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Machado reaches 30 doubles, flying past The Splendid Splinter and A-Rod
Manny Machado had three hits, including two doubles, in the Orioles' 2-0 win over the Red Sox, and he now has 30 doubles this season - a plateau that he has astoundingly reached in his team's 68th game of the season. That's by far the fewest team games required for any big-leaguer not yet 21 years old to reach 30 doubles in a season; the only other not-yet-21 players who got to 30 doubles in fewer than 90 team games were Alex Rodriguez (86 games for the Mariners in 1996) and Ted Williams (81 games for the Red Sox in 1939).
Pirates' 40-27 record a good omen of things to come?
Jeff Locke hurled seven innings, allowing just two hits, and was a deserving winner in the Pirates' 3-0 victory over the visiting Dodgers. Locke hasn't allowed a run in any of his last three home starts, and his streak of 20 1/3 scoreless innings in home games is the longest for a Pirates starting pitcher since Randy Tomlin had a streak of 23 scoreless home innings in June of 1992.
It was a milestone win for the Bucs, their 40th of the season in their 67th game. That's the fewest games needed for Pittsburgh to reach 40 wins since the 1991 team got there in 64 games. In each of the four most recent seasons in which the Pirates won 40 games in their first 67 games - 1991, 1972, 1971 and 1960 - they won either the National League championship or a division title.
Kendrick still a thorn in Yankees' side
Howie Kendrick went 2-for-3 and played stellar defense in the Angels' 5-2 victory over the bedraggled Yankees. Kendrick raised his lifetime batting average against the Bombers to .344, the second-highest by any active player with at least 150 career at-bats against the Yankees; Miguel Cabrera owns a .359 career batting average against the Yanks.
Yankees' worst offensive slump since the dawn of the Stump Merrill era
The Yankees' offensive slump continued in Anaheim on Friday night, as they managed just two runs and six hits in losing to the Angels. Over the last seven games on their West Coast trip, the Yankees as a team are batting .197 with just one home run in 259 at-bats. (Remember, because of Thursday's 18-inning game in Oakland, the Yankees have played the innings equivalent of eight games on the trip.) The last time that the Yankees had a sub-.200 batting average with no more than one home run over a span of seven games was 23 years ago, when the Yankees batted .188 with one home run over a seven-game stretch that corresponded with the first seven games managed by Stump Merrill, after he had replaced Bucky Dent in that position.
Fielder does more damage after Cabrera is walked
Prince Fielder watched as Scott Diamond intentionally walked Miguel Cabrera in the sixth inning of a scoreless game on Friday night, bringing Prince to the plate with two on and two out. Fielder promptly belted a two-run double, the first of three straight run-scoring doubles that provided all of the scoring in the Tigers' 4-0 win over the Twins. Fielder is batting .471 (16-for-34) with 24 RBIs this season in his plate appearances immediately following a walk to Cabrera.
Few losses are as tough as this one
If Chris Sale of the White Sox didn't have bad luck, well, he'd have no luck at all. Sale struck out 14 Houston batters over eight innings on Friday night, but wound up the losing pitcher when the Astros converted a pair of errors by Alexei Ramirez into two fifth-inning runs and won, 2-1. Since the major leagues began compiling earned runs off pitchers some 100 years ago, only two other pitchers have had games in which they struck out 14 batters, allowed no earned runs, and were tagged with a loss. The first time happened eight days shy of 100 years ago, on June 22, 1913, when Jim Scott, also pitching for the White Sox, had 15 strikeouts but lost, 2-0, to the St. Louis Browns on a pair of unearned runs; then on July 6, 1968, Cleveland's Sam McDowell struck out 14 batters but lost to the Angels, 2-0, on two unearned runs.
Young Fernandez tames the Cardinals
Rookie Jose Fernandez struck out 10 batters over seven innings and earned credit for the victory when the Marlins held on to take a 5-4 decision from the Cardinals. Fernandez, who is 47 days shy of his 21st birthday, became the third-youngest major-league pitcher over the past 25 years to put up a double-digit strikeout game. Felix Hernandez, in 2005, had 11 strikeouts against the Royals at the age of 19; and Rick Ankiel had games of 10 and 11 strikeouts in 2000 when he was slightly farther from his 21st birthday than was Fernandez on Friday night.
Over the last 100 years, only two pitchers as young as Fernandez had ever thrown a double-digit strikeout game against the Cardinals. Fernando Valenzuela, at 20 years, 294 days, had a 12-strikeout victory at St. Louis in 1981; and Gary Nolan had 12 strikeouts against the Cardinals in 1967, less than two months past his 19th birthday.
