Rockies' Holliday claims NL batting crown

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

NEW YORK -- The National League batting race went to extra innings.

Matt Holliday went 2-for-6 in Monday's tiebreaker playoff game and maintained his .340 batting average.

He came into Monday's game three points higher than Chipper Jones' mark for Atlanta.

Holliday also drove in two runs to pass Philadelphia's Ryan Howard for the NL lead in RBIs. Holliday finished with 137 RBIs.

In the American League, Magglio Ordonez finished with a flourish, going 3-for-4 to wind up at .363. Seattle's Ichiro Suzuki was second at .351.

"It means a lot. To tell you the truth, I don't know how I did it, but I did it," Ordonez said. "You always have your goals, but sometimes you don't get your goals. But this time I surpassed my goal, and it was amazing."

Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees won his fifth AL home run crown with 54, the third-most titles in AL history behind Babe Ruth (11) and Harmon Killebrew (six).

Milwaukee's Prince Fielder won his first NL home run crown with 50. He joined his father Cecil (51 for Detroit in 1990) to become the first father-son combo to both reach 50, and at 23 years old became the youngest player to hit 50 homers. Willie Mays was 24 when he hit No. 50 in 1955.

Rodriguez led the AL with 156 RBIs, joining Ruth, Hack Wilson, Jimmie Foxx and Sammy Sosa as the only players with at least 50 homers and 150 RBIs in a season.

A-Rod scored 143 runs, the most in the AL since Rickey Henderson's 146 in 1985. Philadelphia's Jimmy Rollins led the NL with 139.

Suzuki had 238 hits, topping the AL for the fourth time, and Holliday's 216 led the NL. Rollins also had 716 at-bats, breaking the record of 705 set by Kansas City's Willie Wilson in 1980.

Suzuki reached 200 hits for the seventh straight season, matching Wade Boggs (1983-89) for the AL mark and one shy of the major league record set by Willie Keeler from 1894-1901.

Albert Pujols became the first player to hit .300 with 30 or more homers and 100 RBIs in each of his first seven seasons.

Detroit's Curtis Granderson legged out 23 triples, most in the major leagues since Cleveland's Dale Mitchell had 23 in 1949.

Jose Reyes of the Mets led the major leagues with 78 steals, topping the NL for the third straight year. Tampa Bay's Carl Crawford and Baltimore's Brian Roberts tied for the AL lead with 50 steals. Crawford led last year; Roberts became the first member of the Orioles to have at least a share of the AL lead since Luis Aparicio in 1964.

Barry Bonds had 132 walks and led the NL for the 12th time -- Ruth had held the record for most times leading a league with 11. Boston's David Ortiz had 111 walks and topped the AL for the second straight season.

Philadelphia's Ryan Howard struck out 199 times, breaking the major league record of 195 strikeouts set by Cincinnati's Adam Dunn in 2004.

San Diego's Jake Peavy (19-6) had a 2.54 ERA to win his second NL ERA title and first since 2004. John Lackey of the Los Angeles Angels won the AL ERA title at 3.01.

Boston's Josh Beckett went 20-7 to become the major leagues' first 20-game winner since 2005.

Arizona's Brandon Webb led the NL in complete games with four, the lowest total ever for a league leader.

Tampa Bay's Scott Kazmir (239) led the AL in strikeouts and Peavy (240) will top the NL for the second time in three seasons.

Arizona's Jose Valverde (47) and Cleveland's Joe Borowski (45) led their leagues in saves for the first time.

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