Phillies don’t learn a lesson against Osuna
Pirates rookie left fielder José Osuna threw out three Phillies runners on Thursday, with two coming on consecutive at-bats in the third inning and another in the seventh inning. He’s the first major-league rookie to have three outfield assists in one game since the Angels’ Jim Edmonds did so from right field against the Yankees on July 22, 1994.
Osuna became the first major-league player to throw out consecutive batters trying to stretch a single into a double since Torii Hunter did that for the Twins on August 23, 2001.
Bell dings 16th home run
Josh Bell hit his 16th home run of the season in the Pirates’ win on Thursday, setting a team record for home runs by a rookie before the All-Star Game. The previous record (15) was set by Ralph Kiner in 1946 and no other Pirates rookie had hit more than 12 pre-break homers since he did.
Ramirez on an XBH per game pace
Jose Ramirez’s first inning home run on Thursday was his 25th extra-base hit in his last 23 games, a stretch dating back to June 14, during which he’s hitting .448 (43 for 96) and slugging .906 (14 doubles, three triples, eight homers). The only other player in Indians history to collect 25 or more extra-base hits in a span of 25 or fewer games was Albert Belle who did it over two distinct stretches, in April/May 1994 and again in August/September 1995.
Freeman raps out 1000th hit in bigs
Freddie Freeman collected his 1000th hit in the major leagues on Thursday. Freeman, who will turn 28 years old on September 12, is the fifth player to generate 1000 hits with the Braves prior to their 28th birthday, joining Hank Aaron (who reached 1000 hits at age 25), Andruw Jones (26), Eddie Mathews (26) and Joe Torre (27).
Ray is the latest to like the Dodger Stadium mound
Robbie Ray struck out 13 batters in six innings at Dodger Stadium on Thursday for his third straight 10-K performance there, tying a record for a visiting player. The other visiting pitchers to have three straight 10-strikeout games there were J.R. Richard (1979–80), Dwight Gooden (1984–85) and Curt Schilling (1996–97).
4–0 for Faria
Jacob Faria outdueled Chris Sale in the Rays’ 4–1 win over the Red Sox on Thursday to improve to 4–0 with a 2.11 ERA in six major-league starts. The only other active pitchers who were 4–0 or better with an ERA as low as Faria’s in their first six major-league starts were Zach Duke in 2005 (4–0, 0.92) Jered Weaver in 2006 (6–0, 1.12) and James Paxton spanning 2013 and 2014 (5–0, 1.75).
Sale strikes out 12 in loss
Sale struck out 12 batters on Thursday and his total of 178 strikeouts this season would be the highest heading into the All-Star Game since Curt Schilling had 186 Ks before the break for the Diamondbacks in 2002 (in one more start than Sale has made this year).
Duvall joins mates in 20-homer club
Adam Duvall hit his 20th home run of the season in the Reds’ win in Denver on Thursday, joining Joey Votto (24) and Scott Schebler (21) in the 20-homer club. It’s the second time that the Reds have had three 20-homer players by the All-Star Game: Tony Perez (29), Johnny Bench (28) and Lee May (20) did that in 1970.
Sanchez’s recipe for success
Anibal Sanchez held the Giants to two runs in six innings to earn his first win of the season on Thursday. Since joining the Tigers in 2013, Sanchez is 7–2 with a 2.09 ERA in home games against National League teams. Against A.L. visitors to Detroit over the last five seasons he’s 20–18 with a 4.43 ERA.
Braun’s recipe for success
Ryan Braun has always hit left-handed pitchers well, with his.625 slugging average being the highest among active players with at least 1000 at-bats against lefties. And he’s always hit well at Wrigley Field, with a .345 batting average there. Put those together and what do you get? Including a home run today, Braun is now hitting .426 and slugging .672 against Cubs lefthanders in games at Wrigley.
Davies wins 10th game
Kyle Davies improved to 10–4 and lowered his ERA to 4.90 in the Brewers’ win at Wrigley Field on Thursday. Only one pitcher has had at least 10 wins, fewer than five losses and an ERA as high as Davies’ before the All-Star break in a season. The Dodgers’ Ralph Branca was 10–3 with a 5.12 ERA at the break in 1949.
Donaldson and Tulowitzki break slumps in same inning
Josh Donaldson gave the Blue Jays a 3–2 lead with a two-run single in the fifth inning on Thursday, and Toronto went on to win, 7–4. That ended Donaldson’s streak of 35 plate appearances without an RBI, his longest drought of the season. Later that inning, Troy Tulowitzki ended a streak of 22 straight at-bats without a hit with runners in scoring position, his second-longest drought in the major leagues, behind a 27-at-bat streak from 2009.
Twins big innings
The Twins scored all six of their runs in the third inning in their win over the Orioles on Thursday. It’s the ninth time that the Twins have scored a half-dozen runs in an inning this season, the highest total in the major leagues. Minnesota scored six runs in an inning only three times last season.
Davis slugs 24th home run of season
Khris Davis homered in the sixth inning on Thursday for his 10th home run against the Mariners over the last two seasons. That’s tied for the sixth-highest total by a player against one team since the start of last season, a list Davis is on top of with his 12 home runs against the Rangers. The only other player with at least 10 home runs against two major-league teams over the last two seasons is Brian Dozier (11 against the Royals, 10 against the White Sox).