Date: July 31, 2013

Elias Says...

By Elias Sports Bureau, Inc.
Special to ESPN.com

MLB

Bucs sweep into first place

From Elias: The Pirates defeated the Cardinals twice on Tuesday to take over first place in the National League Central Division. It was the first day this late in a season on which any major-league team moved into first place in its division by beating the first-place team twice since Sept. 14, 1983 when the Phillies swept the Expos. The Phillies won the first game, 9-5, on the strength of homers by Mike Schmidt and Joe Morgan, then took the second, 5-0, on Marty Bystrom's five-hit shutout. The Expos had entered the doubleheader with a one-half game lead on the Phillies.

It was the first time the Pirates won two games in one day against the Cardinals since April 23, 1978 (Dave Parker and Rennie Stennett starred for the Pirates in that doubleheader sweep). In nine subsequent double-dip days against St. Louis, Pittsburgh had lost both games six times and had split on the three other occasions.

Pittsburgh Pirates, St. Louis Cardinals

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Ellis

Ellis joins Lavagetto and Robinson

From Elias: Mark Ellis delivered the game-winning hit with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning in the Dodgers' win over the Yankees. It was the first time that the Dodgers have had a walkoff win over the Yankees in regular-season play, but they beat the Yankees twice in that manner in World Series games -- and memorable ones, at that. In Game Four of the 1947 Series, Cookie Lavagetto's pinch-hit, two-run double with two outs in the ninth inning ruined a no-hit bid by Bill Bevens and gave Brooklyn a 3-2 victory. Then in Game Six of the 1956 Series, the day after Don Larsen's perfect game, Jackie Robinson's two-out single in the bottom of the tenth inning off Bob Turley plated the lone run in Brooklyn's 1-0 victory. That hit was Robinson's last -- he retired in the subsequent off-season after he had been traded to the New York Giants -- and that win was Brooklyn's last in World Series play before the team moved west.

Los Angeles Dodgers

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Cumpton

Cumpton helps Pirates sweep Cardinals

From Elias: Brandon Cumpton earned his first major-league win by pitching seven scoreless innings for the Pirates against the Cardinals on Tuesday night. Cumpton became the first Pirates pitcher to throw seven or more scoreless innings against a team that was at least 20 games over .500 for his first major-league victory since Mike York did it against the Reds on Aug. 17, 1990. Cincinnati entered that game with a 68-47 record; York did not allow a run in seven innings pitched.

Pittsburgh Pirates

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Raburn

Tribe wins in a pinch again

From Elias: Ryan Raburn's pinch-hit, two-run single in the eighth inning produced the game-winning RBI for the Indians on Tuesday night, after the Tribe won on Jason Giambi's pinch-hit walkoff homer on Monday night. It was the first time since 1982 that the Indians won back-to-back games with pinch-hitters supplying the game-winning RBI in the seventh inning or later in each game. Miguel Dilone and Bill Nahorodny did it for the Tribe in those two games.

Cleveland Indians

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Lucas

Wheeler rolls into the seventh inning

From Elias: Ed Lucas's line drive single to right-field with one out in the seventh inning ended Zack Wheeler's no-hit bid after the right-hander had become the first Mets rookie to take a no-hitter into the seventh inning since Octavio Dotel had done that in 1999.

Miami Marlins, New York Mets

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Buehrle

Two gems in a row for Buehrle

From Elias: Mark Buehrle pitched seven shutout innings for the Blue Jays against the A's on Tuesday night, one start after throwing a two-hit shutout against the Astros. Buehrle became just the second Toronto pitcher over the last four seasons to put together consecutive starts with at least seven innings pitched and no runs allowed; Brandon Morrow did that in September 2011.

Toronto Blue Jays

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Workman

Brandon does good work

From Elias: Brandon Workman earned a win and struck out nine batters for the Red Sox on Tuesday night. Workman is the first Red Sox rookie to earn a win and strike out at least nine batters since Clay Buchholz on Sept. 1, 2007. Buchholz struck out nine in a 10-0 win over the Orioles.

Boston Red Sox

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Avila

Avila slams Nats

From Elias: Alex Avila's grand-slam homer was the big blow in the Tigers' 5-1 victory over the Nationals. Avila became just the second Tigers catcher to hit a four-run homer in the team's last 2,884 games (Ivan Rodriguez hit one on April 16, 2007 against the Royals).

Detroit Tigers

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Sanchez

Sanchez conquers Washington

From Elias: Anibal Sanchez improved his career record against the Nationals to 9-1 (.900). That matches Ryan Dempster and Josh Johnson for the highest career winning percentage for any pitcher against the Expos/Nationals in franchise history among pitchers with at least 10 decisions against them.

Detroit Tigers

Brewers comeback win in game one

From Elias: The Brewers overcame a three-run deficit in the seventh inning in their 6-5 win in game one of their doubleheader against the Cubs. It was the third time this season that the Brewers won a game in which they trailed by at least three runs in the seventh inning or later, the most such wins for any major-league team this season.

Milwaukee Brewers

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Davis

Davis ends one streak and continues another

From Elias: Chris Davis hit a home run to end one streak and struck out to maintain another in the Orioles' win over the Astros. Davis's homer snapped a 42-at-bat drought, his longest of the season, while his strikeout extended his streak to 23 consecutive games with at least one, now the longest such streak in the majors this season, surpassing Austin Jackson's run of 22 straight games with a strikeout.

Baltimore Orioles

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Zito

Zito has the road blues

From Elias: After another poor performance, Barry Zito is 0-7 with a 9.97 ERA in nine road starts this season. Only one other pitcher in major-league history went 0-7 or worse with an ERA that high in his first nine road starts of a season: Pittsburgh's Charlie Morton was 0-7 with a 10.38 ERA in his first nine starts away from home in 2010.

San Francisco Giants

Braves are plus-10

From Elias: The Braves win over the Rockies coupled with the Nationals loss to the Tigers gives Atlanta a 10-game lead in the National League East. This is the first time since the final day of the 2004 season that the Braves have a 10-game lead in their division.

Atlanta Braves, Colorado Rockies

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Moustakas

Moustakas blasts two homers

From Elias: Mike Moustakas hit two home runs in the Royals' win over the Twins. It was the second multiple home run game of his career, both coming as a third baseman. Only four other third baseman in Royals history had more than one multi-home run game: George Brett (10), Gary Gaetti (5), Joe Randa (4) and Bob Oliver (2).

Kansas City Royals

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Martin

Another walkoff home run win for the Rangers

From Elias: Leonys Martin hit a three-run home run in the bottom of the tenth inning to give the Rangers a 14-11 victory over the Angels. This blast came one day after Geovany Soto hit a home run in the bottom of the ninth inning to beat the Angels. This is the third time in Rangers history that they won back-to-back games on the strength of a walkoff homer. They also turned the trick on Aug. 5 and 6 in 1978 against the Indians (John Lowenstein and Gary Gray) and Oct. 2 and 3, 1981 against the Angels (Mark Wagner and Bobby Johnson).

Texas Rangers


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