Bonds also became just the fifth Pirates player in the modern era to qualify for the batting title and finish with a batting average of at least .300, an on-base percentage of at least .400 and a slugging percentage of at least .600. Arky Vaughan had done it in 1935, and then Ralph Kiner reached all three marks in 1947, '49 and '51. Since Bonds, one other Pirates player -- Brian Giles in 1999 -- has accomplished the feat.
Since the start of May, Andrew McCutchen has been on an incredible tear, hitting .377 with an on-base percentage of .430 and a slugging average of .698. It's a two-month stretch like that, which makes the possibility of ending the season at .300/.400/.600 a real consideration for the 25-year-old Pirates All-Star.
McCutchen went 4-for-5 on Monday to lift his slash line to .354/.407/.600. McCutchen is one of two qualifying players in the Majors to be at .300/.400/.600 for the season, with Joey Votto being the other. McCuthcen has five games with four or more hits this year to lead the Majors.
The Pirates collected 18 hits, hit two home runs, had nine extra-base hits, and defeated the Astros, 11-2, to improve to 43-36.
Over their past 35 games, Pittsburgh is 23-12 and is averaging 5.2 runs per game. Over their first 44, the Pirates were 20-24 and averaged 2.9 runs per game.
The Pirates have homered in 10 consecutive games -- the club's longest streak since a 10-game run late in the 2005 season. The last time they had a longer streak was in 1994, when the Pirates hit home runs in 13 straight games.
The Angels defeated the Indians, 3-0, behind Weaver's seven innings of five-hit ball. Since the start of the 2011 season, Weaver has nine starts in which he has gone at least seven innings and allowed no runs. Those nine are the fourth most in the Majors, behind Cliff Lee's 12, Hiroki Kuroda's 11 and Clayton Kershaw's 10.
The Twins beat the Tigers, 6-4, giving Gardenhire his 900th career victory as a manager (all with Minnesota). Gardenhire is the third manager for the franchise to reach the milestone, following Bucky Harris (1,336 wins) and Tom Kelly (1,140).
The Senators/Twins franchise is one of the three teams to be able to claim three managers with at least 900 wins. The others are the Dodgers, with three such managers, and the Yankees, with five.
Bautista hit his Major League-leading 27th home run of the year, and now has 124 since the beginning of the 2010 season. Those 124 match Carlos Delgado's total from 1999-2001 for the most in any three-year stretch for any player in Blue Jays history.
Since the 1962 season -- when all Major League teams began playing under a 162-game schedule -- Bautista is the 43rd player to have at least 27 homers by the numerical halfway point of the season (the Blue Jays have played 80 games).
In 2001, Bonds had the most, with 39. After Bonds, Mark McGwire (37 in 1998) owns the second most, and he is followed by Reggie Jackson (34 in '69) and four players tied with 32. Those four are Ken Griffey Jr. in 1994, Sammy Sosa in '98 and '99, and Luis Gonzalez in 2001.
Samardzija struck out a career-high 11, allowed one run on four hits, and picked up his sixth win of the year in the Cubs' 4-1 victory over the Braves. Over the past 20 seasons, the Cubs have 146 games in which a pitcher has fanned at least 10 batters -- the third-highest tally behind the Diamondbacks' 189 and the 148 from the Red Sox, and just one ahead of the Phillies' 145.
In the Cardinals' 9-3 win over the Rockies, Beltran drove in two runs to extend his RBI streak to nine games.
Most Relief Appearances With No Saves
In his 213th career appearance, Thatcher struck out the only batter he faced and picked up his first career save. Thatcher had owned the seventh-most career relief appearances without a save.
Amarista hit his fourth home run in his past five games. Before this barrage, Amarista had collected no home runs in 55 career games.
Parker improved to 5-3 after allowing one run in 6 2/3 innings in Oakland's 6-1 win over Boston. Parker has nine starts this season in which he has finished with at least six innings and no more than one run allowed -- a total that ties him with Zack Greinke, Felix Hernandez and Jered Weaver for the second most in the Majors, behind R.A. Dickey's 10.
Roger Schlueter is senior researcher for MLB Productions. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less