With Tuesday's fourth-inning long ball off the St. Louis Cardinals' Carlos Martinez, Pedro Alvarez of the Pittsburgh Pirates reached 100 career home runs, per MLB.com. The 415-foot shot was his 14th of the season, resulting in his 43rd and 44th RBI of the year.
Alvarez became the 23rd member of the Pirates to reach this milestone, passing Jeff King on the franchise's all-time list to move into a tie with Garrett Jones for No. 22 overall. Of these 23 names, only three Pirates players have eclipsed the 200-homer mark. Willie Stargell leads the pack with 475 homers, followed by Ralph Kiner (301) and Roberto Clemente (240).
The 27-year-old Alvarez has spent his entire career in Pittsburgh, making his MLB debut in 2010. He launched just 20 total homers during his first two seasons in the majors but followed it up by hitting 30 in 2012 and a career-high 36 in 2013. Alvarez hit 24 of those 36 homers in the first half of the 2013 campaign, subsequently representing the National League in his first career trip to the Home Run Derby.
Although Alvarez isn't making as much noise at the plate so far in 2014, he's quietly putting together another productive campaign. While his isolated power (.172) is his lowest since 2011, he has shown more patience at the plate, striking out at a career-low clip of 23.9 percent, according to FanGraphs. Mix that with a career-best 10.7 percent walk rate, and it's easy to see why Alvarez is outperforming his career numbers in terms of batting average (.240) and on-base percentage (.326) this season.
With a 47-43 record entering Wednesday's action, the Pirates remain 4.5 games behind the Milwaukee Brewers for first place in the NL Central and are surely counting on another 100-plus RBI season from Alvarez. They'll need it if they're going to make the jump.
All stats courtesy of MLB.com unless otherwise specified.
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