Bichette sets mark with 10th XBH in nine games

August 7th, 2019

ST. PETERSBURG -- Bo Bichette continued to rake in the accolades on Tuesday night, the hype surrounding the 21-year-old’s bat surging with his every stride to the plate.

Tuesday’s 7-6 loss to the Rays in 10 innings at Tropicana Field was a bit different from the first eight games of Bichette's career. The Blue Jays' shortstop struck out in two of his first three at-bats, and by his fourth, questions had begun about whether his left leg was bothering him more than he’d let on.

Bichette turned the questions into raucous applause behind the visitors’ dugout a moment later with a double that scorched up the left side of the field just inside the third-base line. It was his 10th extra-base hit of the season, the most in Major League history by a player in his first nine career games.

The knock also tied Bichette with Carlos Delgado (2000) for the longest doubles streak in franchise history (seven games) and extended his career-opening hit streak to nine games, also a Blue Jays mark.

With so many career firsts sprinkled through Bichette’s first nine games and no hint that the .415 hitter will cool off any time soon, Toronto manager Charlie Montoyo may struggle at times to find superlatives for the young phenom that he hasn’t already said.

On Tuesday, though, Montoyo added another layer to his compliments:

“You know, when I hear stuff like [Tuesday’s MLB record], you start thinking about [Roberto] Clemente, Babe Ruth, those guys that play in the big leagues, and that’s amazing. I’m glad I was here to watch that. It’s a pretty good record.

“There’s a lot of good players that have played this game already … so that’s amazing.”

Bichette fouled a ball hard off his lower left leg in Monday night’s 2-0 series-opening win against Tampa Bay. He remained in the game but sported a large wrap postgame. He appeared at designated hitter Tuesday, Montoyo said, to rest the injured leg, although Bichette took ground balls at short during pregame drills without issue.

Any concern that the incident had snapped Bichette's mojo were erased Tuesday when he collected two hits and stole third. His 17 hits are the most by a Blue Jay through his first nine career games, passing Aaron Hill (15 in 2005) and Adam Lind (13, ‘06).