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Thursday, September 2, 2010
Hawpe's debut historically bad


The Tampa Bay Rays likely figured the addition of Brad Hawpe would give them another bat as they battle with the New York Yankees for the AL East crown over the final month of the season. Hawpe averaged nearly 25 home runs and 93 runs batted in while hitting .288 over the previous four seasons but has always struggled in the Fall (his .239 batting average in September/October is 40 points lower than in any other month). However, Hawpe did much more than "struggle" in his Rays debut Wednesday night, going 0-4 with four strikeouts. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he's just the fourth player to go 0-4 with four K's in his first game after changing teams since 1900.

Other notes from Wednesday's action:

• The Florida Marlins get the bats going early as they score 15 runs in the first four innings en route to their 16-10 win over the Washington Nationals. It's the first time in the history of the Marlins that they've scored 15 that quickly and first time in history of Nationals that they've allowed 15 that quickly.

• The Cincinnati Reds continue to run away with the NL Central, beating the Milwaukee Brewers 6-1 and increasing their lead over the St. Louis Cardinals to eight games. This is the first time the Reds have led the division by eight or more games since the 1995 season.

• One day after a retiring the side in his MLB debut, Aroldis Chapman turns in another perfect outing. Chapman put down all three batters he faced Wednesday, hitting 103.9 MPH on the radar gun. That's the fastest record pitch in the majors this season.

Jason Heyward registers four hits against the New York Mets, the third time he's had four hits in a game in his last 10 games. He's the second Braves player age 21 or younger with three four-hit games in a season since the franchise moved to Milwaukee in 1953. The other was Hank Aaron who had four four-hit games in 1955. Each of Heyward's hits were to the opposite field making him the third major-leaguer to record four opposite-field hits in one game this season. The others are Adrian Gonzalez, who’s done it twice, and Chris Coghlan.

Jon Lester allows five runs in six innings but still gets the win as the Boston Red Sox beat the Baltimore Orioles. Lester is now 13-0 with a 2.33 ERA in 15 career starts vs Baltimore. He's the only active pitcher to have more 10 or more wins and no losses against a single opponent. He's also the only pitcher to win his first 13 career decisions against the Orioles.

Jimmy Rollins starts Philadelphia Phillies win over the Los Angeles Dodgers with his 35th career leadoff home run. Alfonso Soriano, who has 54, is the only active player with more career leadoff homers.

David Price continued to dominate the Blue Jays this season improving to 4-0 with a 0.58 ERA against Toronto. Wednesday Price mixed things up. After Blue Jays hitters swung-and-missed only three times on his fastball last time out on June 9, Price went to his off-speed stuff more often this time. He threw only 63 fastballs on Wednesday, his fewest total in any start this year. Mixing in more off-speed stuff helped make Price’s fastball more effective. He recorded 11 swings-and-misses on his fastball, his highest against Toronto this season.