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Friday, July 8, 2011
Yankees No. 2 now 2 away from history

By ESPN Stats & Info

Derek Jeter
Jeter
Derek Jeter took one step closer to history with a first-inning double giving him 2,998 career hits. He went hitless in his next four at-bats so he enters Friday just two hits away from becoming the 28th player in MLB history to reach the 3,000 hit mark. The New York Yankees next three games are at home against the Tampa Bay Rays. Jeter is 1-for-2 lifetime against Friday's probable starter Jeremy Hellickson and has a .309 career average against Rays pitching.

So how likely is it that Jeter can record two hits on Friday?

Of his 2,361 career games he has recorded two or more hits 881 times (37.3 percent). He has two or more hits in 19 games this season including three in his last 11 games. And he has four, two-hit games over his last nine contests versus the Rays.

Elsewhere around the league two teams got down early but refused to lose in the end.

The Chicago Cubs overcame an 8-0 deficit by scoring 10 runs in the final four innings to defeat the Washington Nationals. It's the first time the Cubs have erased an eight-run deficit to win since May 30, 2008 against the Colorado Rockies. The Elias Sports Bureau tells us that prior to Thursday’s victory, the Cubs were 0-567 all-time in road games in which they trailed by eight or more runs in the sixth inning or later.

Over in the American League, the Cleveland Indians scored five runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to defeat the Toronto Blue Jays thanks to a walk-off grand slam by Travis Hafner. Entering Thursday, Hafner had hit only one home run in his previous 81 at-bats in Late-Inning Pressure Situations, dating back to September 2009. It was the second walk-off grand slam this season; the other was also by the Indians, on April 29 versus the Detroit Tigers by Carlos Santana. Oh and the last team to have multiple walk-off slams in a season? The Indians in 2002.

Finally we head west to highlight an ace that is making a strong case to start this year’s All-Star game.

Since Los Angeles Angels starter Jered Weaver suffered a four-game losing streak in May he's gone 5-0 with a 1.27 ERA. Thursday he recorded his fourth complete game of the season, tied for third-most in MLB. His 1.86 ERA through 19 starts is the second-best in Angels' history.

Weaver has also now gone five straight starts with 7+ IP and 1 ER or fewer allowed, which is tied for the third-longest such streak in Angels' history and longest since Mike Witt had a five-start streak like that in 1986. The only longer streaks are two six-start streaks, by George Brunet in 1968 and Dean Chance in 1964.