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TRIPLE YOUR PLEASURE
From Elias: Jose Reyes went 4-for-5 with a pair of triples to lead a 17-hit attack by the Mets in their 9-5 win over the Phillies. It was Reyes' third two-triple game this year. The only other players to post three or more multi-triple games in one season during the expansion (1961-2011) were Carl Crawford (four for Tampa Bay in 2004) and Kenny Lofton (three for Cleveland in 1995). Reyes is the first major-leaguer in baseball's modern era (1900 to date) to post three multi-triple games in one season before the end of May.
TWO-HIT SHUTOUT, 10 STRIKEOUTS FOR KERSHAW
From Elias: Clayton Kershaw pitched a two-hitter and struck out ten batters as the Dodgers defeated the Marlins in Los Angeles, 8-0. Ten of the last 11 complete-game shutouts thrown by Dodgers pitchers have come at Dodger Stadium. The only exception over that span (since Sept. 12, 2005) was a four-hitter by Kershaw at San Francisco on Sept. 14, 2010. Since moving to the West Coast in 1957, there have been 17 shutouts by Dodgers pitchers in which they allowed two or fewer hits and registered double-digit strikeouts. The first eight of those games were all tossed by Sandy Koufax (1960 through 1965). Eight different Dodgers pitchers have done that since Koufax, with only Hideo Nomo doing it twice.
At age 23 years, 71 days, Kershaw was the youngest Dodgers pitcher to throw a shutout with 10-or-more strikeouts and two-or-fewer hits allowed since 22-year-old Don Sutton threw a two-hit, 11-strikeout shutout at Cincinnati in 1967. Kershaw is the youngest Dodgers southpaw to throw such a game since Koufax tossed a two-hit, 14-strikeout shutout against the Reds at Ebbets Field in 1955 as a 19-year-old rookie.
PAPI COMES THROUGH IN A PINCH
From Elias: David Ortiz snapped a 3-3 tie with a pinch-hit solo homer off Jose Valverde in the ninth inning to give the Red Sox a 4-3 win in the first game of their split-admission doubleheader at Detroit. Ortiz, who entered the game with a .184 career batting average as a pinch-hitter, hadn't gone deep in that role since April 27, 2003, when he hit a 14th-inning game winner at Anaheim in his 15th game with Boston. In the interim, the only pinch-hit game-winning homer in the ninth inning or later for a Red Sox player was by Jason Varitek (April 15, 2008 at Cleveland).
BEST PITCHING MATCHUP IN THE HISTORY OF THE RIVALRY
From Elias: Josh Beckett faced Justin Verlander in Sunday's nightcap at Comerica Park. It was the first game in the long rivalry between the Red Sox and Tigers in which both starting pitchers entered with at least 175 career starts and a winning percentage of .600 or higher. Beckett took the mound on Sunday night with a 116-75 career mark (.607), compared to Verlander's 87-55 record (.613).
HELLICKSON AND JASO MAKE QUITE A PAIR
From Elias: Jeremy Hellickson tossed seven scoreless innings and John Jaso chipped in a two-run homer as the Rays shut out the Indians, 7-0. Hellickson improved his record to 8-1 with a 1.97 ERA in ten career starts with Jaso as his batterymate, compared to 1-2 with a 4.05 ERA in his four other starts, all with Kelly Shoppach behind the plate.
FIVE IN A ROW FOR GALLARDO
From Elias: Yovani Gallardo won his fifth straight start, allowing four hits over eight innings in the Brewers' 6-0 win over the Giants. Gallardo is the first pitcher in the Brewers' National League history to win five consecutive starts without allowing more than two runs in any of them. The last Milwaukee pitcher to do so was Scott Karl, as an American Leaguer (July 15-Aug. 4, 1997).
LOOK WHO'S NUMBER ONE
From Elias: Arizona's victory over Houston, coupled with the Giants' loss at Milwaukee, catapulted the Diamondbacks into first place in the N.L. West after they trailed the race by 6 1/2 games through April 30. The Diamondbacks are the first team in major-league history to gain sole possession of first place in their league (before 1969) or division (since 1969) during May after entering the month with a deficit of at least 6 1/2 games.
HAPP HOMERS IN ASTROS' LOSS
From Elias: J.A. Happ helped his own cause with a fifth-inning solo home run that gave the Astros a 2-0 lead, but Houston wasn't able to seal the deal in a 4-2 loss to the Diamondbacks. The Astros had won 11 of their previous 12 games in which their starting pitcher had homered. Houston's only other loss under those circumstances over that span (since Sept. 14, 1999) was on August 15, 2003, when Ron Villone homered in a 10-inning defeat at Cincinnati.
TWO FOR THE PRICE OF ONE
From Elias: Mike Napoli and Nelson Cruz hit two of the Rangers' four home runs in their 7-6 squeaker over the Royals. It was the sixth time this season that Napoli and Cruz homered in the same game. That's the most such games for any pair of major-league teammates. The only two teammates to homer in the same game five times this season are Curtis Granderson and Mark Teixeira.
WHEN HE'S GOOD, HE'S VERY GOOD
From Elias: Kyle Lohse allowed two runs in six innings to defeat the Rockies and post his seventh victory of the season, tying him with five other pitchers for the major-league high. Lohse is the only pitcher among those five who hasn't allowed more than two runs in any of his wins this season.
THRILL UPON THE HILL
From Elias: Aaron Hill led the Blue Jays to 13-4 laugher over the White Sox with his first home run of the season and the first grand slam of his major-league career. Hill had hit 90 home runs before connecting with the bases loaded on Sunday. The only player with more career homers for the Blue Jays than Hill without ever hitting a grand slam for Toronto is John Mayberry (92). The active player with the most home runs without hitting one with the bags jammed is Mark Reynolds (127).
DANKS DROPS TO 0-8
From Elias: John Danks suffered his eighth defeat without a win this season in the White Sox' loss to Toronto. Danks became the third pitcher in franchise history, and the first in almost 70 years, to lose his first eight decisions of a season. The two other White Sox pitchers to do that went on to 20-loss seasons. Roy Wilkinson dropped his first ten decisions in 1921 and finished the season 4-20. Eddie Smith began the 1942 campaign 0-10 and he finished that year with a 7-20 mark.
SABATHIA IS YANKEES' STOPPER
From Elias: The Yankees salvaged the final game of their series at Safeco field as CC Sabathia defeated the Mariners. Sabathia has won his last four starts (dating back to 2009) in which the Yankees were in danger of being swept in a series. He was victorious under those circumstances against the White Sox (Aug. 2, 2009 at Chicago), the Orioles (Sept. 13, 2009 at New York) and the Mariners (twice: at New York on July 1, 2010, and at Seattle on Sunday).
PADRES GET TO STOREN
From Elias: The Padres rallied for a ninth-inning run off Drew Storen to defeat the Nationals, 5-4. Storen has allowed runs in each of his last three appearances (five runs in three innings pitched), including his first blown save in ten opportunities this season on Friday night. Storen threw 21 scoreless innings over his previous 18 games (April 7-May 16) prior to his last three outings.
DEMPSTER TOPS THE BUCS
From Elias: Ryan Dempster allowed two runs over six innings and he was credited with a victory over the Pirates, thanks to three scoreless innings from the Cubs' bullpen. Dempster, who was defeated in his previous four starts against Pittsburgh while posting a 7.23 ERA, is the only pitcher to lose four games to the Pirates over the last two seasons (2010-2011).