Date: August 21, 2014

Elias Says...

By Elias Sports Bureau, Inc.
Special to ESPN.com

MLB

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Carter

Carter redeems himself with big homer in the ninth

From Elias: Chris Carter, who had struck out in each of his first four plate appearances, hit a tiebreaking three-run home run off a 3-0 pitch from David Robertson in the ninth inning of the Astros' 7-4 win at Yankee Stadium. No player had hit a go-ahead home run in the ninth inning or later after having previously struck out in each of four or more times up that game since the Blue Jays' Alex Gonzalez on May 1, 2001 at Oakland.

One other player this season has hit a go-ahead home run off a 3-0 pitch in the ninth inning or later: Joey Votto against the Rockies on May 9.

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Fiers

Fiers impresses in return to the rotation

From Elias: Mike Fiers allowed one run on two hits, striking out six, in the Brewers' 6-1 home win over the Blue Jays. In three starts in 2014, Fiers has struck out 25 batters and allowed just two runs and eight hits. The only other pitchers in the modern era (since 1900) to register as many strikeouts while allowing as few runs and hits over their first three starts of the season are Tom Cheney (26 K, 1 run, 8 hits for 1963 Senators), Nolan Ryan (28 K, 2 R, 6 H for 1970 Mets), and Matt Harvey (25 K, 2 R, 6 H for 2013 Mets).

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Tillman

Tillman showing pinpoint control in August

From Elias: Chris Tillman walked one and struck out nine in eight innings of the Orioles' 5-1 road win over the White Sox. In four August starts, Tillman has registered 25 strikeouts versus just two walks. Only one other pitcher in franchise history has struck out as many and walked as few over a single-season four-start span. Mike Mussina recorded 26 strikeouts and two walks over four starts in August-September 2000.

Nats' double-play combo leads offense

From Elias: Shortstop Ian Desmond drove in four runs and second baseman Asdrubal Cabrera plated three more in the Nationals' 8-1 home win over the Diamondbacks. Desmond and Cabrera are the third different starting middle-infield duo in franchise history to each register at least three RBIs in a game. Tim Foli (SS) and Jim Cox (2B) did that for the Expos against the Cubs at Jarry Park in 1974. And Orlando Cabrera (SS) and Jose Vidro (2B) combined for three such games for Montreal (twice in 2000, once in 2004).

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Crawford

A signature Crawford performance

From Elias: Carl Crawford scored three runs and stole a base in the Dodgers' 8-6 home win over the Padres. It was the 24th time that Crawford has put up three runs and a steal in a game, the most by any active/disabled/suspended player. Jose Reyes and Alex Rodriguez are tied for second with 20 such games.

Iannetta provides another big late hit

From Elias: Chris Iannetta's two-out double in the ninth inning drove in Brennan Boesch with the winning run in the Angels' 4-3 win at Boston. It was the fourth time in the last two seasons that Iannetta provided a game-winning RBI in the ninth inning or later. The only other catchers with as many late game-winners since 2013 are Jonathan Lucroy (5), Matt Wieters (4), and Nick Hundley (4).

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Jay

Jay can't get out of the way

From Elias: Jon Jay forced in the winning run when he was hit by a pitch from J.J. Hoover in the ninth inning of the Cardinals' 5-4 home win over the Reds. Jay has been plunked six times in his last seven games, matching the highest total by any player in the last 10 years. Carlos Quentin was hit by six pitches over seven games in August 2008, as was Marlon Byrd in July 2010.

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Hoover

Hoover loses number 10

From Elias: J.J. Hoover, who has pitched exclusively in relief this year, fell to 1-10 in the Reds' 126th game of the season. That's the fewest team games any Cincinnati pitcher has ever needed to reach double-digit relief losses. Only one other major-league reliever in the last 30 years has lost his 10th game this early in a season: the Mets' Greg McMichael in 1997 (122 games).

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Kazmir

Kazmir thriving in East Bay

From Elias: Scott Kazmir improved to 14-5 in his first season in Oakland, allowing one run in six innings of the A's 6-2 home win over the Mets. In 25 games in 2014, Kazmir sports a 2.73 earned-run average. Only three other Athletics pitchers have won at least 14 of their first 25 games with the team while posting an ERA under three since the American League started recording earned runs in 1913: Jim Nash (16-3, 2.23 in 1966-1967), Ken Holtzman (14-9, 2.48 in 1972), and Mike Moore (15-6, 2.38 in 1989).

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Burnett

Burnett can't find zone to first two batters

From Elias: A.J. Burnett walked Austin Jackson and Dustin Ackley, the Mariners' first two batters of the game, on four pitches each. Both runners scored that inning and Seattle never looked back in its 5-2 win at Philadelphia. No major-league starting pitcher had begun a game by throwing eight straight balls since the Cubs' Ryan Dempster, at Dodger Stadium on May 3, 2011.

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Infante

Infante stars at keystone for Royals

From Elias: Omar Infante was 4-for-5 with three doubles and four RBIs in Kansas City's 7-4 win at Colorado. The only other Royals second basemen to register at least three extra-base hits and four RBIs in a game are Cookie Rojas (1973) and Frank White (four times between 1982 and 1987).

Cleveland overcomes big early deficit

From Elias: Cleveland trailed 5-0 after one inning but rallied to post a 7-5 win at Minnesota. It's the second straight season in which the Indians have won a road game despite trailing by at least five runs at the end of the first inning; they won in that fashion against the White Sox on June 28, 2013. Over the previous 54 seasons (1959-2012), Cleveland won just two such games away from home: at Oakland in 1982 and at Kansas City in 2006.

Corner outfielders slug Atlanta to win

From Elias: Justin Upton, starting in left field, homered and drove in five runs, while right fielder Jason Heyward added three more RBIs in the Braves' 11-3 win at Pittsburgh. It was the first time that both Atlanta's starting corner outfielders drove in at least three runs in a game since May 2, 2010, when Heyward and left fielder Melky Cabrera each did so in a home win over Houston.

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Stanton

Stanton's walkoff isn't a homer

From Elias: Giancarlo Stanton's 10th-inning single scored Jeff Baker with the winning run in the Marlins' 4-3 home win over the Rangers. It's the fifth time that Stanton ended a game with a walkoff RBI. Three of the previous four were home runs, with the other being a single against the Tigers in the next-to-last game of the 2013 season.


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