Elias Says: June 11, 2017

Bronx Bombers bombard Baltimore

The Yankees launched five home runs in Saturday night’s 16–3 rout of the Orioles, one apiece by their starters in the third through seventh slots in the order: Aaron Judge, Matt Holliday, Starlin Castro, Gary Sanchez and Didi Gregorius. Each of those players also had at least two hits.

It is only the second time in Yankees history that five consecutive starters in any part of their order each homered and collected at least two hits in one game. The Yankees also did that on June 28, 1939 in a 23–2 rout of the Philadelphia Athletics. Six straight starters in the team’s lineup (slots three through eight) did so in that game at Shibe Park: Tommy Henrich, Joe DiMaggio, Bill Dickey, George Selkirk, Joe Gordon and Babe Dahlgren.

No Molina, no problem

Yadier Molina missed Saturday’s game with back spasms, but Carlos Martinez didn’t miss a beat, throwing a four-hit shutout against the Phillies with Eric Fryer behind the plate. Since 2009, there have been 26 complete-game shutouts by individual Cardinals pitchers in the regular season and one more in the playoffs. Molina was the starting catcher for all but two of them. Fryer joins Tony Cruz (June 7, 2014 in a shutout thrown by Shelby Miller) as the only Cardinals catchers, other than Molina, to start behind the plate for a shutout by a St. Louis pitcher over that period.

Cain: single and slam in one inning

The Royals began Saturday’s game averaging an American League-low 3.6 runs per game this season, but they erupted for nine runs in the eighth inning and defeated the Padres, 12–6. Lorenzo Cain had two hits in that big inning, leading it off with a single and capping the scoring with a grand slam. Cain is the second player in Royals history to hit a grand slam and collect another hit in the same inning. Jermaine Dye did that in 1997, with a slam and a double versus the Cardinals.

Seven-hit day for Alonso

Yonder Alonso had a seven-hit day on Saturday; he went 3-for-5 in the Athletics’ first game against the Rays and 4-for-5 in the night cap. Alonso is the first major-league player this season to register seven hits in one day. Two players did that last year: Josh Reddick, over two games against the Orioles, and Brandon Crawford in one 14-inning marathon against the Marlins.

Reddick, who was 7-for-9 in those two games versus Baltimore, and Alonso are the only Athletics player to record seven or more hits in one day since the franchise moved to Oakland.

McCann’s ninth home run against Nolasco

Brian McCann’s home run in the Astros’ win over the Angels on Saturday was the ninth of his career off Ricky Nolasco. That is the most home runs that any active major-league player has hit against any current pitcher.

A grand return for Cespedes

Yoenis Cespedes hit a grand slam at Turner Field last September and he returned from the disabled list to hit a ninth-inning bases-loaded homer to secure the Mets’ 6–1 win at Sun Trust Park on Saturday afternoon. The only other visiting player to hit multiple grand slams against the Braves over a two-season span was Frank Schulte for the Cubs more than a century ago. Schulte hit two slams against the Boston Braves in the summer of 1911, each at South End Grounds.

Matz is back and looking good

Cespedes wasn’t the only Mets player to make a triumphant return on Saturday. Steven Matz started the second of the two games against the Braves and threw seven innings, while allowing just one run, to earn the win. Matz is now 4–0 with a 2.97 ERA in six starts against Atlanta. He is the first Mets pitcher to go undefeated in his first six starts versus the Braves since David Cone did not suffer a defeat in his first seven starts against them from 1988 to 1990.

Flores powers Mets’ sweep with six hits

Wilmer Flores was 2-for-4 (plus a sacrifice fly) in the day game and 4-for-5 in the night game. Over the last four seasons the only other time a Mets player produced six hits on one day was when Flores himself did so in one game. That was on July 3 last year, when he went 6-for-6 in the Mets’ 14–3 rout of the Cubs. Since 2009, the only Mets player besides Flores to record six hits on one day was Daniel Murphy in a day/night doubleheader at Washington in 2013 (four hits in the afternoon, two at night).

Nationals squander late two-run lead

The Nationals led the Rangers, 3–1, in the ninth inning, but Washington’s bullpen allowed two runs in that frame and three more in the 11th inning, resulting in a 6–3 defeat. It marked a major league-high third time this season that the Nationals lost a game after leading by two or more runs in the ninth inning or later.

Rockies keep rolling

The red-hot Rockies downed the Cubs at Wrigley Field, 9–1, and have now won seven in a row. Colorado has allowed three or fewer runs in each of those games. That streak of seven consecutive games, each won while permitting three runs or less, is the longest in franchise history.

Longoria hits game-winning single in 10th inning

Evan Longoria hit a game-winning homer in the 15th inning to beat the Twins last month, and he connected for a game-ending single to defeat the Athletics in the 10th inning in Saturday’s first game of a doubleheader. Longoria is the fifth major-league player to produce a game-winning RBI in two extra-inning games this season, along with Mark Trumbo (who has done that in four games!), Melky Cabrera, Albert Pujols and Hunter Pence.

Dozier delivers

Brian Dozier came to the plate with a runner on second base and two outs in the fifth inning and delivered a two-run homer, the key hit in the Twins’ 3–2 triumph over the Giants. Dozier is batting .348 (8 for 23) this season with two outs and men in scoring positon, compared to a .230 average in all other at-bats.

Jaso comes through in a pinch

John Jaso’s pinch-hit run-scoring double in the seventh inning broke a 6–6 tie and provided the margin of victory in the Pirates’ 7–6 win against the Marlins. Jaso was 0-for-10 as a pinch-hitter from September 11 last year through May 8 this season, but he is 5-for-7 with a double, home run and four RBIs in that role since then.

Abreu ends extra-base hit drought versus Indians

Jose Abreu was 3-for-5 with a double in the White Sox’ win against the Indians. That ended Abreu’s streak of 10 straight games without an extra-base hit against Cleveland, the longest such drought of his career versus the Indians.