SEATTLE -- When Mariners rookie Nick Franklin ripped his eighth home run of the season in Thursday's 8-2 win over the Twins, he became just the second American League second baseman in the past 75 years with eight or more homers in the first 50 games of his career.
Franklin hit his eighth home run in his 49th game since being called up from Triple-A Tacoma. Jason Kipnis of the Indians hit 10 home runs in his first 50 games in 2011-12. Prior to Kipnis, the last AL second baseman to do that was Joe Gordon, who hit 11 bombs with the Yankees in his first 50 games in 1938.
"He's up there to hit," said acting Mariners manager Robby Thompson. "And he's not afraid. He jumps on mistakes, which we saw last night. And he's aggressive. He's aggressive in the zone. He's pretty disciplined out of the zone. Every once in a while he'll swing at a changeup, which we all do. Then he regroups and locks back in. He doesn't give away a lot of at-bats."
"That's what we really like about him," said Thompson. "He puts together good quality at-bats each and every ballgame. He's got some pop in there. He hits through the ball. He lets it fly. He's got surprising pop for a little guy. He's strong. He's up there to hit. He's been a very big surprise for us."