitch was 51 degrees, and showers forecast throughout the weekend held off long enough for the clubs to get the game in.

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