With his sixth home run in six games and his 38th of the season, Marcus Semien has joined the company of Barry Bonds, Reggie Jackson and Mark McGwire.
He’s also become the single-season home run leader by a Cal alum in the major leagues.
The 30-year-old Cal alum (2006-08) doubled and homered on Tuesday night, lifting the Toronto Blue Jays to a 5-1 win at Yankee Stadium.
Since Semien’s latest power binge began the Jays have not lost, creeping within 2.5 games of the Yankees in their pursuit of an America League wildcard spot. Toronto has won six in a row.
“He’s in the conversation now of the MVP too, easily,” Toronto manager Charlie Montoyo told reporters afterward. “This guy prepares so much, and every day he does the same thing, the same routine, that you knew he was going to get hot again. I didn’t know he was going to get as hot as he has been, but he has been outstanding. This guy is the total package.”
Semien has hit seven home runs against the Yankees this season.
With No. 38, he broke his tie with Jeff Kent for Cal’s top MLB season total. Kent hit 37 homers for the Giants in 2002, two years after he won the National League MVP award.
Among Pac-12 alums, only Bonds, Jackson and McGwire have hit more home runs in a season than Semien.
McGwire is USC’s single-season leader with the 70 homers he hit for the St. Louis Cardinals in 1998 to set the MLB record.
Three years later, Arizona State alum Bonds eclipsed that by clouting 73 home runs for the Giants — still the all-time record 20 years later.
Before McGwire and Bonds, it was Jackson who hit the most homers among any player from a school currently in the Pac-12. Mr. October, who played at ASU, blasted 47 homers for the A’s in 1969.
Here is a list of each Pac-12 school’s single-season MLB home run leader:
73 — Arizona State: Barry Bonds in 2001, Giants
70 — USC: Mark McGwire in 1998, Cardinals
38 — Cal: Marcus Semien in 2021, Blue Jays
34 — UCLA: Eric Karros in 1996 & ’99, Dodgers
33 — Oregon State: Michael Conforto in 2019, Mets
32 — Oregon: Earl Averill in 1931 & ’32, Indians; Joe Gordon in 1948, Indians
30 — Washington: Jack Lamb in 2017, Diamondbacks
30 — Washington State: Ron Cey in 1977, Dodgers
30 — Utah: C.J. Cron in 2018, Rays
28 — Arizona: J.T. Snow in 1997, Giants
27 — Stanford: Stephen Piscotty in 2018, A’s
15 — Colorado: John Stearns in 1978, Mets
Here is the updated list of Cal’s single-season MLB home run leaders:
38 — Marcus Semien in 2021, Blue Jays
37 — Jeff Kent in 2002, Giants
35 — Jackie Jensen in 1958, Red Sox
33 — Marcus Semien in 2019, A’s
33 — Jeff Kent in 2000, Giants
31 — Jeff Kent in 1998, Giants
30 — Mike Epstein in 1969, Senators
And here are Semien’s statistical ranks in the majors this season:
— Home runs: 4th with 38
— Extra-base hits: 1st with 75
— Runs scored: 4th with 98
— Total bases: 2nd with 301
— At-bats: 2nd with 549
— Doubles: tied for 4th with 35
— RBI: 17th with 88
— Slugging percentage: 7th at .548
— Wins above replacement (WAR): 1st at 6.1
Cover photo of Marcus Semien by Kevin Sousa, USA Today
Follow Jeff Faraudo of Cal Sports Report on Twitter: @jefffaraudo