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Kernels: Inside the 3 true outcomes

In baseball circles, homers, walks and strikeouts are known as the "three true outcomes," because they're the plays that involve only the batter and the pitcher (no defense, no baserunning ability, etc.). Our weekly look at the obscure and interesting turned up quite a few of each.

Nelson Cruz started the week by hitting two homers on Monday, then capped it by hitting two more on Sunday and leads the majors with eight. He's the first player in Mariners history to have 8 HR in his team's first 12 games, and the first in the majors since Alex Rodriguez in 2007.

Cruz started Sunday's game by hitting two homers and later won it with a bases-loaded single in the ninth.

Nine other Mariners players have had a multihomer game in which they walked off, but in all those cases the walk-off event was one of the homers. Cruz is the first player in team history with two home runs and a non-homer walk-off in the same game. The last player in the majors to do it was Jose Bautista in May 2013.

Cruz also struck out three times in that game, making him only the second player in Mariners history to have a two-homer, three-strikeout game. The other was Jay Buhner, who had one in 1995 and another in 1997.

Russell Martin and Josh Donaldson became the first Toronto Blue Jays teammates to homer twice in a game in nearly three years, and it still wasn't enough. They lost to Atlanta 8-7, the first time they've ever hit five home runs in a home game and lost. Donaldson then hit a walk-off homer Saturday against rookie Sugar Ray Marimon in his second career appearance. The last Braves pitcher to surrender a walk-off homer in either of his first two games was Percival "Wenty" Ford, who entered in the seventh inning against the Reds on September 15, 1973, before finally giving up the game-winner to Tony Perez.

Josh Harrison decided to continue the Pirates' home-opener ceremonies on Monday by launching Anibal Sanchez's first pitch into the seats, giving the Pirates their first leadoff homer in a home opener since R.J. Reynolds in 1986 (off Dwight Gooden). It's also believed to be the first time any team had homered on its first pitch of a home opener since 1988, when Steve Sax of the Dodgers did it.

Rajai Davis' sixth-inning homer held up for a 1-0 Tigers win in Pittsburgh on Wednesday. The Tigers hadn't won a 1-0 game on a solo homer since August 14, 2009, against Kansas City (Brandon Inge walk-off), and hadn't done it on the road in over a quarter-century. On May 4, 1988, Alan Trammell supplied the only offense at Anaheim Stadium.

Alfredo Simon pitched eight scoreless innings without a walk in that game Wednesday, becoming the first Detroit pitcher to do that... since Tuesday when Shane Greene pulled it off. Greene allowed three hits; Simon topped that by allowing two. They became the first Tigers teammates to throw eight or more scoreless, walk-less innings in consecutive games since Dizzy Trout and Hal Newhouser against the A's in 1944. And no teammates in the majors had done it with a maximum of three hits since Vida Blue and Ken Holtzman fired shutouts for the Athletics on July 31 and Aug. 1, 1972.

• The Boston Red Sox drew seven walks in Friday's win. The quirk is that their first seven hitters drew one each. The last team in the majors to have that happen was... the Red Sox... against Baltimore. That happened on May 16, 2011, in a game that Boston also won via walk-off (Adrian Gonzalez).

Collin McHugh of the Houston Astros recorded 11 strikeouts among 17 outs on Wednesday, making him the first pitcher this season to fan 11 opponents in less than six innings. Three pitchers did it last year, and none of them won the game. The last Astros pitcher to get a win in such an outing was Roy Oswalt against Cincinnati on Sept. 1, 2005.

Chris Archer of the Tampa Bay Rays had 11 strikeouts Thursday and allowed two hits, a combination accomplished twice in franchise history. Both previous games were by James Shields (2007 and 2012)... and he gave up runs in both. So Archer is the only Rays pitcher ever with 11-plus strikeouts, no runs and two hits or fewer in a game. The Rockies are now the only active franchise to never have a pitcher with that line.

Jesse Chavez entered Saturday's game for Oakland after starter Jesse Hahn developed a blister and ended up with the unusual 11-out save. Six of those outs were strikeouts. Since saves became official in 1969, the only other A's pitcher with a six-strikeout save was Hall-of-Famer Rollie Fingers on Sept. 1, 1972.

Danny Salazar's win on Saturday gave the Cleveland Indians staff four outings of 10-plus strikeouts this season. The last team to throw four double-digit strikeout games in their first 10 games was the 2001 Arizona Diamondbacks (two each by Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling). The last time the Indians did it was in 1966.

• After his three-strikeout debut on Friday, Kris Bryant got his first major-league hit on Saturday and drew three walks. The only other player in the live-ball era to strike out thrice in his first MLB game and walk thrice in his second is Twins outfielder Rich Becker, who did that during his brief September callup in 1993.

And a few other notable outcomes from the week ...

Seth Smith

Second player in Diamondbacks history with two doubles, a triple and four RBIs in game (Steve Finley, 1999)

Jonathan Herrera

First Phillies batter with two doubles and a triple in a road loss since "Lefty" O'Doul in 1930

San Francisco Giants

First reigning World Series champion to be shut out in the following year's home opener since 1952-53 Yankees

Justin Masterson

Two hit batters, balk, fielding error, seven earned runs allowed: first pitcher to do that in same game since "Fidgety Phil" Collins in 1932

Paulo Orlando

First player with four triples through 10 games of season since Tony Peña, also for Royals, in 2007

Josh Collmenter

Nine-inning shutout plus three hits on offense, joins Adam Wainwright as only pitchers to do it in past 10 years

Dee Gordon

Second Marlins batter with four hits in a loss (Juan Pierre versus Rockies, 2005)

Adam Jones

First Orioles outfielder with four hits and five RBIs since Albert Belle on July 25, 1999 (Nelson Cruz did it last year, but as the DH).

Jose Abreu and Adam LaRoche

First two White Sox teammates ever with homer, double, single, four RBIs in same game

Shane Greene

First Tigers pitcher to begin a season with three starts of at least seven innings and no more than one run allowed since Jack Morris in 1984.