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Pedroia falls 1 hit shy of MLB record
Dustin Pedroia stroked hits in each of his first four at-bats, lengthening his streak of consecutive hits to 11, to lift the Red Sox to an 8-3 win over the visiting Royals. Pedroia's streak ended when he bounced into a double play against Chien-Ming Wang in the eighth inning, but it was the longest in the majors since Wang's former teammate, the Yankees' Bernie Williams, produced 11 consecutive hits in August 2002. The major-league record of 12 consecutive hits is shared by Johnny Kling (1902 Cubs), Pinky Higgins (1938 Red Sox) and Walt Dropo (1952 Tigers). Pedroia's hits during the streak came against seven different pitchers - the Rays' Jake Odorizzi (two hits) and Erasmo Ramirez, and the Royals' Ian Kennedy (two), Chris Young, Peter Moylan and Danny Duffy (three) and Wang. Ten of his hits were singles, one a double.
Sanchez shows no sign of stopping
Gary Sanchez kept it going on Saturday afternoon: His fourth-inning home run off Dylan Bundy was one of the 18 hits that the Yankees peppered around the Bronx ballyard to lay waste to the Orioles, 13-5, less than 24 hours after having de-feathered the Birds, 14-4, on Friday night. Those results marked the first time since 2007 that the Yankees have scored at least a baker's dozen of runs in each of two straight games; in 2007, Joe Torre's crew beat the Devil Rays by the scores of 17-5 and 21-4 on July 21-22.
Sanchez's homer was his 11th in 23 major-league games, the fewest games that any big-leaguer has ever needed to hit 11 home runs; the previous record was 26 games by George Scott in 1966. Sanchez's 11th home run came in his 81st big-league at-bat, matching the major-league record for fewest at-bats to generate 11 home runs. A late-season sensation from the Yankees' Joe Torre era, Shane Spencer, was the only previous player to collect 11 homers over his first 81 big-league at-bats; Spencer did it in 1998 and 1999. Sanchez has actually hit all 11 of his home runs over his last 15 games, the fewest games required by any major-league rookie to produce 11 homers since Mark McGwire clubbed 11 homers over a span of 14 games in May of 1987.
Seager sets Dodgers record
Corey Seager set a Dodgers single-season record for shortstops when he homered in the first inning of his team's 3-2 win over the visiting Cubs. It was Seager's 23rd homer of the season, all as a shortstop, breaking the previous franchise mark of 22, held since 1930 by Glenn Wright. Indeed, when Wright hit 22 homers that season (when the Dodgers were still in Brooklyn), it set not only a Dodgers record for a shortstop but the major-league record for homers in one season by a shortstop. And it remained the National League record in that regard until Ernie Banks doubled Wright's total, hitting 44 in 1955. Banks extended the mark to 47 in 1958, which still stands as the record in the senior circuit.
Edwin's hits key Jays' big comeback win
Edwin Encarnacion belted a two-run homer and an RBI single as the Blue Jays spotted the Twins to a 5-0 lead, then opened the throttle and roared back to take an 8-7 decision over Paul Molitor's squad, which lost its ninth consecutive game. Encarnacion now has 36 home runs and 105 RBIs this season, standing second in the majors in each of those categories (the leaders, respectively, are Mark Trumbo and Nolan Arenado). But over the last five seasons (that is, since 2012), Encarnacion sports totals of 187 homers and 528 RBIs; no other player has produced such high totals in both categories over a five-year period since Miguel Cabrera put up 190 and 610 from 2009 to 2013.
Blackmon pops a pair
Charlie Blackmon's second homer of the game broke a tie in the 11th inning and Carlos Gonzalez added another two-run shot minutes later as the Rockies pulled out a 9-4 victory in Washington. Blackmon's home runs, his 22nd and 23rd this season, were his 10th and 11th during August, as he tied Brian Dozier and Gary Sanchez for the most homers in the majors this month. Blackmon became the third different Rockies player to enjoy a double-digit homer month this season. Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story each homered 10 times in April; Colorado became the first major-league team this season with three different players in that club.
Marlins suffer another 1-0 loss at home
Clayton Richard and three relievers did the job on the mound and Ryan Schimpf knocked out a fourth-inning homer in the Padres' 1-0 victory in Miami. It was the Padres' second 1-0 victory this season, and each came wrapped in a home run; Christian Bethancourt hit the circuit clout in the Padres' 1-0 victory at Wrigley Field back on May 11. Meanwhile, Saturday night's loss marked the Marlins' third 1-0 loss during August, all coming at Marlins Park; they had recently been victimized in that manner by the Giants and the Royals. Only one other major-league team in the last 48 seasons suffered three 1-0 losses at home in one month; that would be the Padres, who went through that sort of misery in September 2010.
Beltran slump-breaking hit leads to big things for Rangers
Carlos Beltran ended a career-longest hitless-in-32-at-bats streak with a first-inning single and Mitch Moreland crushed a grand-slam homer later in the inning to lead the Rangers to a 7-0 victory over the visiting Indians. Beltran's streak began when he already had 2580 hits in the bank, and it was the longest for a player with at least 2500 hits to his credit since Cal Ripken, with 3182 hits already to his credit, went hitless in 33 at-bats during a stretch late in 2001, in his final season as a player.
