Fielder gets intentional record
OAKLAND -- Prince Fielder was walked intentionally again on Sunday for the eighth time this month. He is the first American League player to be intentionally walked that many times in April.
"I don't know … I guess it's part of the job," Fielder said.
All eight intentional walks came on the last homestand. That means they all came while Adrian Beltre has been on the disabled list with a strained left quad muscle. Beltre is expected to come off the disabled list on Friday.
When Beltre was active, he batted cleanup behind Fielder. Since he has been gone, Fielder has hit fourth with Kevin Kouzmanoff hitting behind him. Kouzmanoff, hitting .366 going into Monday's game, has been hot but not enough to keep teams from walking Fielder.
"With Beltre in the lineup, they have to pick their poison," manager Ron Washington said. "With Fielder or Kouzmanoff, I'd throw to Kouz. But if I have to choose between Fielder and Beltre, I'd think a little bit."
Fielder went into Monday's game hitting .188 with two home runs, six RBIs and a .333 slugging percentage. But that hasn't deterred teams from pitching around him.
"Everybody knows Prince has not been Prince lately," Washington said. "But they know Prince can be Prince and with one swing of the bat, he can change the whole ballgame."
Fielder is unlikely to get the Major League record for intentional walks for April. Barry Bonds had 18 in 2004. Bonds holds the Major League record for any month as he was walked intentionally 23 times in June and September of 2004.