Special to ESPN.com
BRAVES COMPLETE 88-YEAR JOURNEY BACK TO .500
From Elias: The Braves' 6-3 victory in Houston on Saturday night not only moved them nine games above .500 for the first time this season, but it lifted the franchise's all-time record to 9982 wins and 9982 losses.
The Braves franchise, of course, was a charter member of the National League in 1876, and the team went 19-19 in its first 38 games that year. Then on July 25, 1876, Boston defeated New York, 11-1, to go to 20-19 - and the team stayed above .500 (high point: 523 games above .500 in April 1903) until June 3, 1923, when the Braves lost to the Brooklyn Dodgers, 7-6, evening Boston's record at 3084-3084. A 9-7 loss to the Phillies the next day dropped the Braves a game below .500 - and they had stayed below the .500 mark ever since - for over 88 years, until the win over the Astros on Saturday night! The low point came on April 20, 1991, when the Braves lost to the Reds, falling to 526 games below the break-even mark. But that same 1991 team started the big climb back to .500 by winning the National League championship that year; now, 20 years later, the team is back to the .500 mark for the first time since 1923!
RBI FOR A-GON AND A-WIN FOR THE RED SOX
From Elias: Adrian Gonzalez has knocked in a run in each of his last eight games and the Red Sox have won every one of them. Only one other Red Sox player drove in a run in eight or more straight games with Boston winning every one of the games: Dwight Evans had an RBI in 10 consecutive games in 1989; the Red Sox won all 10 games.
LEAKE BEATS LINCECUM WITH HIS ARM AND BAT
From Elias: Mike Leake pitched eight scoreless innings and had two hits off Tim Lincecum in the Reds' win over the Giants. Leake is only the third pitcher over the last 20 years to throw at least eight scoreless innings and get two hits off a former Cy Young Award winner in the same game. Doug Drabek did it for the Astros against the Braves in 1994 (shutout and three hits off Tom Glavine) and Jeff Karstens did it for the Pirates against the Diamondbacks in 2008 (shutout and two hits off Randy Johnson).
BAKER TURNS UP HEAT ON RANGERS
From Elias: Scott Baker allowed five hits, one run, struck out seven and did not walk a batter in the Twins' win over the Rangers. The last Twins pitcher to have a performance like that in a complete-game win was Kevin Slowey on June 29, 2008 against the Brewers (complete-game win, no runs allowed, three hits, no walks, and eight strikeouts).
BIG FIRST INNING FOR TWINS
From Elias: The Twins scored five first-inning runs in their 8-1 win over the Rangers. Minnesota scored only 22 runs in the first inning entering Saturday's action, tied for fifth-fewest in the major leagues in that category.
WILL THE OLD BARTOLO PLEASE STAND UP
From Elias: Bartolo Colon is 3-0 with a 1.29 earned-run average over his last three starts. That's the first time in almost seven years that Colon won three consecutive starts with an earned-run average that low. Colon went 3-0 with a 0.90 earned-run average over a three-start stretch in July 2004 while pitching for the Angels.
GRANDY HITS #20
From Elias: Curtis Granderson hit his 20th home run of the season for the Yankees, in the team's 62nd game. The last Yankees left-handed batter to reach 20 home runs in 62 or fewer team games was Tino Martinez in 1997. Tino hit home run #20 in the Yankees 52nd game that season.
LEAD-OFF HOMER FOR BOTH TEAMS
From Elias: Ryan Roberts led off the top of the first inning with a home run for the Diamondbacks; Chris Coghlan led off the bottom of the first inning with a home run for the Marlins. It was the first major-league game since July 16, 2007 in which the first batter of the game for both teams hit a home run - Chris Young for Arizona and Corey Hart for Milwaukee turned the trick that day. There were seven games in 2006 and 2007 combined in which both teams had a leadoff home run, none in 2008, 2009 and 2010.
SCHERZER IS MAXING OUT
From Elias: Max Scherzer improved his record to 8-2 in the Tigers' win over the Mariners. Over the past ten seasons only two other Tigers pitchers began a season with eight or more wins over their first ten decisions and both did it in 2007: Jeremy Bonderman (9-1) and Justin Verlander (8-2).
BACK TO NORMAL FOR ICHIRO
From Elias: Ichiro Suzuki got hits in his final two at-bats in the Mariners' loss to the Tigers. Prior to the two hits, Suzuki had only three hits in his previous 38 at-bats dating back to June 1, matching the fewest hits he ever had over any 38 at-bat stretch of his major-league career. Ichiro also went 3-for-38 in September 2003.
ZACK IS BACK
From Elias: Zack Greinke improved to 6-1 in eight starts for the Brewers. Only three other pitchers in Brewers history won six (or more) of their first eight starts with the team: CC Sabathia (7-0 in his first eight starts for the Brewers in 2008), Ed Sprague, Sr. (6-1 in 1974) and Jerry Bell (6-0 spanning the 1972 and 1973 seasons).
ZOBRIST WINS POT WITH A PAIR OF FOURS
From Elias: Ben Zobrist had four extra-base hits and scored four runs in the Rays' win over the Orioles. Zobrist is only the second player in Rays history with four long hits and four runs scored in the same game. Tomas Perez did it on July 29, 2006 at Yankee Stadium (four doubles, four runs scored).
ANOTHER TWO HITS FOR REYES
From Elias: Jose Reyes, who had two more hits for the Mets Saturday night, has 29 hits over his last 15 games. The last Mets player to have at least 29 hits over a 15-game span within one season was... Jose Reyes, who had 29 hits over 15 games in June/July 2006. The last Mets player not named Reyes to do this was Derek Bell in April 2000.
DANKS GET SUPPORT
From Elias: Jesse Crain earned the save for the White Sox and John Danks Saturday night. The White Sox bullpen had a 7.11 earned-run average in games started by Danks this season, the second-worst such mark for any pitcher in the major leagues that made at least 10 starts. Only Minnesota's Scott Baker (7.39) had worse bullpen support than Danks this season.
LANNAN IS UNHITTABLE LATELY
From Elias: John Lannan is 2-0 with a 0.68 earned-run average over his last four starts. The last Nat or Expo with an ERA that low over a four-start span within one season was Javier Vazquez in 2001. Vazquez went 4-0 with a 0.28 ERA over four starts for the Expos in August of that season.