Justin and B.J. Upton each hit his 100th career home run Friday night. (Associated Press )
Justin and B.J. Upton are brothers, but lately they've been acting like identical twins.
Each hit his 100th career home run Friday.
Justin, who is younger, homered for the Arizona Diamondbacks against the Philadelphia Phillies in the second inning. About an hour later, B.J. connected for the Tampa Bay Rays against the Baltimore Orioles.
"It's a big night for the family," Justin told reporters after Arizona's 4-2 victory. Said B.J.: "It was cool to do that on the same day."
Again. The Uptons also hit their 99th homers on the same night, July 20.
And there are other similarities: Each Upton has averaged about 15 home runs and 70 runs batted in during his major league career, and each broke into the big leagues a couple of weeks shy of his 20th birthday.
B.J. is now a member of a short list of players with 100 homers and 200 stolen bases before age 28. The others: Barry Bonds, Bobby Bonds, Cesar Cedeno, Eric Davis, Rickey Henderson, Lloyd Moseby and Hanley Ramirez.
Leading all of professional baseball in strikeouts this season is Oakland right-hander Dan Straily, who made his major league debut for the Athletics on Friday and struck out five Toronto Blue Jays in six innings.
Straily, 23, had 175 strikeouts in stints at double-A Midland (Texas) and triple-A Sacramento. His next start is expected to be Wednesday against the Angels and Zack Greinke.
The Washington Nationals sound serious about shutting down pitcher Stephen Strasburg later this season even if they're still in the middle of a playoff chase.
The magic number is 160 innings. Strasburg, who underwent Tommy John surgery in 2010, has pitched 1211/3 innings.
"One of my rules of managing is I try to do what's best today with an eye on tomorrow," Nationals Manager Davey Johnson told ESPN. "What's best for Strasburg is looking ahead in his future. And if . . . the best thing we can do is after 160 innings shut him down — that's what we did with Jordan Zimmermann last year, although we were in third place."
Johnson acknowledged the team's situation was "a little different this year. But you do what's best for the player," he added, "for the long haul."
Josh Hamilton has been the source of angst from fans and Texas owner Nolan Ryan after hitting .177 in July and slugging fewer than half as many home runs the last two months as he did in April and May.
Hamilton released a statement Friday saying his decision to stop chewing tobacco was a contributing factor in his slump. "I was hesitant to address the tobacco once again, because it's an area that I've struggled with trying to quit in the past," he said. "I wanted to have some time of success under my belt before addressing it again publicly, but felt I haven't been given that option with all of the speculating out there as to what the 'mystery issue' was."
Tampa Bay, chasing the New York Yankees in the American League East, should get a boost when Long Beach State standout Evan Longoria returns Tuesday from the disabled list. He sustained a torn left hamstring May 1.
Not that there are great expectations among Rays fans or anything.
"When he does come back," Manager Joe Maddon told reporters, "I think everybody's going to expect the skies to part."
— Lance Pugmire