New York Yankees designated hitter Alex Rodriguez collected two hits in three at-bats against the Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday, tying and then moving past Al Kaline for 27th place on the all-time hits list, per MLB Milestones.
Rodriguez has seen a resurgence in 2015 despite missing the entire 2014 season due to a suspension, batting .290 on the year with 15 home runs and 44 RBI. His numbers are even more impressive since the end of April, as he batted just .232 during the season's first month, albeit with a .369 on-base percentage and .507 slugging percentage.
The veteran has also stepped up his game of late, putting together an ongoing eight-game hitting streak that has included 11 hits and three home runs in 28 at-bats.
The Yankees have benefited greatly from A-Rod's production this season, currently sitting in the first wild-card spot and just one game back of the Tampa Bay Rays for the division lead in the American League East. His play has also garnered some All-Star attention, but he remains a distant fifth in the voting.
At 3,008 career hits, Rodriguez is now just two shy of Wade Boggs (3,010) for 26th on the all-time list and 12 short of tying Rafael Palmeiro (3,020) in 25th. Although he continues to move up the all-time lists in some key categories, the discussion of Rodriguez's greatness will always be shrouded in controversy because of his alleged role in the Biogenesis scandal and admission of past steroid use.
Unless something changes in the general attitude toward steroid use from the 1990s and 2000s, Rodriguez will likely miss out on a spot in the Hall of Fame. Mark McGwire and Roger Clemens have been denied with similarly excellent resumes, and other players have seemingly been held out based solely on suspicion.