Elias Says: May 25, 2017

Pirates go back-to-back-to-back in 10th inning

David Freese, Jose Osuna, and Jordy Mercer hit back-to-back-to-back 10th inning home runs in the Pirates’ 12-5 victory over the Braves on Wednesday. In MLB history, there have been only two other games in which a team hit back-to-back-to-back homers in the 10th inning or later. On May 2, 1964, the Twins’ Tony Oliva, Bob Allison, Jimmie Hall, and Harmon Killebrew all hit home runs consecutively in the 11th inning of a win in Kansas City (Dan Pfister allowed the first three homers and Vern Handrahan surrendered the fourth). And on May 31, 2002, the Royals’ Carlos Beltran, Mike Sweeney, and Joe Randa did so in the 11th inning of a victory over the Rangers in Texas (with Hideki Irabu allowing all three).

Sale in elite company after 10 starts with Red Sox

Chris Sale struck out six batters over 7 1/3 innings in Boston’s comeback win over the Rangers on Wednesday. Sale has 101 strikeouts in 10 starts in 2017, his first season with the Red Sox. Since 1893 (the first season in which the mound was set to its current distance from home plate), only one other pitcher had that many strikeouts in his first 10 starts with a team; that was Randy Johnson with the Astros. Houston acquired Johnson via trade from the Mariners during the 1998 season, with Johnson striking out 108 batters over his first 10 starts with the Astros.

Sale’s 101 strikeouts are the most in a pitcher’s first 10 starts for the Red Sox. The previous high was 88 by Pedro Martinez.

Pujols hits two-run shot in first inning

Albert Pujols hit his 40th first-inning home run as a member of the Angels in their loss to the Rays on Wednesday night. Pujols ranks third in first-inning homers in Angels history, behind Mike Trout (50) and Tim Salmon (42).

Pujols hit 97 first-inning home runs with the Cardinals. Among players to debut in the expansion era (since 1961), only two others hit at least 40 first-inning home runs for two different teams: Mark McGwire (51 with A’s and 47 with Cardinals) and Alex Rodriguez (40 with Rangers and 50 with Yankees).

Reds stun Indians with late comeback

With the Reds down to their last out in Cleveland, Zack Cozart delivered a game-winning, two-RBI single that scored Arismendy Alcantara from third and Billy Hamilton all the way from first base. It was the third time in the history of the Cleveland-Cincinnati series that a player produced a game-winning hit with his team facing its final out. Down 8-5 in Cincinnati on June 30, 2006, the Reds’ Adam Dunn hit a walk-off grand slam off Bob Wickman. And before that, down 10-9 on July 10, 1999 in Cleveland, the Indians’ Omar Vizquel hit a walk-off, two-run homer off Scott Williamson.

Hamilton – The Man is Non-Stop

The Reds’ Billy Hamilton scored the game’s winning run in Cleveland with two outs in the top of the ninth, scoring all the way from first on a Zack Cozart single that also scored Arismendy Alcantara from third. That is the first time a road team has scored the winning run in the ninth inning or later all the way from first base on a single since August 30, 2007, when it was also the Reds doing so. Alex Gonzalez scored from first base on a Ken Griffey Jr. single in Pittsburgh.

Mariners’ offensive struggle continues

Anthony Rendon hit a three-run home run in the Nationals’ 5-1 win over the Mariners on Wednesday. That marked the fifth consecutive game in which Seattle scored exactly one run. Before this current streak, the Mariners had never scored one-or-fewer runs in five consecutive games. They had two four-game streaks, in June 1988 and July 2011.

The Mariners have been outscored, 41-5, over their last five games. The last team to score five-or-fewer runs while being outscored by at least 35 runs over a five-game span within one season was the Astros in May 2007 (40-5).

Orioles lose first home series of the season

The Twins scored three first-inning runs, including a two-run single from Kennys Vargas, and never looked back to complete a three-game sweep of the Orioles at Camden Yards. Entering their series with Minnesota, the Orioles had won each of their first seven home series this season. Over the last 10 seasons (since 2008), only one other team won their first seven home series to start a season: the 2014 Rockies (also a streak of seven). The Orioles had never had such a home streak of this length to start a season in franchise history before the 2017 campaign.

