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JETER PLAYS IN 1,500TH WIN & MAKES HISTORY
From Elias: Derek Jeter went hitless in the Yankees' 4-0 victory over the White Sox, as his batting average, which stood at .404 through May 4, fell to .300, its lowest point since the first week of the season. But the Yankees captain earns the leadoff spot in Elias Says because Saturday's victory was the 1,500th regular-season victory in which he has played for the Yankees, and he became the first player in major-league history to play in 1,500 wins before he played in as many as 1,000 losses. Jeter has played in 2,501 major-league games, all with the Yankees: 1,500 wins, 999 losses and two ties.
GRANDAL, IN 1ST BIG-LEAGUE START, MAKES HISTORY
From Elias: 23-year-old rookie catcher Yasmani Grandal hit a pair of home runs--his first two major-league hits--and the Padres went on to defeat the Rockies in Denver, 8-4. Grandal hit the first of his homers batting right-handed off Christian Friedrich, and he hit the next one from the left side off Jeremy Guthrie. Grandal became the first player in history whose first two major-league hits were a pair of home runs, in the same game, from each side of the plate.
Alexi Amarista, San Diego's 23-year-old shortstop, also homered twice in the game, making it only the fifth game in major-league history in which two teammates, each not yet 24 years old, connected for a pair of home runs. Among the four previous pairs who did it: Vada Pinson (20) and Frank Robinson (23) for the Reds in 1959 and Jose Canseco (22) and Mark McGwire (23) for the Athletics in 1987. Even more unusual is that a shortstop and a catcher hit a pair of home runs in a game: in only one other game in major-league history did a pair of teammates--one a catcher, the other a shortstop--each connect twice: Chris Widger and Mark Grudzielanek did that for the Montreal Expos off the Giants' Mark Gardner at San Francisco on May 13, 1998.
TROUT CONCLUDES A MONTH EVOKING TED'S ROOKIE SEASON
From Elias: Mike Trout went 0 for 4 on Saturday, but he still ended June with 42 hits in 113 at-bats, a .372 batting average. He's the first major-leaguer not yet 21 years old to have 40-or-more hits and a batting average of .370 or better in one month since a Red Sox rookie named Ted Williams batted .372, going 48 for 129, in July 1939.
JUNE RBI COUNT: BAUTISTA 30, RASMUS 25
From Elias: Jose Bautista drove in his 30th run of June and Colby Rasmus had his 25th RBI of the month in Toronto's win over the Angels on Saturday. It's the third time in Blue Jays history that one player had at least 30 RBIs in a month and a teammate added 25 or more. That also happened in August 1998 (Shawn Green 30, Carlos Delgado 28) and June 1992 (Dave Winfield 32, Joe Carter 26).
ALVAREZ BELTS SLAM, NOW 7 FOR 11 WITH BASES FULL
From Elias: Pedro Alvarez hit a first-inning grand-slam home run, producing all the runs that the Pirates would need in what turned out to be a 7-3 victory in St. Louis. In his brief big-league career, Alvarez now has seven hits, including a pair of homers, in 11 at-bats with the bases full.
Among all players who have come into the majors over the past 20 seasons, only one has had at least seven hits, including at least two homers, in his first 11 bases-loaded at-bats. Pat Burrell started his career 8-for-11 with a pair of home runs with the bags full.
DIAMOND CONTINUES TO SPARKLE
From Elias: Scott Diamond, who is likely the most underappreciated rookie pitcher in the majors this season, at least on a national level, lifted his won-lost record to 7-3 with a 7-2 victory over the Royals on Saturday afternoon. Diamond is only the third rookie in the 112-year history of the franchise (beginning in Washington back in 1901) to start a season by winning at least seven of his first 10 decisions, all as a starter. Bump Hadley started 8-2 for the Senators in 1927 and Glen Perkins had a 7-3 mark for the Twins in 2008. Diamond's 2.63 ERA is lower than the ERAs produced by either Hadley (3.04) or Perkins (4.08) through the game in which they had their 10th decision.
IKE "3-RUN HOMER" DAVIS
From Elias: Ike Davis belted yet another three-run homer in support of Johan Santana as the Mets blanked the Dodgers, 5-0, in Los Angeles. The home run was Davis's 11th this season, and seven of them have produced at least three runs (six three-run homers and one grand-slam), the highest total of three-run plus grand-slam homers by any major-leaguer this season. Davis hit five of those homers during the month of June, the most three-run/four-run homers by one player in any month in the Mets' 51-year history. The last major leaguer with five in a month was Ryan Howard, who actually had six back in August of 2009.
DODGERS TIE RECORD: SHUT OUT FOR 5TH TIME IN 6-GAME SPAN
From Elias: The Dodgers tied a major-league record on Saturday night by being shut out for the fifth time in their last six games. Five teams did that back in the dead-ball era, and only three others have done it since 1920: the Washington Senators in 1958, the Houston Colt .45s in 1963 and the Cubs in 1992. (Special mention to that Houston team, which also set a record by being shut out six times over a seven-game span.)
