Stats & Info: Chris Heisey
Pujols had a home run taken away by Heisey to end the top of the first inning, but came back to homer in the eighth inning. He’s the first player this season to have a home run robbed by the opposition and then homer later in the game.
Heisey, after his defensive gem ended the top half of the first, led off the bottom half with a home run, his third leadoff homer of the season. He homered again in the fifth inning, becoming the first player this season to rob a home run and hit two of his own in the same game.
It’s the third straight homer he’s hit off Cardinals starter Jake Westbrook and the second consecutive one that led off the game. According to Elias, the last pitcher to allow a leadoff home run in each of consecutive starts within one season, with the same batter hitting each of those homers, was Steve Trachsel in May 2000 to Rickey Henderson.
Phillips’ home run was the difference maker in the game, his second career walk-off homer and first since 2003 when he was with the Cleveland Indians. It’s the Cardinals’ eighth walk-off loss of the season, tied for third-most in the league.
Jeff Karstens threw a five-hit shutout to lead the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 4-0 win over the Houston Astros, the second shutout of his career and first since 2008. He threw just 83 pitches, tied for the fourth-fewest in a nine-inning shutout since 2000.
Elias tells us that Karstens is averaging 14.01 pitches per inning this season, the second-lowest average among pitchers with at least 75 innings pitched; only James Shields (13.96) is more efficient.
Karstens is 5-0 with a 1.26 ERA in his past eight starts. It's the 15th straight start that he’s allowed three earned runs or fewer -- the only time he allowed more than three was his first start of the season.
The win puts the Pirates in first place in the NL Central at 48-43, the latest into a season they’ve been in first since July 17, 1997. It's the Pirates' sixth shutout of the season which matches their total from all of last season.
He is the seventh player in the majors with a three-homer game this season. This is the earliest we have had seven three-homer games in a season since the 2001 when there had already been 10 such games.
In addition to his first multi-homer game Heisey also connected on his first career leadoff home run. With Wednesday's performance Heisey has already matched his output for the 2010 season with eight longballs, doing so in 74 fewer at-bats.
He is the 32nd player in Reds history to hit three home runs in a game, and the first to do so in interleague play. The last Reds player with a three-homer game was Jay Bruce in 2010.
Like Heisey, Bruce also did it out of the leadoff spot. The only other Reds player in the Live Ball Era (since 1920) to do so was Pete Rose back in 1978 against the Mets.
Heisey is the sixth player in the last 25 years to hit three home runs in a game against the Yankees and first to do so since Kevin Millar in 2004. Heisey is the only leadoff hitter to ever homer three times in a single game against the Yankees.
Cliff Lee loving June
Cliff Lee continued his spectacular run in the month of June notching his second consecutive shutout as the Philadelphia Phillies defeated the St. Louis Cardinals. Lee is the first Phillies pitcher since Cory Lidle in 2004 to throw consecutive shutouts and just fourth to do so in the last 35 seasons.
Interesting to note the last three pitchers to throw consecutive shutouts in the majors all currently reside in the Phillies rotation. Before Lee in 2011, Roy Halladay accomplished the feat in 2009 with the Toronto Blue Jays while Roy Oswalt did so in 2008 with the Houston Astros.
Lee is on a historic pace this month, now 4-0 with a 0.27 ERA in four June starts. Since the end of World War II, only four Phillies pitchers have had an ERA under 1.00 for a single month (minimum of five starts). The last to do so was Jim Bunning with a 0.87 ERA in August of the 1967 season.
Looking ahead to his next start Lee could join some other elite company within the Phillies franchise.
With another shutout on June 28 against the Red Sox, he would join Robin Roberts in 1950 as the only Phillies pitchers in the Live Ball Era to throw three consecutive shutouts.
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