Baseball's official scoring rules suggest using lowercase letters to identify pinch hitters and the outcome of their at-bats. On Friday the St. Louis Cardinals became the first team this year to use six pinch hitters in a game (that's "f" if you're counting). Our weekly roundup of oddities turned up a lot of "pinch" performances, including some that required more running than others.
J.B. Shuck had a two-run pinch-hit triple Thursday for what would become the game-winning runs. The last pinch-hit triple for the White Sox was hit by Brent Lillibridge in 2010, but that only cut into a deficit. The team's last go-ahead pinch-hit triple came from Harold Baines, who turned a 2-1 deficit into a 3-2 lead against Texas on May 7, 1981.
Michael Morse hit his first triple of the season Thursday. His was also the pinch-hit variety; he then stayed in the game and added a double and a run scored. Morse is the first player in the majors to hit a pinch-hit triple, stay in the game, and later hit a double, since Alex Rios did it in 2006. The most recent Pirates hitter to pull that off was Ed Stevens in a win over Brooklyn on July 31, 1948.
Brett Wallace entered Tuesday's game as a pinch hitter when Yonder Alonso left due to back tightness. He proceeded to have three singles and score on all three trips around the bases, becoming just the second player in Padres history to have three hits and three runs in a game he didn't start. On Sept. 22, 1988, John Kruk crashed into then-Dodger Mike Scioscia on a play at the plate (he spent the night in a hospital with a gashed-up knee) and was replaced by Carmelo Martinez who hit two homers, including a game-winner in the eighth.
Michael Taylor hit the fourth walk-off homer of the season for the Nationals on Friday, but just the franchise's third ever by a pinch hitter in extra innings. Charles "Boots" Day hit one to beat the Mets on July 2, 1973, and Mike Fitzgerald hit a grand slam in the 11th (off Jeff Pico) to beat the Cubs on July 26, 1988.
Adam Duvall, promoted from Triple-A, entered Monday's game as a pinch hitter in the sixth. He hit a two-run homer and ultimately had the game-winning RBI. Duvall hit three homers last year for the Giants, but Monday was his first big-league appearance this season, and his first with Cincinnati. The last player with a pinch-hit homer in his Reds debut was Quinton McCracken in 2006.
Nationals cleanup hitter Ryan Zimmerman had three hits and four RBIs before being lifted for a pinch hitter in Thursday's blowout. Danny Espinosa then singled and homered to continue the trend. It's the first time the Nationals have gotten five base hits out of their cleanup spot since June 1, 2007. It happened two other times in franchise history; Tony Perez had five by himself in the last game of 1978, and then teamed with Tony Solaita to do it in a blowout of the Astros in June 1979.
On Friday, Justin Ruggiano became the first player whose first Dodger homer was as a pinch hitter since Scott Van Slyke in 2012. Two innings later, Brett Wallace was sent up as a PH for the Padres. He homered also, making it the first game in more than a year with pinch-hit homers by both teams. The last was also an National League West tilt.
A day after hitting a pinch-hit home run against the Astros, Logan Morrison entered Wednesday's game as a pinch hitter. He walked and scored but then stayed in the game as the first baseman. It was his second plate appearance in which he hit a three-run homer to provide the final margin. That wasn't technically a pinch-hit homer, but it did make Morrison the second player in Mariners history to go deep in back-to-back contests in which he entered the game as a pinch hitter. Outfielder Leroy Stanton homered on April 17 and 18, 1977 -- the Mariners' first month of major-league existence.
And that Tuesday home run? It was brought to you by the letter "M". Not because he was the 13th pinch hitter, but because, for Morrison of the Mariners, it was his third career pinch-hit homer. The other two came with the Miami Marlins. And he's hit one each at the three MLB parks that start with 'M': Marlins Park, Miller Park in Milwaukee, and now Minute Maid.
Other notes from this week
Bryce Harper, Thursday: First player with zero hits, four runs scored, and an RBI since Jim Delsing for Browns in 1951.
Xander Bogaerts, Saturday: First Red Sox hitter with four RBIs and one hit, where the hit wasn't a home run, since Johnny Damon in June 2005.
Dodgers, Friday: Hit three homers in an inning for sixth time this season, most since the 1985 Orioles (also six).
Elian Herrera, Saturday: First Brewer with a homer and two RBIs in both games of a doubleheader since Robin Yount on Sept. 22, 1987.
Addison Russell, Friday: First Cubs number-nine hitter with two homers, three runs scored, and three driven in since pitcher Don Cardwell on Sept. 2, 1960.
Dallas Keuchel, Sunday: Second Astros pitcher ever to strike out 12 but allow three homers in a game, joining J.R. Richard in the final game of the 1977 season.
Chris Davis, Wednesday: First Oriole with two homers including an extra-inning walk-off since Mike Young on May 28, 1987.
Jake Odorizzi, Friday: First Rays pitcher to allow three or more hits in a game, all of them homers, since Ryan Rupe on May 5, 1999.
C.J. Cron, Friday: First Angels hitter to have five RBIs but score zero runs himself since Brian Downing on Sept. 17, 1980.