Saturday night's game, in fact, presented a convergence of an ice-cold lineup facing a pitcher who had consistently dominated that team. Johan Santana is now 5-0 with an ERA of 0.50 in five starts against the Dodgers, and he's the first pitcher to win each of his first five starts against the Dodgers with an ERA that low since the Cardinals' Larry Jaster shut out the Dodgers each of the first five times he started against them, all in 1966.
BRAUN PICKS UP 2 MORE HOMERS OFF ROOKIE
From Elias: Ryan Braun hit a pair of home runs off Diamondbacks rookie Wade Miley in the Brewers' 10-2 triumph on Saturday night. Braun is second to none in the matter of relishing some ABs against rookie pitchers: the home runs he hit against Miley were the ninth and tenth that he has poled off rookies this season, by far the highest total for any big-league player. (Mike Napoli, with six, has the second-most homers off rookies this season.)
HAMILTON: HALFWAY TO 50
From Elias: Josh Hamilton slammed his 25th home run of the season, leading the Rangers to a 7-2 decision over the Athletics. Hamilton's blow came in Texas's 79th game of the season, three days after Jose Bautista hit his 25th homer of the season in the Blue Jays' 75th game. It's the first time in the last five seasons that two major-leaguers have hit their 25th homer before their team reached the halfway mark of the season. (A major-league-record seven players did that back in the 2006 season.)
JACKSON'S KEY HIT LIFTS TIGERS
From Elias: Austin Jackson's three-run homer in the eighth inning turned the Tigers' 1-0 lead into a 4-0 lead and was the biggest hit in Detroit's 6-2 victory over the Rays in St. Petersburg. That hit lifted Jackson's season batting average with runners in scoring position to .372; the Detroit outfielder batted .198 in those situations last season. Jackson has the second-largest increase in that category, from last year to this, among players with had at least 100 at-bats in those situations last year and who have at least 40 such at-bats this year; only Alex Rios of the White Sox has shown a greater improvement (from .171 to .351).
SIMMONS GETS 3 HITS, FINISHES FIRST MONTH IN MAJORS WITH 30
From Elias: Andrelton Simmons had three hits in the Braves' 7-5 victory over the Nationals, giving him an even 30 hits since making his big-league debut on June 2. It's the second straight month that a player accumulated 30 hits in the month of his major-league debut; Will Middlebrooks did that for the Red Sox in May. The last time that players had 30-or-more hits in their big-league-debut month in each of two consecutive months came in 1977, when Oakland's Mitchell Page had 30 hits in April and Atlanta's Barry Bonnell had 30 hits in May. (We should mention that in April of 2001, three players making their major-league bows had 30-or-more hits in the same month: Albert Pujols, Ichiro Suzuki and Shea Hillenbrand.)
2ND COMPLETE GAME THIS WEEK BY LATOS
From Elias: Mat Latos threw his second straight complete game on Saturday, a two-hit, one-run performance in San Francisco, after he had a four-hit, one-run game against the Brewers on Monday. Latos is the first Reds pitcher to have complete game wins in consecutive starts, allowing four or fewer hits in each game, since Tom Browning did it in April 1994.
RIZZO'S HOMER PROVIDES NEEDED PRODUCTION BY CUBS' FIRST BASEMAN
From Elias: Anthony Rizzo hit his first home run for the Cubs on Saturday, a two-run shot off J.A. Happ in the fifth inning of Chicago's 3-2 victory. Prior to Saturday's game, Cubs first basemen had hit only one home run in their last 40 games (that one by Bryan LaHair), and had produced only two multiple-RBI games over that May 16-through-June 29 span (those by a couple of guys who are normally catchers but who were filling in at first base, Blake Lalli and Steve Clevenger).
MARLINS FINISH JUNE WITH A WIN, BUT STILL...
From Elias: The Marlins' 3-2 victory over the Phillies on Saturday brought a pleasant conclusion to a dreadful month, one in which Miami's are 8-18 won-lost record produced the lowest winning percentage in the major leagues (.308). During the months of May, the Marlins produced the highest winning percentage in the majors (.724), based on a 21-8 won-lost record.
Only three other teams in the past 50 years had the best record in the majors in one calendar month and then the worst in the next month (excluding March and October): the Twins in 1990 (May and June), Rangers in 1983 (June and July) and Cardinals in 1971 (May and June).
TRIBE GETS 13 HITS FROM 3 PLAYERS
From Elias: Jose Lopez knocked out five hits for the Indians on Saturday while Shin-Soo Choo and Lou Marson each had four-hit games. Over the last 60 seasons (1953-2012), there has been only one other nine-inning game in which an Indians player had five hits and two teammates had four (or more) apiece: At Fenway Park on Sept. 5, 1987, Tommy Hinzo had five hits for Cleveland while Joe Carter and Mel Hall each had four.