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Elias Says: July 24, 2017

Freeland joins Senzatela in the double-digit win club

Kyle Freeland earned his 10th win of the season in the Rockies’ 13-3 pasting of the Pirates on Sunday, tying teammate Antonio Senzatela for the most wins among rookie pitchers this season. Freeland and Senzatela are the first pair of rookie teammates in 80 years to each reach 10 wins prior to August, since the Boston Braves’ Lou Fette had 13 wins and Jim Turner had 11 victories through July in 1937. Both of Boston’s rookie hurlers finished that season with 20 wins.

Frazier puts himself in rare company

Clint Frazier’s bases-loaded two-run double in the sixth inning broke a 4-4 tie and led the Yankees to a 6-4 win over the Mariners on Sunday afternoon. Frazier has produced 11 extra-base hits – six doubles, two triples and three homers – in his 16 games. The only other player in Yankee history with 11 or more extra base hits through 16 games is Joe DiMaggio (13).

Contreras hits another blast against the Cardinals

Willson Contreras broke a 3-3 tie with a two-run home run in the sixth inning giving the Cubs a 5-3 win over the Cardinals on Sunday. Contreras has eight home runs in 63 at bats versus St. Louis in his two year career – an average of one homer every 7.9 at bats. The only players with higher home run rates against a particular team since 2016 (minimum: 60 at bats) are Yasmani Grandal against the Padres (one HR per 7.3 AB) and Khris Davis against the Rangers (7.8).

Kluber breaks Indians mark with 108 K’s over 10 starts

Corey Kluber registered 14 strikeouts and earned the victory in the Indians’ 8-1 win over the Blue Jays on Sunday. Kluber has recorded 108 strikeouts in 10 starts since making his first appearance on June 1 following a stint on the disabled list. Those are the most strikeouts over a 10-start span by an Indians pitcher in the team’s franchise history, besting the previous mark of 103 by Sam McDowell in 1965 and in 1968.

Over the last 15 seasons, the only other major league pitcher with at least 108 strikeouts over a 10-start span in a single season is Chris Sale, who had a high of 115 in 2015.

Rangers beat Rays with late-inning thunder

Rougned Odor hit a two-run home run in the top of the eighth inning tying the game at 5-5 and Carlos Gomez immediately followed with a home run to give the Rangers the lead in a game they would hold on to win, 6-5, over the Rays on Sunday. That marked the first time Texas hit back-to-back homers in the eighth inning or later, with the first one tying the game and the second giving the Rangers the lead, in over seven years. On May 6, 2010, Josh Hamilton homered off of Kansas City’s Joakim Soria in the eighth inning to tie the game at 12 and Vladimir Guerrero followed with a blast to give the Rangers the lead in a 13-12 victory.

Scooter is showing off his power

Scooter Gennett went 2-for-4 with a home run and two RBIs leading the Reds to a 6-3 win over the Marlins on Sunday. Gennett has hit 14 home runs since June 6, tied with Mike Moustakas and Aaron Judge for third-most in the major leagues since that date, behind Giancarlo Stanton and Cody Bellinger (15). Gennett is averaging a home run for every 9.4 at bats since June 6 after averaging one homer for every 43.1 at bats in his 502 career major-league games prior to that date.

A’s pair of two-out homers beats Mets

Khris Davis’s two-out home run gave the A’s a 2-1 lead in the fourth inning and Matt Chapman delivered a two-out home run in the seventh inning for the decisive blow in a 3-2 Oakland win over the Mets on Sunday. The A’s had hit only 31 of their 136 home runs with two outs this season. The only major-league team who hit a lower percentage of its homers with two outs than Oakland (22.8%) was Arizona (22.6%) entering Sunday’s action.

Royals hit three homers in an inning in second straight game

Whit Merrifield, Jorge Bonifacio and Eric Hosmer hit consecutive home runs in the fourth inning in the Royals’ 6-5 win over the White Sox on Sunday. On Saturday, the Royals hit three homers in the sixth inning, with Salvador Perez and Mike Moustakas going back-to-back with one out and Brandon Moss going deep with two outs in the inning. It’s the first time in Royals’ franchise history they hit three homers in an inning in consecutive games. The last major-league team to do that was Baltimore, who hit three homers in the sixth inning on August 18 and three more in the first inning on August 19 of last season.

