Date: June 16, 2013

Elias Says...

By Elias Sports Bureau, Inc.
Special to



Cumpton starts career with a string of K's

In his major-league debut, Pirates pitcher Brandon Cumpton struck out the first four batters he faced. The last pitcher to do that was Nick Maronde of the Angels over two games in September 2012 (he struck out his only batter faced in his major-league debut on September 2 against the Mariners and fanned his next three vs. the Athletics three days later). The last National League pitcher to start his career with such a streak was Pete Richert of the Dodgers, who fanned his first six batters on April 12, 1962 against the Reds (Hall-of-Famer Frank Robinson was among those six players).

Pittsburgh Pirates

Casilla's baserunning error costly

Alexi Casilla's baserunning gaffe proved costly in the Orioles' 5-4 loss to the Red Sox. Casilla, just entering the game as a pinch runner and representing the tying run at first base with only one out in the bottom of the ninth, ran to third base on a routine fly out to Shane Victorino. Victorino then tossed the ball to Mike Carp, who stepped on first to end the game. It had been nearly 12 years since Boston won on a game-ending double play started by an outfielder; its last victory of that type was on June 17, 2001 at Atlanta. There has been only one other game this season in which a team won in that fashion: on June 3, when the Dodgers' Yasiel Puig doubled off Chris Denorfia at first base to end the game in Puig's MLB debut against the Padres.

Boston Red Sox


Feldman excels on the mound and at the plate

Scott Feldman allowed only two hits over seven innings and knocked in two runs at the plate in the Cubs' 5-2 win against the Mets at Citi Field. Over the last 30 years, only one other Cubs starting pitcher hurled at least seven innings while surrendering no more than two hits and contributing two RBIs for his team's offense. That was Carlos Zambrano, who did so twice (June 5, 2006 at Houston and September 25, 2009 at San Francisco).

Feldman's two-run single in the fourth inning gave Chicago a lead it never relinquished. He's the third Cubs pitcher with a game-winning RBI this season, joining Edwin Jackson (May 11 at Washington) and Jeff Samardzija (May 15 vs. Colorado).

Chicago Cubs


Blanco's grand slam is the difference

Henry Blanco's sixth inning grand slam was all the offense the Mariners would need in their 4-0 win over the Athletics. Blanco joins Cap Anson and Craig Biggio as the only players in MLB history with a grand slam home run at age 40 or older after never hitting one in their 30's. Blanco's only other grand slam was on May 12, 2000 against the Pirates at 28 years old.

Blanco is the first player to hit a grand slam which accounted for all the runs in a game for both teams since Brad Davis of the Marlins against the Cardinals on September 20, 2010. No Mariners player had ever done that before in that franchise's history.

Seattle Mariners

Rockies hit for the cycle in the first

The Rockies scored six runs on seven hits (four singles, one double, one triple, one home run) in the first inning on their way to a 10-5 victory against the Phillies. It was only the third time in franchise history that Colorado's offense hit for the cycle in the first inning of a game. It had previously done so in April 1997 against the Reds and September 2005 vs. the Padres.

The Phillies had allowed at least one single, double, triple and home run in the first inning of a game only one other time in the last 30 years. That was on August 10, 2011 at Dodger Stadium, when they permitted exactly one of each.

Colorado Rockies, Philadelphia Phillies

Shutouts a rarity in recent Brewers/Reds history

The Brewers defeated the Reds 6-0 in Cincinnati, marking the first shutout in a game between those two teams since July 17, 2009 (a 4-0 win for Cincinnati). Since that game Milwaukee and Cincinnati had played 54 consecutive contests in which both teams put at least one run on the board. That was the second longest current streak of its type in the majors, behind a streak of 59 straight games between the Phillies and Cubs from July 2003-present (those two teams will not meet this season until August).

Cincinnati Reds, Milwaukee Brewers

Royals' pitchers finally allow more than three runs

The Rays defeated the Royals 5-3, ending Kansas City's streak of 13 consecutive games allowing three or fewer runs. The last team with such a streak of this length in a single season was the 2010 World Series champion Giants, who did this over an 18-game stretch in September. The Royals' pitching staff had never had as long of a single-season streak before in franchise history; their previous high was 11 games in August 1991.

Kansas City Royals

Kinsler, Andrus, and Berkman a combined 0-for-13

The Rangers' top three slots in the batting order went hitless in their 6-1 loss to the Blue Jays (Ian Kinsler 0-for-4, Elvis Andrus 0-for-5, and Lance Berkman 0-for-4). Over the last five seasons (since 2009), the only other game in which Texas's 1-2-3 hitters were 0-for-13 (or worse) was on May 19, 2011 at Kansas City, when Endy Chavez, Andres Blanco, Mike Napoli, Andrus, and Kinsler combined to go 0-for-14.

