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Sunday, April 14, 2013
Kernels: Triple play highlights unusual week

By Doug Kern

Al Bello/Getty ImagesThe Yankees turned a very unusual triple play last week.
Our favorite statistical anecdotes from the past week in the major leagues:

Play of the Week: Yankees turn bizarre triple play
The New York Yankees rounded out the week by turning a bizarre triple play that involved two Baltimore Orioles getting caught in rundowns on the basepaths. It was the first one turned by the Yankees since April 22, 2010, but just their second in the past 45 seasons. Before that, you have to go back to June 3, 1968. The Orioles had not hit into a triple play since 1996.

If you're scoring at home, it went ((4-6)-5-6-5)-3-4, easily the first triple play ever to have that combination of fielders.

It's just the 10th of the 690 triple plays documented by SABR to involve at least seven chances, and the first time ever that three different fielders (2B, 3B, and SS) got both a putout and an assist as part of a triple play.

Players of the Week: Hudson, Wainwright do it with bat and arm
Tim Hudson and Adam Wainwright not only had good Saturdays on the hill, they had good games at the plate also. Hudson earned the win over the Washington Nationals, while at the same time becoming the first opposing pitcher to get two hits off Stephen Strasburg.

Since the start of 2010, eight Braves pitchers have had multi-hit games ... and six of those are by Hudson. Only Clayton Kershaw and Mike Leake have more such games over that span.

Wainwright, meanwhile, threw a shutout with 12 strikeouts and no walks. And he collected three hits at the plate (while giving up only four to the Brewers). The last pitcher to have three hits in a nine-inning shutout was Livan Hernandez for the 2004 Expos. And only one other St. Louis Cardinals pitcher in the live-ball era has pitched a shutout with 12 K and 0 BB: That's Hall-of-Famer Bob Gibson who did it four times.

Game of the Week: Astros break out
After scoring 17 runs in their first seven games combined, the Houston Astros erupted for 16 in Tuesday's game against Seattle, their highest-scoring game since August 2010.

The Mariners' late surge brought the final score to 16-9, a record for combined runs in a game at Safeco Field. And (since there is no slot for pitchers' numbers) the manual scoreboard operators needed their "22" card for the first time ever. The Astros hit total was also a record for any team since the park opened in 1999.

Among those 22 hits were four each by Jose Altuve and Chris Carter, the first pair of four-hit Astros in the same game since Willy Taveras and Morgan Ensberg did it in August 2005.

Mets amazin’ offensive outburst
The New York Mets' first trip into Target Field ended with a 16-5 outburst on Friday night. The New Yorkers hung 5-spots in both the 1st and 2nd innings, with nine of those runs coming off Minnesota Twins starter Vance Worley who only got three outs.

In the last four seasons, there has been exactly one pitcher per year to surrender nine or more runs while going 1 one inning or less. They were Jamie Moyer (2010), Zach Britton ('11), Rick Porcello ('12), and now Worley. The last Twins starter to post such a line was Joe Decker way back on May 12, 1976 (Brett Merriman did it in relief in 1993).

Although Elias tells us the Mets were the first team ever to score 5 or more in each of their first two innings playing in a stadium, Friday's game also happened to be the time in Mets history that they had scored 5+ in the first two innings of ANY game.

Cano’s breakthrough
The New York Yankees downed the Cleveland Indians 14-1 on Tuesday after an 11-6 victory on Monday. That's the first time the team had back-to-back double-digit totals since a pair of 12-4 wins over the Texas Rangers in June 2011.

Robinson Cano hit two homers and scored four times in Monday's game, numbers last accomplished by a Yankee when Hideki Matsui did it in August 2009.

Cano then reversed his line and hit two doubles and a homer on Tuesday. In the Live-Ball Era, he is one of only two Yankees to have back-to-back games with three or more extra-base hits. Cano did it once before, at the end of the 2005 season. The other is Lou Gehrig in June 1936.