Jordany Valdespin's first career hit couldn't have come at a better time. With the New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies tied at two in the top of the ninth inning, Valdespin golfed a splitter from Jonathan Papelbon over the fence, snapping a streak of six straight hitless at-bats to begin his MLB career.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Valdespin is the first player whose first career hit was a go-ahead HR in the ninth inning or later since Miguel Cabrera on June 20, 2003. He's the first player to record his first career hit via a pinch-hit go-ahead HR in the ninth inning or later since Steve Sisco for the Atlanta Braves on May 13, 2000 (also against the Phillies). While Cabrera has gone on to hit more than 280 HR in the majors, Sisco's HR was the only one of his short MLB career.
Papelbon earned his first loss as a member of the Phillies and allowed at least three runs in a game for the first time since June 4 of last year. Papelbon had good reason to think that Valdespin wouldn't be able to do much with the splitter that ended up in the bleachers. Entering Monday, opponents were just 2-13 (.154) against Papelbon's split-finger fastball this season.
Roy Halladay's streak of eight straight wins against the Mets came to an end after he allowed two runs on five hits over seven innings. After winning his first three starts of 2012, the Phillies have now lost four straight starts by Halladay for the first time since he came to Philadelphia in 2010. Halladay has a 5.13 ERA in those games after having a 1.17 ERA in his first three starts of the season.
Elsewhere in the majors on Monday:
• Philip Humber struggled for a third straight start, allowing eight runs and failing to reach the fourth inning as the Chicago White Sox fell to the Cleveland Indians 8-6. Since throwing the 21st perfect game in MLB history on April 21, Humber is now 0-2 with a 13.50 ERA in his last three starts. According to Elias, Humber's 20 runs allowed in that span are the most by any pitcher in his first three starts after a perfect game since 1900.
• Brandon Snyder, who entered Monday with five total RBI in 27 career games, drove in a game-high six runs in the Texas Rangers 14-3 win over the Baltimore Orioles. Snyder became the first player to drive in at least six runs from the eighth spot in the order since Jorge Posada on August 13 last season.
• The Boston Red Sox beat the Kansas City Royals 11-5, improving to 12-16 on the season. Despite their subpar record, Monday was the MLB-leading eighth time the Red Sox scored 10 or more runs in a game this season. Baseball-reference.com tells us Boston is the fourth team to score 10 or more runs eight times in its first 28 games of a season in the live-ball era (since 1920), joining the 1997 Rockies, 1950 Yankees and 1928 Athletics.