Lamb reaches 40 RBIs in 44th game

Jake Lamb’s two-run home run in the fifth inning put the Diamondbacks up for good in their 8-6 win over the White Sox. Lamb has 40 RBIs in 44 games this season. Only three other Diamondbacks players reached 40 RBIs on the season in 45-or-fewer games: Matt Williams in 1999 (37 games), Steve Finley in 2000 (43), and Luis Gonzalez in 2001 (40).

Abreu hits a home run on the road again

Jose Abreu hit his 10th home run of the season in the White Sox’s loss to the Diamondbacks on Wednesday. All of Abreu’s 10 homers this season have come on the road. Only one other player in White Sox history hit his first 10 home runs of a season on the road: Tom Paciorek in 1982 (first 11).

Mets fail to get the big hit in the ninth

With the bases loaded and no outs and trailing by just one run to the Padres, the Mets failed to score in the bottom of the ninth inning, as Curtis Granderson and Rene Rivera each struck out and Juan Lagares flied out to end the game. The last time the Mets lost a one-run game in the ninth inning after loading the bases with no outs was on July 8, 1992 against the Braves at Fulton County Stadium. Down 2-1 with the bases full, Howard Johnson popped out and Willie Randolph grounded into a double play to end the game.

Big inning for Blackmon and the Rockies

The Rockies scored seven third-inning runs, including two on a Charlie Blackmon single, in their victory in Philadelphia on Wednesday. Blackmon has nine runs batted in over his last three games, all coming out of the leadoff spot. Over the last nine seasons (since 2009), only three other leadoff batters have had at least nine RBIs over a three-game span: Yasiel Puig in June 2013, Chase Utley in May 2016 (two overlapping spans), and Ian Kinsler in June 2016.

Colorado has scored at least six runs in an inning four times this month. The last time the Rockies had that many innings of this type in a calendar month was in September 2007 (four such innings).

Severino cruises by Royals

Luis Severino tossed eight shutout innings and allowed just four hits in the Yankees’ 3-0 triumph over the Royals in the Bronx. Over the last 20 years, only one other Yankees pitcher had an outing of at least eight scoreless innings versus the Royals: Mike Mussina, who did so in 2003 and 2004, both in Kansas City. The last to do so at Yankee Stadium was Jimmy Key in April 1993, allowing three hits over eight innings.

Goins and company show off power in win over Brewers

Ryan Goins went 2-for-4 and hit a grand slam in the Blue Jays’ 8-4 win over the Brewers. Entering Wednesday, Goins had struggled mightily over his last 12 games, batting just .167 (7-for-42) with one extra-base hit (double), two RBIs, one walk, and nine strikeouts.

Toronto hit four home runs in their win on Wednesday, their most in a game this season. The Jays had 11 games with at least four homers last season, tied with the Mets for the third-most games of this type (behind the Orioles with 16 and the Cardinals with 13).

Lowrie goes 4-for-4 in Oakland win

Jed Lowrie went 4-for-4 with two doubles and two RBIs in the Athletics’ 4-1 victory over the Marlins on Wednesday. Lowrie is the first A’s second baseman to go 4-for-4 or better with at least two extra-base hits in a game since Adam Kennedy had a 4-for-4 game with two doubles on May 25, 2009 against the Mariners.

Lowrie is the fourth second baseman with a 4-for-4 (or better) game this season, joining the Indians’ Jose Ramirez (April 15), the Cubs’ Javier Baez (May 2), and the Brewers’ Eric Sogard (May 18).

Rizzo hits two out

Anthony Rizzo hit a pair of solo home runs in the Cubs’ 5-4 win over the Giants. It was Rizzo’s 14th multi-home run game of his major-league career, all with the Cubs. Since 2012, his first season with the team, only two other Cubs players have four-or-more games of this type: Kris Bryant (nine) and Alfonso Soriano (five).

Leake dominates Dodgers

Mike Leake allowed one run over eight innings as the Cardinals defeated the Dodgers on Wednesday, 6-1. Leake’s 1.91 ERA this season is his lowest through the first nine starts of a season in his eight-year career. He had an ERA under 3.00 through that many starts in only two other seasons: 2010 (2.70) and 2014 (2.77).