Date: September 28, 2016

Elias Says...

By Elias Sports Bureau, Inc.
Special to ESPN.com

MLB

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Sanchez

Sanchez hits 20th homer, ties a major-league record

Yankees rookie Gary Sanchez hit his 20th homer in the majors in his 51st regular-season game on Tuesday night, a New York 6-4 win over the Red Sox. That's tied for the fewest games to reach 20 homers in major-league history; Wally Berger also hit his 20th in his 51st game, for the Boston Braves in the 1930 season. Berger finished that season with 38 homers, which stands today as tied for the most hit by a player in his first major-league season (Frank Robinson also hit 38 in 1956, his rookie season). Only two other players reached 20 homers in 60-or-fewer games: Mark McGwire (56 games) and Jose Abreu (58).

Sanchez's 20th homer came in his 187th at-bat. That's the second fewest at-bats to reach the 20-homer mark in major-league history; Mark McGwire did so in 178 at-bats. Rounding out the top three is Berger, hitting his 20th in his 188th at-bat.

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Gregorius

Gregorius becomes the third player born in Europe with a 20-homer season

Didi Gregorius hit his 20th home run of the season for the Yankees on Tuesday night. Gregorius, who was born in Amsterdam, is the third player born in Europe to have a 20-homer season in the major leagues. The others do to that were The Staten Island Scot, Bobby Thomson (born in Glasgow), who had eight 20-homer seasons; and Mike Blowers (born in West Germany) did it once.

107 players with 20 home runs this season, a new MLB record

Four players hit their 20th homer of the season on Tuesday night - Matt Carpenter, Didi Gregorius, Gary Sanchez, and Jean Segura. There are 107 players with at least 20 homers this season, setting a new major-league record. Entering 2016, the most players to reach 20 homers in one season was 103, done in 1999.

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Cabrera

Cabrera becomes ninth player with 12 100-RBI seasons

Miguel Cabrera went 3-for-3 with a home run and five RBIs in the Tigers' 12-0 triumph over the Indians. Cabrera has 102 runs batted in this season, his 12th 100-RBI season in his major-league career (and this is Cabrera's 14th season in the majors). He is the ninth player in MLB history with at least 12 seasons with 100 or more RBIs (Runs batted in became an official statistic in the 1920 season). He joins Alex Rodriguez (14 such seasons), Jimmie Foxx (13), Lou Gehrig (13), Albert Pujols (13), Barry Bonds (12), Manny Ramirez (12), Babe Ruth (12), and Al Simmons (12).

Eight of Cabrera's 12 seasons with at least 100 RBIs came in a Tigers uniform. Only one other Tigers player had that many 100-RBI seasons: Hall-of-Famer Harry Heilmann, also with eight in the 1920's.

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Renfroe

Renfroe drive in seven in his sixth game

Hunter Renfroe, in his sixth major-league game, had two home runs and seven RBIs in the Padres' 7-1 win over the Dodgers. Since runs batted in became an official statistic in the 1920 season, only two other players drove in at least seven runs in a game within their first 20 games in the majors: the Astros' J.R. Towles in 2007 (eight RBIs in his sixth game) and the Giants' Jarrett Parker (seven RBIs in his 14th game).

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Scherzer

Scherzer fans 10 in Nats' win

Max Scherzer struck out 10 Diamondbacks batters in the Nationals' win on Tuesday. Scherzer has had 24 starts with at least 10 strikeouts since the start of the 2015 season. That's the most such starts over a two-season span since the 2001 and 2002 seasons, when Randy Johnson had 37 starts of this type (22 in 2001, 15 in 2002) and Curt Schilling had 27 (13 in 2001 and 14 in 2002).

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Lackey

Lackey and the Cubs down the Pirates

John Lackey earned his 11th win of the season, allowing one run over five innings in the Cubs' 6-4 win over the Pirates. Lackey is the fifth Cubs pitcher this season with at least 11 wins, joining Jon Lester (19 wins), Jake Arrieta (18), Kyle Hendricks (16), and Jason Hammel (15). Over the last five seasons (since 2012), three other teams had five pitchers with more than 10 wins in the same season: the 2013 Tigers, 2014 Jays, and 2016 Indians (all with five).

The last season in which the Cubs had five pitchers with more than 10 wins was in 1945: Hank Wyse (22 wins), Claude Passeau (17), Paul Derringer (16), Ray Prim (13), and Hank Borowy (11).

