Elias Says: Sept. 9, 2017

Sweet Sixteen for the Indians

The Indians defeated the Orioles by a score of 5-0 to extend their winning streak to 16 games on Friday. Only two other teams over the last 64 years have had a winning streak of 16 or more games in a single season: the 1977 Royals (16 straight) and 2002 A’s (20 straight).

Encarnacion gets Tribe off to a fast start again

Edwin Encarnacion’s three-run homer in the first inning, the second consecutive game he went deep with two men on in the opening frame, got the Indians off on the right foot in their 5-0 win over the Orioles on Friday. Encarnacion became the first Indians player to hit a home run with at least two men on base in the first inning in consecutive games in over 16 years, since Ellis Burks did it on May 11 and May 12, 2001 against Tampa Bay.

Encarnacion has two home runs and six RBIs in the first inning over the last two games after producing two homers and 10 RBIs in his first 61 first-inning at bats this season.

Braun hits his 300th career home run at Wrigley Field

Ryan Braun’s two-run first-inning home run, the 300th longball of his career, was the difference in the Brewers’ 2-0 victory over the Cubs at Wrigley Field on Friday night. Only four other visiting players, all Hall of Famers, have hit a century milestone home runs, 300 or higher, at Wrigley Field: Willie Mays (300th on July 4, 1961), Willie McCovey (300th on July 29, 1969), Gary Carter (300th on August 11, 1988) and Ivan Rodriguez (300th on May 17, 2009).

Tigers ride Castellanos’s grand slam and a triple play to victory

Nicholas Castellanos hit a grand-slam home in the third inning giving the Tigers a 4-0 lead and Detroit turned a 5-4-3 triple play in the sixth inning to help protect the lead in a 5-4 win over the Blue Jays on Friday night. The Tigers are only the third team in the last 69 years to turn a triple play and hit a grand slam home run in the same game, joining the Blue Jays on September 7, 1979 (against the Indians) and Mets on May 17, 2002 (against the Padres).

Castellanos’s blast lifted his career slugging percentage to .727 in 44 at bats with the bases loaded. The only active players who entered Friday’s action with higher career slugging percentages with the bags full than Castellanos’s current mark (minimum: 40 at bats) are Yoenis Cespedes (.863), Manny Machado (.765) and Mike Trout (.745).

Reyes goes deep twice from the leadoff spot

Jose Reyes hit two home runs and drove in three runs leading the Mets to a 5-1 win over the Reds on Friday night. It marked the ninth time Reyes hit multiple home runs out of the leadoff spot in his career. That ties Ian Kinsler for the most multi-homer games from the top spot in the batting order among active players.

Cardinals rookie wins his fifth straight start

Luke Weaver pitched shutout ball two outs into the sixth inning and earned a win in his fifth consecutive start in the Cardinals’ victory over the Pirates on Friday. Weaver is the only rookie to win five consecutive starts this season and he is the first Cardinals rookie to do that in 24 years, since Allen Watson earned a win in five straight starts in 1993.

Archer rocked in his house of horrors

The Red Sox rocked Chris Archer for eight runs (six earned) in just three innings in their 9-3 win over the Rays on Friday night. The outing inflated Archer’s career ERA to 7.29 in seven starts at Fenway Park. That’s the highest ERA at Fenway for any of the 49 active pitchers who have made at least five starts in Boston’s current home

Taylor excites the home crowd with an inside the park grand slam

Michael Taylor went 4-for-5 and drove in five runs, four of which came on an inside-the-park grand-slam home run in the third inning in Washington’s 11-10 win over Philadelphia at Nationals Park on Friday. There have been only two inside-the-park homers hit with the bases loaded since the start of the 2000 season, and both have come at Nationals Park in a game involving the Phillies and Nationals. The other one was hit by Philadelphia’s Aaron Altherr off Jordan Zimmermann in Washington on September 25, 2015.

Urena wins again

Jose Urena allowed only one run and three hits and earned his 13th victory of the season in the Marlins’ 7-1 win over the Braves on Friday. Urena did not record his first win until May 7 this season. His 13 victories since that date are tied with Zack Greinke for the second most in the National League behind Milwaukee’s Zach Davies (14).

Sandoval ends 0-for-39 skid with a home run

Pablo Sandoval’s three-run home run in the fourth inning staked the Giants to a 3-0 lead and San Francisco coasted to a 9-2 victory over the White Sox on Friday night. Sandoval had gone 39 consecutive at bats without a base hit prior to the home run. Prior to Sandoval, the last major-league player to snap a streak of at least 39 consecutive hitless at bats by hitting a home run was Luke Scott, who ended an 0-for-41 skid with a longball in 2012.

Tanaka roughed up again

Masahiro Tanaka was touched up for seven runs in four innings of work in the Yankees’ 11-5 loss to the Rangers on Friday. It marked the fourth time in 27 starts that Tanaka allowed at least seven runs this season. Prior to 2017, Tanaka had allowed seven or more runs in only four of his 75 career starts.

Padres end D’Backs winning streak

The Padres defeated the Diamondbacks by a score of 10-6 ending Arizona’s 13-game winning streak on Friday night. That marked the second time in franchise history that San Diego ended a winning streak of 13 or more games. On June 9, 2001, the Padres defeated the Mariners by a score of 6-3 at Safeco Field putting an end to Seattle’s 15-game winning streak.

Gamel is the hero in Mariners win over Angels

Ben Gamel’s three-run home run in the second inning was the big blow in Seattle’s 4-3 win over the Angels on Friday. Gamel entered the contest on a down swing, having posted a .200 slugging percentage in 105 at bats since August 1. That was the lowest slugging percentage since that date among major-league players with at least 100 at bats entering Friday’s action.

Semien’s slam sparks A’s comeback

Marcus Semien’s grand slam home run in the seventh inning turned a 7-3 deficit into a tie game and the A’s rallied for a 9-8 win over the Astros on Friday. Semien is 3-for-5 (.600) with two home runs with the bases loaded this season while the rest of the A’s are hitting just .199 with two homers in 99 at bats in with the bags full.