Texas Rangers


Freeman's the hero in familiar script

Freddie Freeman's bases-loaded single in the bottom of the ninth inning capped a two-run rally and gave the Braves a 6-5 win over the Giants. It marked the second time in the last three years that Atlanta overcame a ninth-inning deficit to defeat a reigning World-Series champion. The other instance coincidentally was also against the Giants at Turner Field, with the same player providing the game-clinching hit with the bases loaded. Freeman's two-run single with the bags full in the bottom of the ninth inning beat San Francisco on August 15, 2011, after Atlanta had entered that half inning trailing, 4-2.

Atlanta Braves

Runs come early in Cardinals-Marlins matchup

The Cardinals, with help from their offense early in the game and their bullpen late, defeated the Marlins, 13-7. After two innings, the game was tied 6-6; that marked only the second time in Cardinals franchise history that they were tied at six or more runs after just two innings. The other game was against the Phillies on April 16, 1962, also tied 6-6 after two.

St. Louis Cardinals

Nats' five solo homers do the Indians

The Nationals hit five solo home runs, including a game-tying blast by Chad Tracy in the eighth inning and a go-ahead shot by Anthony Rendon in the ninth (his first career homer in an at-bat that was prolonged by Nick Swisher's error on a foul pop fly), in their 7-6 win over the Indians. The Braves are the only other team to hit five homers with no men on base in a game this season; they did so on April 16 against the Royals. Since moving to Washington, the Nats have accomplished this feat two other times (September 5, 2012 vs. Cubs and September 6, 2008 at Braves in a 10-inning game).

Washington Nationals


Grandal's three-run blast caps Padres' comeback

Yasmani Grandal hit a go-ahead three-run homer in the Padres' five-run fourth inning as they went on to defeat the Diamondbacks 6-4. Last season, Grandal hit .370 (34-for-92) with runners on base, tops among rookies with at least 50 at-bats in those situations. The rest of the top three in that category in 2012: Quintin Berry (.345), Will Middlebrooks (.333) and Andrelton Simmons (.333).

San Diego Padres


Plouffe returns from DL, celebrates birthday with three RBIs and three hits

Trevor Plouffe made an immediate impact upon returning from the DL, driving in three runs and collecting three hits while also celebrating his 27th birthday in a 6-3 Twins' win over the Tigers. The last player in Twins' franchise history with at least three RBIs and three or more hits on his birthday was Buddy Lewis, who did so for the Washington Senators on August 10, 1938 against the Yankees at age 22.

Minnesota Twins

Castro and Carter's fourth-inning homers lead the way

Jason Castro and Chris Carter each connected for fourth-inning solo homers to put the Astros ahead for good in their 4-3 win vs. the White Sox. That is the third multi-homer inning this month for the Astros. The only team with more innings of this type in June is the Braves (four).

Houston Astros

Aybar with another multi-RBI game in Angels' win

Erick Aybar knocked in two runs, including the go-ahead run in the sixth inning, in the Angels' 6-2 win against the Yankees. It's Aybar's third multi-RBI game in his last eight games after driving in two or more runs in only one of his previous 42 games dating back to September 27, 2012. The only other Angels player with three multi-RBI games this month is Albert Pujols.

Los Angeles Angels


Team that scores the first goal loses again

The Blackhawks won Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final, 4-3 in triple overtime, after falling behind 2-0, and the Bruins evened the series with a 2-1 overtime victory in Game 2, after Chicago grabbed a 1-0 lead in the first period. In each of the previous two Stanley Cup Finals, Boston-Vancouver in 2011 (seven games) and Los Angeles-New Jersey in 2012 (six games), the team that scored the first goal won every game. This is the first Stanley Cup Final with more than one win by a team that did not score first since 2007, when three of the five games in the Anaheim-Ottawa series were won by the team that allowed the first goal (two by the Ducks, one by the Senators).

Boston Bruins, Chicago Blackhawks


Rask is up to the task

Tuukka Rask made 33 saves as he led the Boston to a 2-1 overtime win over the Blackhawks in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final. Rask has allowed no more than one goal in each of the Bruins' last seven wins (two shutouts and five one-goal games), dating back to Game 3 in the second round against the Rangers. His save percentage in those seven games is .978 (only five goals allowed on 223 shots).

Boston Bruins