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MIDDLEBROOKS MAKING SOX FANS FORGET YOUK
From Elias: Will Middlebrooks went 3-for-4 with a home run in Saturday's win over the Braves, and now has a batting average of .331 with nine homers and 33 RBI in his first 40 major-league games. Middlebrooks is just the fifth player since 1920 (the first year in which the major leagues kept track of RBI) with such high across-the-board figures in batting average, home runs and RBI over his first 40 career major-league games. The others: Buzz Arlett for the Phillies in 1931 (10 HR, 38 RBI, .378 BA), Ken Keltner for the Indians in 1937-1938 (9/34/.335), Alvin Davis for the Mariners in 1984 (11/34/.340) and Albert Pujols for the Cardinals in 2001 (14/44/.367).
THOME IS A WALK-OFF EXPERT
From Elias: Jim Thome hit the 13th walk-off home run of his major-league career, the most in major-league history. Thome had previously been tied for the record with five Hall-of-Famers: Babe Ruth, Jimmie Foxx, Stan Musial, Mickey Mantle and Frank Robinson. Thome has hit walk-off homers for four different teams: Indians (nine), White Sox (two), Twins (one) and Phillies (one). Only two other active players have produced walk-off homers for four different teams: Johnny Damon (five) and Carlos Pena (four).
KEUCHEL IMPRESSES EARLY
From Elias: Dallas Keuchel threw a complete-game six-hitter for the Astros, in just his second major-league game. The last pitcher to throw a complete game in either his first or second major-league appearance was Clay Buchholz for the Red Sox on Sept. 1, 2007; he tossed a no-hitter in his second game in the majors. The last Astros pitcher to do such a thing was Randy Niemann on May 29, 1979, also his second big-league game.
JAYS GO DEEP TWICE IN 9TH INNING
From Elias: Edwin Encarnacion (solo shot) and Colby Rasmus (grand slam) homered in the Blue Jays' six-run ninth inning Saturday afternoon. It was the tenth time this season that the Jays hit more than one home run in an inning, the second-most innings of that type in the major leagues this season, behind the Yankees (13). Toronto had only 12 multiple-homer innings all of last season, tied for eighth-most in the majors.
CUETO DOES IT WITH BOTH ARM AND BAT
From Elias: Johnny Cueto threw seven scoreless innings and knocked in two runs in the Reds' win over the Twins. The last Reds pitcher to throw at least seven innings while allowing no runs and knocking in at least two runs was Chris Reitsma on April 23, 2003 against the Dodgers. Reitsma threw eight scoreless innings and drove in two runs in that game.
LINCOLN LOGS FIVE HITLESS INNINGS
From Elias: Brad Lincoln did not allow a hit until Ramon Santiago's double to lead off the sixth inning. It was the fourth time this season that a Pirates pitcher took a no-hitter into the sixth inning. James McDonald did it twice (April 25 versus Colorado and May 17 at Washington) and A.J. Burnett once (June 10 versus Kansas City). It's the most such games for any big-league team this season.
CARDINALS STACK DECK
From Elias: Each of the first six batters in the Cardinals lineup had at least two hits in their 8-2 victory at Kansas City: Rafael Furcal (2), Jon Jay (2), Matt Holliday (4), Carlos Beltran (2), Allen Craig (2) and David Freese (2). It's the first time this season that any major-league team saw each of the first six batters in its lineup collect at least two hits.
BEST START OF CAPUANO'S CAREER
From Elias: Chris Capuano lifted his record to 9-2 and lowered his earned-run average to 2.60 with his performance against the Angels on Saturday. It's the most wins and lowest ERA that Capuano has ever had through his first 15 games of a major-league season. Capuano's previous bests through 15 games were seven wins and a 3.30 ERA in 2006.
OUTMAN CAN'T WIN DESPITE 10-RUN LEAD
From Elias: Josh Outman failed to earn a win despite his Rockies teammates providing him with a 10-run lead entering the bottom of the fifth inning against the Rangers on Saturday. Outman is the first major-league starting pitcher to have such a game this season. Two pitchers did it last season, both Yankees: Phil Hughes against the A's on July 22 and A.J. Burnett against the White Sox on August 3 (both Hughes and Burnett were given 12-run leads).
IBANEZ MAKES THEM COUNT
From Elias: Raul Ibanez's three-run home run in the seventh inning was the big blow in the Yankees' 4-3 win over the Mets. Seven of Ibanez's 11 homers have come with runners on base this season; that rate of 63.6 percent matches the highest such percentage among major league players who have hit at least 10 homers this season. Four other players have hit 63.6 percent of their homers with runners on base: Nelson Cruz, Albert Pujols, Wilin Rosario and Jason Kipnis (all 7 of 11).
VICIEDO BREAKS SLUMP
From Elias: Dayan Viciedo had three hits, a home run and four RBI in the White Sox' win over the Brewers. Viciedo had only six hits (all singles) and knocked in only one run over his previous 15 games.
JACKSON TURNING SEASON AROUND
From Elias: Edwin Jackson is 3-1 with a 2.30 earned-run average over his last four starts. Jackson was 1-3 with a 3.17 earned-run average over his first 10 starts of the season.
BUMGARNER WORKS HARD FOR VICTORY
From Elias: Madison Bumgarner earned a win at Oakland despite allowing 11 hits in only six innings pitched. The last Giants pitcher to win a game despite allowing at least 11 hits in no more than six innings was Noah Lowry on Aug. 24, 2007. Lowry allowed 12 hits in five innings in an 11-6 win for the Giants against the Brewers.
FELIX IS THE KING OF PETCO
From Elias: Felix Hernandez is 4-0 with a 1.63 earned-run average in five career starts at Petco Park. Among pitchers with at least five career starts at Petco Park, only one has a lower career ERA there than Hernandez: Cole Hamels (1.27).