San Francisco’s Melky Cabrera is a new marketing phenomenon: “Got Melk?”
He is piling up nicknames nearly as quickly as he is piling up hits. Melk Man. Melky Way. And the old standby from his Yankees days, Leche — milk in Spanish.
Cabrera has attracted quite the following at AT&T Park, where several men dress in 1950s-style “Melk Man” suits in support of San Francisco’s hottest hitter.
Cabrera is surpassing everybody’s expectations in his first season with the Giants, putting up such sensational numbers in a San Francisco-record, 51-hit May that he’s now mentioned in the same breath as Hall of Famers Willie Mays and Orlando Cepeda. He is drawing comparisons to Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn from his manager, too.
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“Wow,” Bruce Bochy said. “That’s one of the most impressive months I’ve seen in all the years I’ve been in this game. That’s how good he’s been. He’s been a pleasure. Defensively, what he’s done with the bat, he’s been a machine this month. It’s hard to believe how many hits he’s gotten and how consistent he’s been.”
Cabrera — who says “never in my life” has he had a month like this — is getting a kick out of it all, just don’t try to slow him down to talk about his amazing month. He did oblige the “Melk Men” the other day by tossing them a ball.
Cabrera batted .429 in May with three homers, five triples, seven doubles and 17 RBI. He hit safely in 25 of 29 games, getting a single in the eighth inning of Wednesday night’s 4-1 loss to Arizona for his 51st hit. That matched Randy Winn for most hits in a month since the club moved to San Francisco in 1958.Cabrera also set the San Francisco record for most hits in May, passing Mays’ 49 from 1958.
GIANCARLO’S ALSO ON A ROLL
Miami’s Giancarlo Stanton has been fueling the Marlins’ surge in May with home runs all around the new ballpark.
He became the first player to hit the home-run sculpture, and the first player to homer into the beer garden. He also knocked out a section of the scoreboard with a homer.
The 6-foot-5, 246-pound Stanton has become a master of the tape-measure homer and more. He hit 12 home runs in May to tie the franchise record for a single month and drove in 30 runs.
The Dodgers have placed center fielder Matt Kemp on the 15-day disabled list for the second time this month because of a left hamstring strain. … Rockies All-Star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki was placed on the DL because of a strained left groin. … Orioles outfielder Nick Markakis has a hamate fracture of his right wrist and will undergo surgery. … The Blue Jays have outrighted first baseman Adam Lind to the minors and selected the contract of pitcher Robert Coello. … The A’s have optioned right-hander Tyson Ross to Triple-A Sacramento and are expected to activate slugging Cuban defector Yoenis Cespedes who has been on the injured list with a strained hand muscle.