Minnesota Twins first baseman Joe Mauer has reached a pair of milestone since returning from the disabled list Monday, recording his 300th career double and 1,500th hit.
Mauer, who was out for nearly six weeks with an oblique injury, hit double No. 300 in his first game back Monday against against the Houston Astros.
He then reached 1,500 hits in Wednesday's game against the Astros, with a first-inning single doing the honors. Later in the same game, Mauer made No. 1,501 count, hitting a two-run home run in the sixth inning to give the Twins a 2-0 lead in an eventual 3-1 victory.
It seems some time off was just what the former catcher needed, as he heads into Saturday's contest against the Kansas City Royals with six hits in 16 at-bats (.375 batting average) over four games since returning from the disabled list. In addition to Wednesday's home run, two of Mauer's hits have gone for doubles, and he's also drawn a pair of walks.
Even with the recent outburst, Mauer is still on track to have arguably the worst season of his prestigious career. His .276 batting average and .347 on-base percentage would easily be the worst of his career, while his .370 slugging percentage would be just a smidgen better than the low-water mark of .368 that he posted in an injury-riddled 2011 campaign.
Of course, it would be rather unwise to count Mauer out, as he finished the last two years with an on-base percentage above .400, despite playing more than 70 games behind the plate in both seasons.
Now limited to first base and designated hitter, Mauer should be in for a productive final six weeks of the season, assuming he stays healthy.
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