Jay Bruce hit three home runs from the lead-off spot in the Cincinnati Reds' 7-1 win over the Chicago Cubs. Bruce joins Pete Rose (1978 against the New York Mets) as the second player in franchise history to hit three home runs in a game from the top of the order. Bruce is the first lead-off hitter with a three HR-game against the Cubs since Davey Lopes in 1974. Entering Friday, Bruce had four home runs in 106 plate appearances when batting first.
Most HR Since Sept. 1, 2009
Jon Lester (7 IP, 2 H, 10 K) is now 4-0 in six career starts at Tropicana Field. Also, he now owns the last four instances of a Boston Red Sox starter to throw at least seven innings with two hits or fewer and at least 10 strikeouts.
A.J. Burnett (3⅓ IP, 9 R against the Chicago White Sox) has now allowed nine runs in a game three times in his 12-year career and all three of them have come as a member of the New York Yankees. Burnett has also allowed 23 first-inning runs this season, which is more than what he gave up over the previous three years combined (20).
From the Elias Sports Bureau: The Philadelphia Phillies' Ryan Howard has now strukc out 1,000 times in 843 career games. That's the second-fewest games to 1,000 K in MLB history. (Rob Deer reached 1,000 in 828 career games.)