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HOWARD CLEANS UP IN FIRST INNING
From Elias: Ryan Howard demonstrated the true definition of a "cleanup" hitter in the Phillies' 9-5 10-inning home loss to the Mets. After Chris Young allowed the first three batters to reach base, Howard's grand slam gave Philadelphia a 4-1 lead before an out was recorded in the first inning. Howard is the fifth starting fourth-place hitter to hit a first-inning, no-out grand slam for the Phillies. The others were Sam Thompson (July 16, 1890 vs. Pittsburgh), Dick Allen (July 8, 1965 vs. San Francisco), Greg Luzinski (June 11, 1977 at Atlanta) and Bobby Abreu (August 4, 2005 vs. Cubs). Philadelphia won the previous four such games.
METS WIN BIG IN EXTRAS FOR A CHANGE
From Elias: The Mets overcame a three-run deficit to win 9-5 in 10 innings at Philadelphia. It was the first time the Mets have won an extra-inning game by 4+ runs since defeating the Nationals 6-2 at RFK Stadium on April 28, 2007. In the interim, New York had lost seven 10+ inning games by at least four runs.
The Mets have eight wins this season in which they overcame a deficit of two or more runs. Five of those eight two-run comeback victories have been against the Phillies, including four at Citizens Bank Park.
WELCOME BACK, LEW FORD
From Elias: Lew Ford homered for the second straight game in the Orioles' 6-0 home win over the White Sox. Before Monday, Ford hadn't hit a home run in 1,856 days, since July 29, 2007 while playing for the Twins. In Major League Baseball's "modern" era (since 1900), only three other players have homered in consecutive games immediately after going that long since their previous home run. Pitcher "Bullet" Joe Bush, whose previous home run was in 1914, hit homers in consecutive starts in 1923. Wilson Valdez, who'd gone without a home run since 2004, did it in consecutive games in 2010. And Billy Lush, whose last homer had been in 1896, hit home runs in two straight games in 1902.
BRAVES WIN 17TH STRAIGHT MEDLEN START
From Elias: Kris Medlen pitched eight shutout innings in the Braves' 2-0 win at San Diego. Atlanta has won Medlen's last 17 starts, dating back to 2010. That's the longest streak in Braves franchise history and the longest for any major-league pitcher since the Cardinals won 17 straight starts by Chris Carpenter in 2005.
ALVAREZ' FIFTH MULTI-HOMER GAME
From Elias: Pedro Alvarez was 4-for-5 with two home runs in the Pirates' 9-0 home win over the Cardinals. It was Alvarez's fifth career game with more than one homer, all as a third baseman. That ties Richie Hebner and Aramis Ramirez for the most multiple-home-run games in team history by a player manning the hot corner.
CUETO AND THE WHIP
From Elias: Johnny Cueto allowed two runs in seven innings, becoming the first pitcher to reach 17 wins in 2012 in the Reds' 5-2 victory at Arizona. No Cincinnati pitcher had been MLB's first 17-game winner since Ewell "The Whip" Blackwell in 1947.
A's THIRD STRAIGHT SHUTOUT OVER CLEVELAND
From Elias: The A's posted their third straight shutout of the Indians (August 19 in Oakland, Monday & Tuesday in Cleveland). It's the fifth time since the team left Philadelphia in 1954 that the Athletics have posted shutouts in three straight games against Cleveland (also in 1966, 1968, 1972-73 and 1989). Against all other opponents, they've had only two such streaks in the past 58 years: over the Twins in 1982 and the Angels in 1994.
GALLARDO WINS SIXTH STRAIGHT
From Elias: Yovani Gallardo won his sixth straight start as the Brewers defeated the Cubs 4-1 at Wrigley Field. Gallardo is the first Milwaukee pitcher to win and pitch at least seven innings in six straight starts since Cal Eldred did that in seven straight outings as a rookie in 1992.
VERLANDER HAS A RARE BAD NIGHT
From Elias: Justin Verlander allowed eight runs, all earned, in less than six innings, earning a no-decision in the Tigers' 9-8 loss at Kansas City. Verlander had not allowed as many as seven runs in any of his last 124 starts, dating back to April 2009. That was the longest active streak by any pitcher who has appeared in a game this season. After Tuesday, the longest current streak belongs to Josh Johnson, who has allowed six runs or fewer in 112 straight starts.
ROOKIE CATCHER ROSARIO HAS THREE HITS, HOMER
From Elias: Wilin Rosario was 3-for-4 with a home run in the Rockies' 8-4 home win over the Dodgers. Rosario is the second Colorado rookie catcher to record three hits and a home run in a game. Henry Blanco went 3-for-5 with a homer against the Braves at Coors Field on August 16, 1999.
ANGELS WIN ON SACRIFICE FLY
From Elias: Torii Hunter's sacrifice fly drove in Alberto Callaspo with the winning run in the Angels' 6-5 win over the Red Sox in Anaheim. It was the Halos' sixth walk-off sac-fly in the last three seasons, the most by any team. No other team has more than three since 2010.
KINSLER HOMERS IN 1-0 WIN
From Elias: Ian Kinsler's fourth-inning solo home run provided all the offense the Rangers needed in their 1-0 win over the Rays in Arlington. Only one other Texas player in the last 30 years has homered in a 1-0 home victory: Michael Young against the Angels on July 23, 2010.
BIG GAME FOR MARLINS CENTERFIELDER
From Elias: Justin Ruggiano went 4-for-4 and hit a home run in Miami's 9-0 win over Washington. Ruggiano is third different Marlins centerfielder to record four hits and a homer in a game. The others were Preston Wilson (in 1999 and 2001) and Juan Pierre (2004).
RARE HOMERLESS WIN FOR YANKS
From Elias: The Yankees did not hit a home run in their 2-1 home win over the Blue Jays. It was the just the Bombers' fourth win in 2012 in which they failed to homer. Every other MLB team has at least twice as many wins. And the only team with a worse record than New York (4-18, .182) in such games is Houston (9-49, .155).
SANCHEZ' PINCH HIT WINS IT FOR GIANTS
From Elias: Hector Sanchez's pinch-hit RBI single in the ninth inning drove in the winning run in the Giants' 3-2 win at Houston. It was the second time this season that Sanchez produced a game-winning RBI in the ninth inning or later as a pinch hitter. He had an 11th-inning walk-off single against the Brewers on May 6. The last San Francisco pinch hitter to deliver two such late game-winners in a season was Mark Sweeney in 2006.
FOUR GOOD TEAMS GET BLANKED
From Elias: The White Sox, Cardinals, Rays and Nationals, who entered Tuesday more than 10 games over .500, all suffered shutout losses. It was the first time in exactly 35 years that four teams with such good records were blanked. On August 28, 1977, the Orioles, Phillies, Cardinals and Rangers all suffered the same fate.