Gordon slides into record books with 50th steal

Gordon slides into record books with 50th steal

ATLANTA -- Dee Gordon did a little bit of everything in the ninth inning Friday night, including reaching an impressive milestone.

Gordon had an RBI single, stole second and scored in the ninth in the Marlins' 7-1 victory over the Braves at SunTrust Park. By swiping second, Gordon reached the 50-stolen-base mark for the third time in his career.

"Dee's a guy who brings a lot of energy," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "He's swung the bat well. He's a guy getting on base at a higher rate. He's quietly having a nice year. That's good to see also."

Gordon's RBI single

Gordon now places himself in exclusive company: The Marlins are just the third team to have a player hit as many as 50 home runs and a teammate steal 50 bases in the same year. After Gordon and Giancarlo Stanton, who leads the Majors with 53 home runs, the other two combinations are Albert Belle (50 home runs) and Kenny Lofton (54 steals) with the Indians in 1995, and Sammy Sosa (50 home runs) and Eric Young (54 steals) with the Cubs in 2000.

"He owes me like a Bentley," Gordon joked about Stanton. "Tell him. Tell him to give me a Bentley."

The other two times Gordon picked up 50, he led the National League in steals. While with the Dodgers in 2014, he swiped 64 bases, and in 2015, the year he was the National League batting champion with the Marlins, he stole 58 times.

"That's a goal of mine, every year," Gordon said. "I'm just trying to help my team win. I'm not trying to steal 100 bases. I'm trying to give our team what we need. I'm just trying to run when I have to."

Since 2010, the only player with more than Gordon's 64 steals came in 2010 when Juan Pierre, then with the White Sox, topped the Majors with 68. In that span, the 50-steals mark has been reached 14 times.

Gordon is second in the Majors in steals, trailing Cincinnati's Billy Hamilton, who has 58. Gordon has a chance to catch Hamilton, who is on the disabled list with a fractured hand.

Gordon is batting .302 with a .341 on-base percentage, and he continues to have an unsung season. He's also scored 97 runs and likely could have more stolen bases, but sometimes refrains from running because teams may then opt to pitch around Stanton.

"He went on that 1 1/2-month craze, where G was hitting a homer every day," Gordon said. "I didn't try to run. I'm just trying to pick my spots because I don't want to take the bat out of his hands, because he can do damage any time. I'm just trying to be smart and score runs."

Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.