Chicago Cubs

Sanchez notches another win, now 14-2 in 2016

Aaron Sanchez fanned 10 batters and allowed just one run over six innings to earn the win for the Jays over the Orioles, 5-1. Sanchez improved to 14-2 in the 2016 campaign, becoming the third pitcher in Jays history to win at least 14 of his first 16 decisions in a season. David Wells started 14-2 in the 2000 season, and Roy Halladay also won 14 of his first 16 decisions in his Cy Young-winning 2003 season.

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Diaz

Diaz joins elite company as he continues to thrive in rookie season

Aledmys Diaz's fourth-inning grand slam proved to be the game-winner as the Cardinals crushed the Reds, 12-5, at Busch Stadium. It was the sixth game this season in which Diaz drove in at least three runs, the second-highest total for a Cardinals rookie in one season over the last 50 years. Albert Pujols had 17 such games in the 2001 season (Pujols won the National League Rookie of the Year award that year).

Giants want Moore' of that

Matt Moore had 11 strikeouts and no walks over 7 2/3 innings to earn the win for the Giants over the Rockies on Tuesday. Moore failed to strike out a batter and lasted only one inning in his previous start, a loss to the Dodgers on September 21. The last Giants pitcher to recorded double-digit strikeouts in a start directly following a start with no strikeouts was Gaylord Perry in September 1970.

San Francisco Giants

Bruce's blast leads Mets to victory

Jay Bruce's two-run home run in the second inning gave the Mets a 2-1 lead over the Marlins in a game they ultimately won in a rout. Entering Tuesday's game, Bruce was hitting 10-for-58 (.172) with just three extra-base hits (two home runs, one double) with at least one runner on base since joining the Mets on August 1. With the Reds in the 2016 season, Bruce hit .306 (52-for-170) with 26 extra-base hits (14 homers, six triples, six doubles) with a runner on base.

Lucroy once again comes through in the clutch

Jonathan Lucroy delivered a game-winning, two-run double against his former team as the Rangers defeated the Brewers, 6-4. That's Lucroy's fifth game-winning RBI since joining Texas in August, and four of those have come this month (Sept. 6, 10, 16, and 27). Since September 6, no other Rangers player has multiple game-winning RBIs. Lucroy is 13-for-35 (.371) with runners in scoring position since joining the Rangers, including his game-winning hit on Tuesday.

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Sale

White Sox provide the support as Sale gets 17th win of the season

Chris Sale allowed three runs over seven innings and the White Sox offense backed him up with 13 runs as he earned his 17th win of the season in a win over the Rays. Those 13 runs were the second-highest run support total among Sale's 147 starts in the majors. The highest output came on July 3, 2012, when the White Sox put 19 runs on the board for him in a rout of the Rangers.

Sale had struggled to get run support over the last few years, with his team scoring an average of 3.6 runs per game in his starts from 2013 to 2015, the third-lowest mark among the 66 pitchers with at least 75 starts over that span. But he's seen an improvement this year, with the White Sox averaging 4.6 runs in his 2016 starts.

Chicago White Sox

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Freeman

Freeman's hitting streak at 29 games

Freddie Freeman homered and scored three times as the Braves came back from six runs down to defeat the Phillies, 7-6. Freeman extended his hitting streak to 29 games, tying Jackie Bradley Jr. for the longest such streak this season. Over the last 40 years, the only other Braves player with a hitting streak that long was Dan Uggla, with a 33-game streak in 2011.

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Hernandez

King Felix continues his struggles with the Astros

Felix Hernandez allowed eight runs (four earned) and 10 hits over 5 2/3 innings as the Mariners fell to the Astros, 8-4. Hernandez has struggled mightily against Houston as of late, permitting 22 runs (17 earned) in 10 1/3 innings over his last three starts against them. That's the most runs and tied for the most earned runs Hernandez has allowed over a three-start span versus one team; his previous high was 17 (for both runs and earned runs), done twice (vs. the Angels in 2007 and vs. the Red Sox over the 2014 and 2015 seasons). The last pitcher to allow at least 22 runs over a three-start span against the Astros was Bronson Arroyo from May 2007 to July 2008. Arroyo surrendered 22 runs, and all were earned.

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Burns

Royals finding success in extras

Billy Burns' sacrifice fly in the bottom of the 11th inning was the game winner as the Royals won in walk-off fashion, 4-3, over the Twins at Kauffman Stadium. Kansas City is 17-9 (.654) in extra-inning games since the start of the 2015 season, the second-highest such winning percentage in the majors. The Cubs are 22-9 (.710) in extra-inning games over that span.

Kansas City Royals


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