WASHINGTON -- Waiting in Alfonso Soriano's locker after Saturday night's game was the final piece of what is surely going to be an impressive display: the stolen base that entered him into the elite 40-40 club.
Soriano became the fourth player in major league history to record 40 home runs and 40 stolen bases in a single season when he swiped second in the first inning of the Washington Nationals' 8-5 win over Milwaukee. Soriano has 40 steals to go along with 45 home runs.
Soriano is going to add the base and the spikes he was wearing to his personal collection, which includes the bat and batting gloves he used when he hit his 40th home run Aug. 19.
"I'm going to show them to my son and my grandson," said Soriano, whose jersey will go to the Hall of Fame.
Soriano led off the bottom of the first with a single to left field. On a 2-0 count to the next batter, Felipe Lopez, Soriano raced for second base. Brewers catcher Mike Rivera double-clutched but did not attempt a throw.
After the steal, Soriano called time and removed the base. The game was delayed for a moment while the RFK Stadium crowd of 24,252 rose for a standing ovation, and Soriano tipped his helmet to the crowd.
Jose Canseco (Oakland, 1988), Barry Bonds (San Francisco, 1996) and Alex Rodriguez (Seattle, 1998) are the only other players who have topped 40 in each of those categories in a single season. He also leads the league with 21 outfield assists.
Nationals manager Frank Robinson, a Hall of Fame outfielder, said Soriano's overall season may be unmatched.
"What he's done this year, the total package, has never been done before," Robinson said. "It's quite an accomplishment. Where it ranks? I don't know."
The accomplishment was yet another milestone in what has been a remarkable season for Soriano. He was acquired in December in a trade with Texas for outfielder Brad Wilkerson, but his start in Washington was contentious. The Nationals wanted to convert him from second baseman to a left fielder, but Soriano resisted.
He finally agreed to move in March, and he responded with a career year. He has set career highs in home runs and walks, and he's three stolen bases short of his career best. He was selected by the fans as a starter in the All-Star Game in July.
Soriano came close to 40-40 in 2002, when he stole 41 bases and hit 39 home runs.
"I got close in 2002, but it was never in my mind to try for it again," Soriano said. "Forty-40 - not many people have done that. It's very difficult."
Nationals starter Pedro Astacio (4-5) overcame a shaky start for his first win since Aug. 15, a span of five starts. Prince Fielder hit a two-run homer in the first and David Bell doubled in a run in the second but Astacio limited the Brewers to just one more run in his 5 2/3 innings.
Dave Bush (11-11) allowed five runs and seven hits in four innings for Milwaukee. The Brewers lost their 81st game this season with 14 games left; they finished 81-81 last year.
"We struggled in some areas after the All-Star break," manager Ned Yost said. "I have a pretty good idea of what we need to improve on for next year."
Soriano's single and steal in the first sparked a three-run rally. Nick Johnson drove in Soriano with a groundout, Kearns hit an RBI single and Schneider doubled in Kearns for a 3-2 lead.
Astacio helped himself in the second. Nook Logan led off with a bunt single and Astacio's sacrifice moved him to second. Logan then stole third and scored when Rivera's throw sailed into left field.
Castro tripled in a run in the fourth to make it 5-3 and the Nationals added three more in the seventh.
- Soriano stole his 39th base on Sept. 10 at Colorado but had stalled in his pursuit of 40-40. In the next four games, Soriano had reached base five times but was caught stealing three times.
- Castro's two triples tied a franchise record. The last to achieve that mark was Orlando Cabrera, who had two for the Montreal Expos on July 30, 1998.
- Schneider had an RBI double in the first inning to extend his hitting streak to 10 games, matching a career high.