Cantu reaches 100 RBIs

The power of positive thinking has worked for Jorge Cantu.

Entering Saturday with 99 RBIs, Cantu wasted little time reaching the century mark.

In the first inning, Cantu lined a sacrifice fly to right field, scoring Hanley Ramirez for his 100th RBI of the season.

It’s the second time in his career that he’s posted 100 RBIs. In 2005, he drove in 117 with Tampa Bay in 2005.

Considering the fact Cantu finished August with 71 RBIs, reaching the century mark seemed remote five weeks ago.

After driving in his 100th run, Ramirez embraced Cantu at home plate, and Cantu received a warm reception in the dugout.

“It’s the confidence that I have,” Cantu said after he drove in three runs on Friday. “I’ve been a competitor every single season. Even if I have a bad one [year] or a good one, my mind is always positive. As a hitter, it’s showing. It’s concentration. I always finish the season strong. I’ve seen my stats in the past, I’ve always finished strong.”

Cantu has certainly picked up the pace. Since Sept. 1, he has 28 RBIs. His overall game has elevated. In  the 29-game span, he is batting .336 with an on-base percentage of .377 and a .487 slugging percentage.

A year ago, Cantu drove in 95, which paced the team.  

Cantu has been especially effective driving in runs in the first inning. His 36 RBIs in the first are the most of any player in the Major Leagues.

His 25 RBIs in September was the third most in the National League.

Cantu had a chance in the seventh inning to collect his 100th RBI when he had runners on first and third. However, on he didn’t chase a 3-1 pitch, taking it for ball four.

“I wanted to get greedy,” said Cantu, who took the walk. “But I couldn’t swing at that pitch. It was too low.”

— Joe Frisaro

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