Derek Jeter homered on the first pitch of the Yankees/Tigers game on Sunday, becoming the only player this year to send the first offering of a game out of the yard. Three players (Chris Heisey, Desmond Jennings, and Alex Gordon) did so in 2011.
About 30 minutes after Jeter's leadoff homer, Steve Lombardozzi and Bryce Harper went back-to-back as the first two Nationals batters of the game. It's just the third time in franchise history that the Nationals/Expos have started a game with two homers.More notably, Elias tells us they were the first pair of rookies in the modern era (1900) to lead off a game by going back-to-back.
Later on Sunday, the Rangers' Nelson Cruz hit a 484-foot blast near the center-field flagpoles at Angel Stadium. It was the longest home run hit anywhere in the majors this year, and the longest at Angel Stadium since ESPN's tracking began in 2006.
Giants catcher Buster Posey saw 27 pitches on Monday. He swung at six and fouled off all of them. As a result of that patience, Posey drew four walks and never had an official at-bat. He's the first cleanup hitter to play an entire game with zero official at-bats in almost two years. Billy Butler of the Royals walked twice and was hit twice by the Angels in July 2010.
On Wednesday, Bud Norris struck out 12, walked none and lost the game. He did "scatter" seven hits, including five in the first inning. He's the first pitcher this season to have a 12-strikeout, zero-walk game and lose since the start of 2008.
Yankees catcher Russell Martin, batting at the bottom of the order, took the Rays’ James Shields deep for a grand slam in Tuesday's 7-0 victory. Of the 44 grand slams this season, only two have been hit out of the 9-hole. Alberto Callaspo of the Angels (May 26) has the other -- and that was as a pinch hitter.
Norichika Aoki tripled his career home run total Thursday afternoon when he hit a solo shot in the fourth for the Brewers' first run of the game, and then another solo shot for a Milwaukee walk-off in the 10th. His other career homer (April 20) was an inside-the-park variety, meaning his three career homers still have a combined distance of under 1,000 feet.
One Mets no-hitter per century is plenty. Despite two extra days of rest following last Friday's performance, Johan Santana gave up four homers in the first three innings on Friday. Robinson Cano, Nick Swisher, and Andruw Jones went back-to-back-to-back, marking the first time that Santana has ever surrendered three homers in an inning, much less in a row.
For the Yankees, it was the first time they had ever hit three straight homers in an interleague game (including the World Series). Only twice before (one of those coming against the Mets in 2003) had they had three in an inning.
Both of Cano's homers came on the first pitch of the at-bat, making him the fifth player this season to hit multiple first-pitch homers in the same game.
After Kevin Millwood (who already has a complete-game no-hitter to his credit) left Friday's game with a groin injury, the Seattle bullpen went on to throw the majors' first combined no-hitter since 2003. According to Elias, Millwood is the fourth pitcher to throw a complete-game no-hitter and also be part of a combined no-no. The others are Vida Blue, Kent Mercker and Mike Witt. It's the first time that two no-hitters have occurred exactly a week apart since Sandy Koufax and Dave Morehead threw theirs on Sept. 9 and Sept. 16, 1965.
Statistical support for this column provided by Baseball-Reference.com and the Elias Sports Bureau.