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.
|Here's one base Alfonso Soriano gets to take home. Soriano joins the 40-40 club in the first. (AP)|
|Players of the Game|
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|Anthony Gwynn, CF||5||0||1||0||0||2||2||.294|
|Tony Graffanino, 2B||3||2||1||0||1||0||1||.279|
|Prince Fielder, 1B||4||2||2||3||1||0||1||.280|
|Bill Hall, SS||5||0||1||0||0||0||4||.261|
|Geoff Jenkins, RF||5||0||1||0||0||0||2||.264|
|Corey Hart, LF||4||1||2||1||0||1||0||.289|
|David Bell, 3B||3||0||1||1||1||0||2||.265|
|Mike Rivera, C||3||0||0||0||1||1||2||.250|
|Dave Bush, P||1||0||0||0||0||1||1||.155|
|a- Drew Anderson, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Chris Spurling, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|b- Brady Clark, PH||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.262|
|Jose Capellan, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Brian Shouse, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Dennis Sarfate, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|c- Vinny Rottino, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.100|
|a-grounded out for Bush in the 5th|
|b-hit a sacrifice bunt for Spurling in the 7th|
|c-struck out for Sarfate in the 9th|
|2B - David Bell (23, Astacio)|
|HR - Prince Fielder (26, Astacio)|
|SH - Brady Clark (5)|
|RBI - Prince Fielder 3 (76), Corey Hart (26), David Bell (51)|
|2-OUT RBI - Prince Fielder (34), Corey Hart (17)|
|Team LOB - 9|
|E - Mike Rivera (3, )|
|Dave Bush (L,11-11)||4||7||5||4||1||2||0||4.53|
|IBB - N. Johnson by Jose Capellan|
|HBP - Astacio (by Dave Bush)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Dave Bush 73-0, Chris Spurling 29-0, Jose Capellan 21-0, Brian Shouse 11-0, Dennis Sarfate 17-0|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Dave Bush 5-5, Chris Spurling 3-2, Brian Shouse 1-1, Dennis Sarfate 1-0|
|Batters Faced - Dave Bush 21, Chris Spurling 7, Jose Capellan 4, Brian Shouse 3, Dennis Sarfate 4|
|Alfonso Soriano, LF||5||1||1||0||0||1||4||.287|
|Felipe Lopez, SS||5||0||2||0||0||0||3||.278|
|Ryan Zimmerman, 3B||5||2||1||0||0||2||5||.282|
|Nick Johnson, 1B||3||1||0||1||1||1||0||.292|
|Austin Kearns, RF||4||2||2||2||0||0||0||.263|
|Brian Schneider, C||3||1||2||2||0||0||0||.251|
|Bernie Castro, 2B||4||0||2||2||0||0||1||.239|
|Nook Logan, CF||3||1||1||0||1||0||1||.292|
|Pedro Astacio, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.238|
|Ryan Wagner, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.333|
|a- George Lombard, PH||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||.167|
|Saul Rivera, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Jon Rauch, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|b- Robert Fick, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.252|
|Felix Rodriguez, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Chad Cordero, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a-walked for Wagner in the 6th|
|b-struck out for Rauch in the 8th|
|2B - Austin Kearns (32, Capellan), Brian Schneider (16, Bush)|
|3B - Ryan Zimmerman (3, Capellan), Bernie Castro 2 (2, Bush, Shouse)|
|SF - Brian Schneider (3)|
|SH - Pedro Astacio (6)|
|RBI - Nick Johnson (76), Austin Kearns 2 (81), Brian Schneider 2 (51), Bernie Castro 2 (6)|
|2-OUT RBI - Austin Kearns (32), Brian Schneider (23), Bernie Castro (3)|
|SB - Alfonso Soriano (40, 2nd base off Bush/Rivera), Ryan Zimmerman (11, 2nd base off Bush/Rivera), Nook Logan (1, off Bush/Rivera)|
|Team LOB - 7|
|Pedro Astacio (W,4-5)||5.2||6||4||4||1||3||1||6.38|
|Ryan Wagner (H,2)||0.1||0||0||0||0||0||0||4.74|
|Saul Rivera (H,6)||0.2||0||0||0||2||1||0||3.86|
|Jon Rauch (H,16)||1.1||0||0||0||1||1||0||3.56|
|Chad Cordero (S,27)||0.1||1||0||0||0||0||0||3.07|
|HBP - Graffanino (by Saul Rivera)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Pedro Astacio 89-0, Ryan Wagner 3-0, Saul Rivera 21-0, Jon Rauch 19-0, Felix Rodriguez 14-0, Chad Cordero 2-0|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Pedro Astacio 8-6, Ryan Wagner 1-0, Saul Rivera 1-0, Jon Rauch 2-1, Felix Rodriguez 1-0|
|Batters Faced - Pedro Astacio 24, Ryan Wagner 1, Saul Rivera 5, Jon Rauch 5, Felix Rodriguez 4, Chad Cordero 2|
|Attendance - 24252|
|Game Time - 3:07|
|Temperature - 73|
|Umpires - Home - Paul Schrieber, First Base - Doug Eddings, Second Base - Dana DeMuth, Third Base - Jim Joyce|