Perhaps now the old axiom can be changed to say that life's only certainties are death, taxes and 200 hits every season for Wade Boggs.
Boggs became the first player this century to get 200 hits in six consecutive seasons Tuesday night as the Boston Red Sox trounced the Toronto Blue Jays 13-2 and maintained their five-game lead over the Milwaukee Brewers in the American League East."I cherished it the first time I did it, and I cherish it the sixth time. Now I'll try for a seventh time next year," Boggs said.
Boggs, driving for a fourth consecutive batting title and fifth in six years with a .363 average, reached base five times: on his 199th, 200th and 201st hits and his 116th and 117th walks this year.
He got hit No. 200 on a grounder to left in the fourth inning.
"It's something special and a big thrill because it's something that never was done before," Boggs said after breaking the modern record he had shared with Hall of Famers Al Simmons, Chuck Klein and Charlie Gehringer.
The Red Sox victory was only the second in eight decisions since the end of July for Roger Clemens, 17-11. The two-time Cy Young Award winner allowed six hits, struck out three and walked one in seven innings.
The Red Sox have won 12 of their last 16. Mike Greenwell's two-run double highlighted a four-run first inning and Boston scored seven times in the fifth, including Jim Rice's three-run homer.
After Milwaukee, New York is 51/2 games back and Detroit is six games behind.
"The other magic number, clinching the division, is the real big one," Boggs said. "And all we have to do is keep winning."