Cardinals fail to hold another late lead at home
The Cardinals' befuddling problems winning at home were again in evidence on Saturday night, as the Athletics scored twice in the eighth inning - with the runs scoring on a fielder's choice and a sacrifice fly - to capture a 3-2 win at Busch Stadium. The Cardinals have fashioned a won-lost record of 38-24 (.613) on the road this season; that's the best in the majors. But their home mark is a woeful 30-36 (.455), and a couple of particular deficiencies came into play against the A's. The Redbirds are now 1-8 in interleague games played in St. Louis (0-3 against the Rangers, 0-2 against both the Astros and the Royals, 1-1 against the A's); in addition, all five of their losses this season in games in which they took a lead into the eighth inning have come at home.
No and Yo do it for Mets
Noah Syndergaard permitted only one run and two hits over seven innings and earned credit for the Mets' 12-1 victory over the Phillies. Syndergaard lowered his ERA to 2.55, third-lowest in the majors this season, and for the second straight start was supported by a key home run supplied by Yoenis Cespedes. Funny thing is, prior to Thor's last start (in San Francisco last Sunday night), Cespedes had homered only twice in Syndergaard's 28 previous starts as his teammate.
The Mets piled it on late in the game and finished with four home runs (including a pinch-hit grand-slam by Kelly Johnson), a night after hitting four homers (including a grand-slam by Asdrubal Cabrera). It was the second time this season that the Mets have hit four-or-more homers in each of two consecutive games - and all four of those games have come against the Phillies (the earlier occasion came on April 18 and 19 in Philadelphia). These last two games represent only the second time in Mets history that they have hit four-or-more homers in each of two consecutive games, both at home. The other time came in their inaugural season of 1962, the home field in question was the old Polo Grounds, and, true to a team that finished at 40-120, the Mets lost both games. On August 2, the Mets hit four homers in a 9-4 loss to (who else?) the Phillies; the next night, they belted five homers in an 8-6 loss to the Reds.
Kemp goes deep in San Francisco
One swing of Matt Kemp's bat produced three runs and Mike Foltynewicz tamed the Giants over seven and two-thirds innings in the Braves' 3-1 win in San Francisco. Kemp's three-run homer in the fourth inning was all the offense that Atlanta needed, and, coupled with a home run that Kemp had hit in San Francisco while playing with the Padres on April 27, it's the first time in his 11-year major-league career (prior to this year, spent entirely on National League West teams) that Kemp has homered twice in one season at AT&T Park. For his career, Kemp has averaged one homer for every 38.6 at-bats in San Francisco, compared to one every 21.8 at-bats elsewhere.
Polanco's trademark hit leads Bucs to victory
Gregory Polanco delivered a pinch-hit, three-run double to break a 6-6 tie in the sixth inning, and three Pirates relievers held the Brewers scoreless over the last five innings to secure the victory. Polanco's blow marked the sixth time this season, a team high, that he has driven in at least three runs with a hit, and it was the fourth time this season that Clint Hurdle has tapped a pinch-hitter who then delivered a hit knocking in at least three runs. Earlier this season, Matt Joyce pinch-hit a pair of three-run homers and Josh Bell pinch-hit a four-run homer. No other major-league team has seen its pinch-hitters provide as many as three hits of that type this season.
Chacin: 4 innings of scoreless relief
Jhoulys Chacin threw four scoreless innings in relief, earning the victory as the Angels outlasted the Tigers, 3-2, in a contentious game in Detroit. Chacin is only the seventh major-leaguer this season to earn a relief victory in which he threw at least four innings and didn't allow a run. Only one other Angels reliever over the last 18 years has earned a victory in which he got at least 12 outs without yielding a run: Trevor Bell did that at Boston in 2011.
Keuchel, with support from Bregman, finally beats Rays
Why did Dallas Keuchel bring a career record of 0-4 against the Rays into Saturday's game? Well, in six previous starts against Tampa Bay, Keuchel's ERA stood at 5.11 while the Astros had averaged only 1.33 runs in those six games. But the worm turned on Saturday, as Keuchel finally beat the Rays, 6-2. Alex Bregman contributed a two-run homer in the third and an RBI single in the fourth while Keuchel held the Rays to two runs over seven innings. Bregman, who produced only one hit in 32 at-bats over his first eight starts, has batted .326 with five homers and 17 RBIs over his last 20 games.
White Sox get uncommon power from 7-8-9
Avisail Garcia, Alex Avila and Tyler Saladino - the seventh, eighth and ninth hitters in the White Sox' lineup, joined cleanup hitter Jose Abreu in the home-run column on Saturday night as Chicago battered the Mariners, 9-3. It was the second time this season that the players whom Robin Ventura wrote into the lineup in the seven, eight and nine slots each homered, though the last time that it happened, on June 25 against Toronto, there were three different names in those slots - Brett Lawrie, Dioner Navarro and J. B. Shuck.
DeSclafani goes the distance in Reds' 13-0 win
Scott Schebler knocked in five runs with a pair of early homers as the Reds ran off to a 9-0 lead in the second inning and completed a 13-0 knockout of the Diamondbacks, with Anthony DeSclafani going the route to earn the shutout. Over this season and last, the only other major-league pitcher who threw a complete-game shutout in which his team scored as many as 13 runs was Jake Arrieta, who did so at Cincinnati on April 21 of this season when he threw a no-hitter in a 16-0 Cubs victory.
The final tally matched the second-largest shutout loss in the Diamondbacks' 19-year history; the only greater shutout loss was a 14-0 whitewashing by the Braves, in Phoenix, on July 29, 2007. And the D'backs weren't even around the last time that the Reds scored so many runs in a road shutout: On June 18, 1994, Davey Johnson's Reds won in Atlanta, 16-0.