Vladimir Guerrero and Salvador Pérez squeeze Ohtani in career home runs

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. / Capture by MLB Network

The race for the lead in home runs in the American League – and throughout the MLB – takes Latin American heat and color, with the Dominican Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and the Venezuelan Salvador Pérez squeezing and leaving behind the Japanese phenomenon Shohei Ohtani.

Guerrero hit hard this Friday, again, by shaking his 46th homer and breaking the tie he had with Pérez.

The Toronto Blue Jays’ Dominican continues his unthinkable battle for the Triple Crown of batting. It is a feat that only the Venezuelan Miguel Cabrera has achieved between 1968 and 2021.

“He continues to surprise me every day, and continues to break records for his age,” exclaimed Charlie Montoyo, the manager of the Canadians, cited by MLB.com. “I think he already tied Joe DiMaggio.”

DiMaggio, in fact, had 46 with the New York Yankees in 1937, at the age of 22. That is the age of Guerrero.

The first baseman also woke up this Saturday as the leader with .318 average. He’s third in RBIs with 104.

“He’s really amazing,” Montoyo admitted. “Simply extraordinary. This boy is one of the best hitters in baseball. And at that age, it’s great. “

Eddie Matthews, a Hall of Famer like DiMaggio, is the only one above the two of them. He shook 47 with the Milwaukee Braves in the National League in 1953.

Pérez went blank on the day of the Kansas City Royals. It was his first game without home runs, after three straight games putting the ball into orbit.

The Valencia-born catcher equaled the all-time major league record for sluggers whose primary position is catching on Thursday. The legendary Johnny Bench gave 45 in 1970, with the Cincinnati Reds.

“We are witnessing a special season,” declared Monarchs manager Mike Matheny, a ESPN.com. “We are witnessing a special player. Being able to put face to face with (Bench) one of those that most would say is the best, that is quite rare ”.

“It seems like he’s hitting home runs every day against every team,” Oakland Athletics manager Bob Melvin chimed in. “Right now you can’t miss a single pitch against him.”

The push from Guerrero and Pérez takes them to the border of 50 homers, with two weeks of action left. That was a niche for which Ohtani seemed predestined.

The Japanese started September with 42 home runs and all tickets sold to be the AL MVP. But this month he only got 2 more, with averages of .196 / .302 / .326.

If Ohtani’s thing is physical fatigue, for fully fulfilling the double role of pitcher and hitter, it is something that is not yet precise. It also suffers from discomfort. This Friday he could not make his opening on the little nose, because of that.

Read also: The club of the great Cuban home runners receives Adolis García with applause

He is still the favorite to be the MVP. After all, baseball has never seen a player hit 44 hits in the same season, drove in 94 runs and posted a 3.36 ERA in 21 starts, with 136 strikeouts in 115.1 innings.

But the home run championship race is open. And it squeezes in Hispanic Heritage Month, with Guerrero and Pérez as the main sponsors of the party.


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