Prior to Sunday, the last time the Royals hit three consecutive homers in a game was on May 25, 2006, when Tony Graffanino, Angel Berroa and Doug Mientkiewicz went back-to-back-to-back in the first inning against the Tigers.

Leadoff hitters go batty in Orioles-Astros game

Jose Altuve had four hits and three RBIs and his leadoff counterpart Adam Jones had four hits and an RBI in the Orioles’ 9-7 win over the Astros on Sunday. It’s the fourth nine-inning game in the last eight seasons that featured both leadoff hitters producing four or more hits. The only other games in which that happened since 2010 occurred on April 6, 2011 (Chris Coghlan and Ian Desmond), August 19, 2016 (Denard Span and Jose Reyes) and August 23, 2016 (Adam Jones and Trea Turner).

7-8-9 hitters contribute to Tigers’ victory

The Tigers received great production from the bottom of their batting order, with James McCann, Alex Presley and Jose Iglesias each producing three hits and scoring twice in the team’s 9-5 victory over the Twins on Sunday. It marked the first time in nearly six years that a team’s starters in the bottom three slots in the batting order each registered at least three hits and two runs scored in the same game, since Texas did it against Minnesota on July 25, 2011. The Rangers’ 7-8-9 hitters in that game were Mike Napoli, Mitch Moreland and Endy Chavez.

The Tigers had not had their bottom three hitters produce in that fashion in over 30 years, since Pat Sheridan (three hits, two runs), Chet Lemon (three hits, three runs) and Tom Brookens (three hits, two runs) each had three or more hits and multiple runs scored in a win over the Indians on June 3, 1987.

Valbuena produces another late go-ahead home run

Luis Valbuena’s solo home run in the seventh inning snapped a 2-2 tie and the Angels held on for a 3-2 win over the Red Sox on Sunday. Valbuena has hit 92 home runs in his career, with 10 of them giving his team a lead in the seventh inning or later (10.9%). The only active players who have a higher such percentage than Valbuena (minimum: 75 home runs) are Drew Stubbs (15.2%) and Evan Gattis (12.5%).

Myers is feeling at home at AT&T Park

Wil Myers’ first inning home run staked the Padres to an early lead and San Diego went on to post a 5-2 win over the Giants on Sunday. Myers’ homer was his fifth at AT&T Park this season, which are the second most ever hit in a season by a visiting player at the Giants’ current home behind Nolan Arenado’s six longballs there in 2015. Coming into the 2017 season, Myers had hit only one home run in 40 career at bats at AT&T Park.

Dodgers win after blowing three run lead in the ninth

The Dodgers relinquished a 4-1 lead in the ninth inning but scored in the bottom of the tenth to come away with a 5-4 win over the Braves on Sunday. It’s the first time the Dodgers won a game after blowing a lead of three or more runs in the ninth inning since July 5, 2009. The Dodgers entered the bottom of the ninth inning leading the Padres by a score of 6-1 but allowed San Diego to score five times to tie the game. Los Angeles pushed a run across in the top of the 13th inning and held on for a 7-6 victory.

Goodwin’s leadoff homer sparks Nationals

Brian Goodwin’s leadoff home run sparked a four-run first inning and the Nationals never looked back in their 6-2 win over the Diamondbacks on Sunday. Goodwin has a .750 slugging percentage in the first inning this season, the fourth-highest percentage among the 163 players with 30 or more at bats in the opening frame, behind Travis Shaw (.800), Michael Conforto (.774) and Bryce Harper (.772).

Spieth goes wire-to-wire

Jordan Spieth now has two wire-to-wire major championship victories. He also held at least a share of the lead after each round of the 2015 Masters. Since 1960, only a handful of players have gone wire-to-wire at a major more than once: Jack Nicklaus (four times), Tiger Woods (four), Raymond Floyd (three), Arnold Palmer (two) and Rory McIlroy (two). Consider that Nicklaus never did it until the 1971 PGA Championship, when he was 31 years old!

This was only the third time over the last 40 years that a winner led after each round of The Open Championship. The others are Tiger Woods in 2005 (at St. Andrews) and Rory McIlroy in 2014 (at Royal Liverpool).