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Elias Says: June 30, 2017

Dodgers join Mets with 50 June home runs

Joc Pederson’s three-run home run in the sixth inning in Anaheim was the Dodgers’ 50th this month. Los Angeles joins the Mets (50 through Thursday) in the 50-homer club in June. Last month, the Astros and Rays each belted 52 home runs. This is the first time in major-league history that two teams hit at least 50 homers in each of two consecutive months.

Fulmer just misses a shutout

Michael Fulmer was one out away from a shutout after retiring the first two batters in the ninth inning. But after three hits and an error, Fulmer was taken out and had to settle for a 7–3 win over the visiting Royals. The last major-league pitcher to surrender as many as three runs in a game after tossing zeros for eight-and-two-thirds innings and facing the potential 27th out with the bases empty was the Yankees’ Melido Perez, against the Angels on July 8, 1994. The last Detroit pitcher to lose a shutout in that fashion was Frank Lary, at Boston on August 8, 1959.

Fulmer extended his homerless-inning streak to 73⅔, the longest current streak by any major leaguer and the longest by a starting pitcher since the Giants’ Chris Heston (78⅓) in 2015.

Jimenez rebounds from poor last outing

Ubaldo Jimenez threw eight scoreless innings in the Orioles’ 2–0 win at Toronto. We’re sure Jimenez remembers that in his last game against the Blue Jays, he allowed a walkoff home run to Edwin Encarnacion in the 2016 AL Wild Card Game. And in his most recent appearance this season, last Friday at Tampa Bay, Jimenez gave up nine runs. The last Baltimore pitcher to, in two consecutive regular-season appearances, allow nine runs and then throw at least eight shutout innings, was Jim Wilson in May 1955. The last major leaguer with a two-game span like that was the White Sox’ Jeff Samardzija in September 2015.

Kluber strikes out 64 in June

Corey Kluber struck out 12 batters in eight innings of the Indians’ 5–1 home win over the Rangers. Kluber improved to 4–0 in June, and his 64 strikeouts this month are the most by a Cleveland pitcher since Sam McDowell punched out 71 in May 1970. The only other Indians pitcher ever to accumulate 60 strikeouts in a month without suffering a loss is Kluber himself, in May 2014 (4–0, 60 SO.)

Lemet’s ERA doesn’t reflect stellar K/BB ratio

Dinelson Lamet walked one and struck out eight in seven scoreless innings as the Padres beat the visiting Braves, 6–0. Lamet, who debuted five weeks ago, has a 5.35 ERA despite 50 strikeouts and 11 just walks in seven starts. Since earned runs became an official statistic just over a century ago, only five other pitchers have notched as many strikeouts and as few walks as Lamet over their first seven major-league starts: Gary Nolan (1967), Orel Hershiser (1984), Felix Hernandez (2005), Stephen Strasburg (2010), and Masahiro Tanaka (2014.) Tanaka’s 2.57 ERA was the highest of that group.

Correa notches fourth multi-homer game

Carlos Correa homered in the fourth and sixth innings of the Astros’ 6–1 home win over the Athletics. Correa, who made his major-league debut just over two years ago, has hit two home runs in a game four times, all as a shortstop. That breaks the Houston record for most multi-homer games at that position. Dickie Thon had three such games, all over a span of less than a month in June and July 1983.

Nats’ ninth-inning woes continue

Jon Jay’s two-run double capped a three-run ninth inning as the Cubs overcame a 4–2 deficit to win, 5–4 at Washington. It was the fourth time this season that the Nationals have lost a game that they led by multiple runs at the end of the eighth inning. Only two other teams in the last 30 years have suffered as many such losses before the end of June – the 1998 Cardinals (5) and the 2012 A’s (4.)

Granderson is on an early-game scoring spree

Curtis Granderson hit a leadoff double, and then scored the Mets’ first run in their 6–3 win at Miami. Granderson has crossed home plate in the first inning seven times in his last eight games. That ties the Mets’ franchise record for first-inning runs over an eight-game span, set by Wayne Garrett in 1970. The last major-league player to score seven times in the first inning over eight games was Mike Trout in 2013.

Brewers homer in each of the first four innings

Jonathan Villar hit two of the Brewers’ six home runs in Milwaukee’s 11–3 win at Cincinnati. The Brew Crew connected for at least one homer in each of the first four innings. It was the third time in franchise history that Milwaukee started a game with a streak of four straight innings with a home run, having also done so on June 19, 1982 at Detroit, and Sept. 2, 2012 against Pittsburgh.

Grichuk drives in three in seventh, two in eighth

Randal Grichuk hit a three-run home run in the seventh inning and then plated in two more runs on a double in the eighth inning of the Cardinals’ 10–4 win at Arizona. The last St. Louis player to drive in multiple runs in two consecutive “late” innings (i.e. 7th or later) was Ryan Ludwick, at Oakland on June 17, 2007 (3-run HR in 7th, 2-run single in 8th.)

Price keeps Twins bats in the park

David Price allowed no home runs in seven innings, improving his record to 3–2 in Boston’s 6–3 home win over Minnesota. In 114⅓ career innings against the Twins, Price has surrendered just five home runs, a rate of one every 22.9 innings. That’s the seventh-best rate by any active pitcher with at least 100 innings pitched against a particular opponent.

McCutchen 3-for-3 with game-winning RBI

Andrew McCutchen was 3-for-3 and drove in the game’s first run on a third-inning single in the Pirates’ 4–0 home win over the Rays. It was the third time that McCutchen has gone 3-for-3 or better with a game-winning RBI. He also did that in April 2011 at Cincinnati (3-for-3) and in September 2012 versus Houston (4-for-4.)