Mid Pacific’s Isiah Kiner-Falefa has continued to be one of the lone bright spots in what has been a disappointing year for the Texas Rangers in 2020.
At 17-30, the Rangers are only ahead of the Boston Red Sox (17-31) in the American League standings. That has little to do with Kiner-Falefa’s performance, whose hitting streak ended at 14 in a seven-inning game against the Oakland Athletics on Saturday.
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After hitting .271 to begin August, Kiner-Falefa is now in fifth place in the American League at .321 after going a molten 21-for-51 in the month of September. Kiner-Falefa’s 14-game hitting streak tied Shane Victorino for the fourth-longest hitting streak by an MLB player from Hawaii. Victorino also went on hitting streaks of 15 and 16 games. The record belongs to Roosevelt alum Mike Lum, who went on an 18-game hitting streak in 1973.
Here are how other players in the MLB with Hawaii ties did this past week:
Kolten Wong, second baseman, St. Louis Cardinals (Kamehameha-Hawaii and University of Hawaii): Wong, who is hitting leadoff for the Cardinals this year, has also had a hot September. He’s 16-for-44 (.364) this month and is hitting .270 this season. He’s also currently on a five-game hitting streak. Wong also received his 2019 Gold Glove before Sunday’s game.
The 20-20 Cardinals have 20 games remaining and are currently No. 7 in the National League playoff standings.
Kurt Suzuki, catcher, Washington Nationals (Baldwin): Suzuki played in three games over the past week, going 3-for-4 with a double, RBI and run against the Tampa Bay Rays on Monday. However, an 0-for-4 day at the plate lowered his season batting average to .270. The Nationals have continued to disappoint at 17-28 and are the third lowest team in the National League standings.
Greg Garcia, infielder, San Diego Padres (University of Hawaii): Garcia is still playing sparingly for the Padres, but went 1-for-2 with a crucial single in the bottom of the second inning that drove in two runs in a 6-0 victory over the San Francisco Giants on Sunday. The Padres are on a seven-game winning streak and are 2.5 games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League standings. The Dodgers and Padres will square off in a critical three-game series starting on Monday.
Jordan Yamamoto, starting pitcher, Miami Marlins (Saint Louis): Yamamoto allowed 13 runs (12 earned), 11 hits and four home runs in 2.2 innings in a 29-9 loss to the Atlanta Braves on Wednesday. Yamamoto, who threw 94 pitches in his outing, was optioned to the team’s alternate training site on Friday.
Josh Rojas, utility, Arizona Diamondbacks (University of Hawaii): Rojas went 6-for-23 at the plate this week and is hitting .220 for the season. He had one of the MLB’s top defensive plays on the week on Tuesday, turning a slick double play against the Dodgers.
Rico Garcia, pitcher, San Francisco Giants (Hawaii Pacific): In his first appearance in an MLB game since Aug. 11, Garcia pitched two innings of relief in a 10-1 win over the Seattle Mariners on Wednesday, striking out two while allowing one hit and one run. Wednesday also happened to be Roberto Clemente day in the MLB, and Garcia was one of many players who opted to don No. 21 as his jersey number. More on what Clemente means to Garcia here:
Other players with Hawaii ties in MLB 60-man player pools:
David Freitas, catcher, Milwaukee Brewers (University of Hawaii)
Joey Cantillo, pitcher, Cleveland Indians (Kailua)
Kodi Medeiros, pitcher, Chicago White Sox (Waiakea)
Inactive players with Hawaii ties on MLB rosters:
Kirby Yates, closer, San Diego Padres (Kauai)