Posey, with 2 strikes, delivers 3 doubles
Buster Posey delivered three doubles, each coming with two strikes on him, in the Giants' 6-0 victory in Atlanta. He became the first Giants' player with three two-strike extra-base hits in a single game since Barry Bonds hit a two-strike double, triple and home run in a game against the Astros on June 16, 2000. In fact, it was the first time that Posey has produced three extra-base hits in a single major-league game; he's one of a handful of position-players who won an MVP Award before a three-extra-base-hit game, including, most recently, Justin Morneau, Ichiro Suzuki and Don Mattingly.
Bruce's 5th career walkoff homer beats Brewers
Jay Bruce homered off Burke Badenhop in the tenth inning, providing a walkoff finish in the Reds' 4-3 triumph over the Brewers. It was the fifth walkoff home run of Bruce's major-league career; he's halfway to the Reds' record of 10 walkoff homers by Tony Perez. But Bruce holds this distinction, at least for now: he's the only major-leaguer who has hit a walkoff home run in every season from 2010 through 2013.
Triple-mania breaks out in Denver
The Phillies spotted the Rockies a 7-2 lead through five innings, but the visitors scored three in the sixth and three in the seventh and left Coors Field with the 8-7 verdict in their favor. Remarkably, Freddy Galvis hit a two-run triple in each of those three-run rallies.
Believe it or not, Galvis became the third major-league player in the last eight days to hit a triple in each of two consecutive innings; Carlos Gomez did it for the Brewers on Wednesday and Carlos Gonzalez for the Rockies last Friday. (Prior to that, no big-leaguer had done the triples-in-two-consecutive-innings thing since Colby Rasmus in May of 2011.) But only two other players over the past 40 years have had connected for multiple-RBI triples in each of two straight innings: Willie Harris did it for the Braves in 2007, and Denard Span for the Twins in 2010.
Royals keep their streak intact, roll over Rays
The Royals downed the Rays in St. Petersburg, 7-2, extending to 13 games their franchise-record streak for allowing three-or-fewer runs. It's the longest streak by an American League team since the Blue Jays went 15 straight games holding the opposition to three-or-fewer runs in 1991, though three National League teams have had streaks that long in the interim (the 1993 Braves, 14 games; the 2002 Diamondbacks, 13 games; and the 2010 Giants, 18 games). Kansas City's starters have a 1.82 ERA over that span of 13 games, though only one of them (Ervin Santana on Thursday) lasted longer than seven innings (Santana pitched 7 2/3 innings against Tampa Bay).
Z-Man beats the A's
It took only six at-bats for Mike Zunino to hit his first major-league home run, and the Z-Man got an "A" for drama, as it broke a 1-1 tie in the seventh inning and put the Mariners ahead to stay in their 3-2 victory at Oakland. With the home run, Zunino became the latest-in-the-alphabet catcher ever to hit a major-league home run, breaking the mark held by Jerry Zimmerman, who hit three homers while catching for the Twins in the 1960s. There was one player who stands behind Zunino on the all-time alphabetical list of major-league catchers, but that player, Frank Zupo, never homered in his brief major-league career. (Zupo did, however, make his big-league debut in 1957 by catching his Orioles teammate, George Zuverink, who stands last on the majors' all-time alphabetical listing of pitchers!)
Stults stunts the Snakes
Who should star in "The Eric Stults Story"... Costner, Sheen, a heavily-made-up DeNiro? The 33-year-old Stults continued to mow down National League hitters on Friday night, tossing a complete-game two-hitter in the Padres' 2-1 victory over the Diamondbacks. Stults became the first San Diego left-hander to throw a complete game in which he allowed two-or-fewer hits since Sterling Hitchcock held the Angels spellbound with a two-hitter, 15 years ago this month. Over his last four starts, Stults has allowed 18 hits, one walk and only five earned runs over 31 innings.
Buehrle dominates the Rangers again
Mark Buehrle tossed seven scoreless innings as the Blue Jays picked up run after run until when it was all said and done, Toronto had an 8-0 victory over the Rangers in Arlington. The game came just six days after Buehrle had no decision in a Blue Jays' victory in which he limited Texas to one run over seven innings in Toronto. Buehrle now possesses a 13-5 (.722) won-lost record and a 3.14 ERA against the Rangers; since the franchise was re-located from Washington to Texas in 1972, only three other pitchers have as high a winning percentage and as low an ERA (minimum: 15 decisions) against the Rangers. Frank Viola was 16-5 (.762) with a 2.09 ERA; Mike Boddicker was also 16-5, with a 2.78 ERA; and David Cone was 12-3 with a 2.90 ERA.
3-run triple by DeJesus leads Cubs to victory
One day after the Cubs hit two triples in a game for the first time this season, David DeJesus produced a maximum-efficiency triple when his bases-loaded blow drove in three runs in the Cubs' 6-3 victory over the Mets. It was the first time that DeJesus had hit a three-run triple in the major leagues; but he was forced to leave the game an inning later when he apparently injured his shoulder while chasing a drive by Juan Lagares - a drive that went for a triple.