Pujols homers ... and other amazing things

May, 6, 2012
5/06/12
10:15
PM ET
Jeff Gross/Getty ImagesAlbert Pujols finally hit his first home run with the Angels

It was a long wait for Albert Pujols to hit his first home run of 2012.

It wasn’t quite as long a wait for the Baltimore Orioles-Boston Red Sox marathon game on Sunday to end, but it was quite entertaining.

And then the day was capped off by a teenage phenom stealing home on Sunday Night Baseball.

Let’s review the most noteworthy nuggets regarding each of these Sunday storylines.

Pujols, finally!
Albert Pujols homered on his 111th at-bat of the season, on a 2-2 slider from Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Drew Hutchison.

Thus ended, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, the longest homerless drought to begin a season by any player who entered that season with at least 400 career home runs.

The previous mark was set by Eddie Murray, who was homerless in his first 109 at-bats of the 1996 season.

It also marked Pujols’ first extra-base hit of the season on an offspeed pitch. He entered Sunday with only five hits on offspeed pitches all season.

Through the first 28 games of last season, Pujols was only hitting .245, but he had seven home runs.

His fewest home runs through his first 28 games in a season was five, in 2002 and 2008.

He’s hit as many as 15 home runs in his first 28 games, doing so in 2006.

Orioles Magic lives at Fenway Park
The Orioles completed a three-game sweep of the Red Sox, but it took a remarkable effort by a position-player pitcher to finish Baltimore’s first sweep at Fenway Park since 1994.


Chris Davis started the day as the designated hitter and his afternoon at the plate was a forgettable one— 0-for-8 with five strikeouts and a double play.

But the conclusion to his afternoon, one that lasted more than six hours, was memorable. Davis became the first American League position player to earn a win since Rocky Colavito of the 1968 New York Yankees, triumphing thanks to a three-run home run by teammate Adam Jones off Red Sox position player turned reliever, Darnell McDonald.

Elias had two amazing notes from Davis’ day:

Davis became the first player to go 0-for-8 in a game in which he pitched since Leon Cadore for the 1920 Brooklyn Robins against the Boston Braves. The neat thing about that: Cadore pitched 26 innings in a game that finished in a tie.

He was also the first player to go 0-for-8 and earn a win since Hall-of-Famer Rube Waddell for the 1905 Philadelphia Athletics against those same Red Sox. Waddell not only won-- he pitched a 20-inning complete game.

Harper Does Something Unusual
Bryce Harper has had a knack for wowing fans through his first eight games and did so again on Sunday night. He stole home as the Philadelphia Phillies attempted a pickoff at first base.

It was the third steal of home on a pickoff attempt over the past two seasons. The success rate on players attempting to steal home in any fashion over that span is 29 percent.

Elias noted that the 19-year-old Harper became the first teenager to steal home since the Angels’ 19-year-old Ed Kirkpatrick of the Los Angeles Angels against the Philadelphia Athletics on May 5, 1964, nearly 48 years to the day.

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