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A month to remember for Cliff Lee
From Elias: Cliff Lee struck out 13 and did not walk any batters, but Chris Johnson's solo home run off Lee proved to be the difference in the Braves' 1-0 win over the Phillies. This month, Lee has 54 strikeouts and just one walk, becoming the first pitcher in the modern era (since 1900) with 40 or more strikeouts and at most one walk in a calendar month. The previous high in strikeouts with one or no walks in a month was 39 by Javier Vazquez in May 2005 (he did not walk any batters).
In the last 10 seasons (since 2004), only one other pitcher was charged with the loss in an outing in which he struck out at least 13 batters and gave up one run: James Shields on October 2, 2012 against the Orioles. No Phillies pitcher had a game of this type in the modern era before Lee.
Same old story for Kershaw
From Elias: Clayton Kershaw tossed six shutout innings and struck out eight in the Dodgers' 11-0 win against the Rockies. That is Kershaw's seventh start of six or more innings, no runs allowed, and at least eight strikeouts this season, tying a personal best for a single season in his career (he also had 7 starts of this type in 2011). Four other pitchers have accomplished this in a single season in the last 30 years: Tim Lincecum in 2009 (7), Pedro Martinez in 2000 (8) and 2002 (7), Randy Johnson in 2001 (7), and Dwight Gooden in 1985 (8).
Gonzalez drives in 100 runs for third team
From Elias: Adrian Gonzalez reached the 100-RBI mark in 2013 in the Dodgers' win. Gonzalez is one of five active players to drive in 100 or more runs in a season with three different teams (Padres, Red Sox, Dodgers). The others on the list: Adrian Beltre, Aramis Ramirez, Alex Rodriguez, and Alfonso Soriano.
Ortiz hits 30th home run of season
From Elias: David Ortiz connected for his 30th homer of the year as the Red Sox cruised to a 12-3 win over the Orioles. That's Ortiz's seventh season with 30 or more home runs in his career, second most in Red Sox history behind Ted Williams (8). Manny Ramirez rounds out the top three on this list; he had six such seasons with Boston from 2001 to 2006. Ortiz is one of nine active players in the majors with at least seven seasons of this type; Alex Rodriguez tops that list with 14 such seasons.
Shields dominant once again on the road
From Elias: James Shields pitched seven innings and gave up just one run with 10 strikeouts in the Royals' 6-1 win at U.S. Cellular Field. Over his last seven road starts, dating back to July 26, Shields is 7-0 with a 1.09 ERA. The last pitcher with at least seven wins and an ERA that low over a seven start span on the road was Johan Santana from July to September 2004 (7-0, 0.92 ERA). The only other Royals pitcher to win seven straight road starts was Rich Gale from June to August 1980 (he had a 2.10 ERA over those seven starts).
McCutchen extends streak with two walks
From Elias: Andrew McCutchen, who had two walks and a run scored in the Pirates' 4-1 win at Cincinnati, has reached base in each of his last 25 road games (dating back to August 9). The last Pirates player with such a streak of this length was Jason Kendall from June to September 2003 (28 games). McCutchen is hitting .378 (34-for-90) with a .486 on-base percentage and .544 slugging percentage over those 25 road games.
Errors costly in Rays' loss
From Elias: The Blue Jays scored four runs in the fourth inning, three of which were unearned due to errors by Evan Longoria and Sam Fuld, on their way to a 6-3 win over the Rays. It was only the second time this season that Tampa Bay has had multiple errors in a single inning; they committed two errors in the seventh inning of their May 4th loss to the Rockies. Last season, the Rays had 11 multiple-error innings, third most in the majors (Rockies and Pirates each had 12).
Indians score early and often
From Elias: The Indians scored four first inning runs as they coasted to a 12-6 win vs. the Twins. It's the fourth time this month that Cleveland has scored four or more runs in the first inning (they also did this on September 4, 7, and 12). The only other team this season to score at least four runs in the first inning in at least four games of a calendar month was the Brewers in April (4 such innings). The last time the Indians had at least four opening innings of this type in a calendar month was in July 1994 (4).
Gallardo earns 12th win of season
From Elias: Yovani Gallardo pitched six innings and gave up just two runs as the Brewers went on to defeat the Mets 4-2. With the win, Gallardo is the first pitcher in Brewers history with 12 or more victories in five consecutive seasons. Only one other pitcher had four straight seasons of this type with the team: Ted Higuera (1985-1988).
Cards win NL Central
From Elias: Matt Carpenter reached base safely three times and scored a run in the Cardinals' division-clinching 7-0 win at Busch Stadium. Carpenter has scored 26 runs in September, 24 of which came as a second baseman. In the last 50 years, only one other St. Louis second-sacker has scored as many as 24 runs in a calendar month. Fernando Vina scored 26 runs while playing the position in April 2000..
Stanton comes through with bases loaded
From Elias: With the bases loaded, Giancarlo Stanton hit a three-run double to give the Marlins a 3-0 lead and ultimately a 3-2 win over the Tigers. Entering Friday's games, Miami was hitting .438 (7-for-16) with the bases full this September. That was tied for the highest such batting average over that span; the Cardinals and the Padres were both also 7-for-16 in those situations entering Friday's action.
Yankees rookie does not allow a run over five innings
From Elias: Adam Warren allowed no runs, one walk, and just two hits in the Yankees' win against the Astros. Since 1958, when the rookie rule was first established, only one other Yankees rookie pitcher earned the win in a start in which he did not give up a run and allowed at most one walk and two hits; that was Jose Contreras in May 2003 at Detroit (7 IP, 0 R, 1 BB, and 2 H).
Werth and Ramos lead Nats past D'Backs
From Elias: Jayson Werth and Wilson Ramos each hit three-run home runs in the Nationals' 8-4 win vs. the Diamondbacks. Washington hit fewer than two homers in each of its previous 12 games; that was tied for the second longest streak of this type in the majors entering Friday's games (Royals - 19, Astros - 12). Kansas City (20) and Houston (13) both extended their streaks on Friday night.
Rios's clutch hit wins it
From Elias: Alex Rios broke a 3-3 seventh inning tie with a game-winning RBI single off Angels pitcher J.C. Gutierrez. Rios is batting .393 (11-for-28) with six RBIs in the seventh inning or later of games this month. He has the highest average for a Rangers player in those situations in September (minimum 10 AB), and he's tied for the most runs batted in (Elvis Andrus also with 6). Entering September, Rios was hitting just .243 (37-for-152) with 18 RBIs in the seventh inning or later in 2013.
Colon beats the Mariners for the 19th time in his career
From Elias: Bartolo Colon earned the win in Seattle, pitching six innings and allowing just two runs. It's his 19th career win against the Mariners, tied with Mike Mussina and Chuck Finley for third most vs. this franchise. Rogers Clemens (23) and Dave Stewart (20) are the top two on the list.