Ms Rodriguez steals base to join elite 25-25 club

Julio Rodriguez continued to strengthen his rookie of the year campaign with another big accomplishment Wednesday, stealing his 25th stolen base of the season to lead the Seattle Mariners to a 6-1 victory over the San Diego Padres, securing a key two-game split.

Rodríguez was hit by a pitch by San Diego starter Mike Clevinger and increased his season’s stolen base total to 25 in the fifth inning, making him the third rookie in league history to have at least 25 steals and 25 homers in their first season. But unlike Chris Young in 2007 and Mike Trout in 2012, Rodriguez reached the 25/25 plateau in his debut season. Both Young and Trout reached in the majors late in the previous season, but were still considered rookies.

“I don’t see myself as a rookie. I see myself as a player like anybody else and I’m just happy that I’m being able to deliver for the team any time,” Rodriguez said.

With his steal, Rodríguez also became just the fourth player to reach 25 home runs and 25 stolen bases in a season at 21 years old or younger, according to ESPN Stats & Information research. He joins Ronald Acuna Jr. in 2019, Trout in 2012 and Andruw Jones in 1998.

“For me one of the coolest things I’ve seen in a while is when he’s at second base after the 25th stolen base and the crowd is on its feet and they put the thing on the scoreboard, (he) flashes across his chest,” Seattle manager Scott Servais said motioning across the front of the Mariners’ jersey. “It’s about the Mariners. That’s Julio Rodríguez.”

Rodríguez earlier hit his fourth leadoff home run of the season, checking another box on a growing list of accomplishments that are only strengthening an already robust case for rookie of the year. He hit the first pitch thrown by Clevinger 385 feet into the left-field bullpen for his 26th home run of the season.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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