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Monday, April 18, 2011
First-inning struggles plague Volquez

By Jeremy Lundblad

Today’s Trivia: Miguel Cabrera turns 28 today. Even though he is two years away from 30, he has the most career home runs (252) among active players under 30. Who has the second-most?

Edinson Volquez
Volquez
Quick Hits – A look at some players and teams that can’t seem to solve a certain inning.

• After allowing 4 ER in the first inning Sunday, Edinson Volquez now has a first-inning ERA of 29.25. It’s just 1.93 in all other innings.

• Twice this season Volquez has allowed back-to-back homers to a team’s first two batters of the game. Only two other active pitchers have had two such games in their careers: Chad Durbin (both in 2000) and Ted Lilly (2001 and 2005).

• The Tampa Bay Rays are just 6-for-49 (.122) in the first inning this season, worst in the majors.

• B.J. Upton is hitting .118 in the first six innings, but is 9-for-18 in the final three innings.

• The Texas Rangers have only eight hits in the first inning, but four are home runs.

• The Philadelphia Phillies are the antithesis of first-inning struggles. They’ve outscored opponents 15-0 in the first. The Phillies have a .393 average in the first compared to just .100 for their opponents.

• The Atlanta Braves are 5-for-39 (.128) in the ninth inning, but that’s not the only area of concern. Out of the ninth spot in the order, the Braves are 0-for-50 this season. Pitchers are 0-for-27, pinch-hitters are 0-for-23.

• Brandon Belt is 1-for-20 in the seventh inning or later and 9-for-30 otherwise.

This Date in Baseball History
1923 - Babe Ruth homers in the first game at the original Yankee Stadium.

1987 - Mike Schmidt hit his 500th career home run off Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Don Robinson.

2007 - Mark Buehrle of the Chicago White Sox faced the minimum 27 batters in a 6-0 no-hit victory over the Rangers.

Trivia Answer: Prince Fielder (195) has the second-most home runs for an active player below 30. Still just 26, he turns 27 in May.