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PUJOLS BREAKS MUSIAL's RECORD
From Elias: Albert Pujols belted a game-winning home run in the 12th inning against the Cubs, and it was the 12th extra-inning homer of his career, tying Jim Thome for the most among active players. But more importantly, in terms of history, the Pujols game-winner gave him outright ownership of the Cardinals record for extra-inning home runs, breaking a tie with Stan Musial, who hit 11.
ONE OF A KIND AT FENWAY
From Elias: In 100 years of baseball at Fenway Park, local fans had never quite seen a game like Saturday's 9-8 Red Sox victory in 14 innings: the Sox took a 7-3 lead into the ninth inning only to see the Athletics tie the score in the ninth and take the lead in the 11th. Boston tied matters in the bottom of that inning and won it on J.D. Drew's first walk-off RBI in a Red Sox uniform in the 14th.
It was the first major-league game in the 100 years of play at Fenway in which the home team (the Red Sox or the Braves, who played some games there) lost a lead of three-or-more runs in the ninth inning, then fell behind in extra innings, before winning the game.
The game took five hours, 17 minutes (the longest Fenway game in terms of time in 10 years minus one day). On June 5, 2001, the Sox outlasted the Tigers, 4-3, in an 18-inning game that lasted five hours, 52 minutes.
ANOTHER CG-SHUTOUT FOR RANGERS: 3RD IN LAST 3 WEEKS
From Elias: Remember when the Rangers attracted attention (and a good bit of reproval) when Nolan Ryan directed that his organization emphasize having its starters pitch deeper into games? Hey, we're just saying... when Derek Holland tossed a complete-game five-hit 4-0 shutout at Cleveland on Saturday night, he became the third different Rangers pitcher to throw a complete-game shutout in the team's last 19 games. Colby Lewis blanked the White Sox on May 16 and Alexi Ogando whitewashed the same team on May 23, and coincidentally, like Holland, they each limited the opposition to five hits and they each won by a 4-0 score.
You have to go back more than three years to find the last time that three different teammates threw complete-game shutouts within a 20-game span for a major-league team. Early in the 2008 season, Cliff Lee, Fausto Carmona and CC Sabathia turned that trick for the Indians. And to find the last time that three different Rangers pitchers tossed complete-game shutouts within a span of 20 games, you go back to the 1981 season, when Danny Darwin, Rick Honeycutt and Doc Medich did it with a two-month players' strike intervening!
LONG BASES-LOADED NIGHTMARE IS OVER AS REYNOLDS BELTS A SLAM
From Elias: Mark Reynolds dispatched the first grand-slam homer of his big-league career, turning a 3-1 deficit into a 5-3 lead and the Orioles went on to defeat the Blue Jays by that score. All we can say is, it was about time! Coming into that at-bat, Reynolds had been hitless in his last 27 at-bats with the bases loaded, and 18 of those 27 at-bats resulted in strikeouts!
KEMP'S SLAM KEYS WIN, EVOKES FURILLO
From Elias: Matt Kemp had two homers and six RBI, including a game-tying grand-slam in the eighth inning in the Dodgers' 11-8 win in 11 innings at Cincinnati. It was the fourth consecutive season in which Kemp has hit at least one grand-slam homer, and he became the first Dodgers player to have such a four-year streak since the team moved to Los Angeles in 1958. The last Dodgers player with a four-year streak of hitting grand-slams was Carl Furillo, in Brooklyn, 1954 to 1957.
GEE IS A WHIZ
From Elias: Dillon Gee lifted his record to 6-0 as the Mets blanked the Braves, 5-0, and Gee became the first rookie in Mets history to win his first six decisions in a season, all as a starting pitcher. Back in 1972, rookie Jon Matlack started the season 6-0, but with one relief victory included.
From Elias: Jose Reyes lined a three-run triple to highlight a five-run seventh inning in the Mets' victory over the Braves on Saturday night. It was Reyes's 10th triple of the season in his 55th game; the last major-leaguer to reach double-digits in triples in so few games from the start of a season was Prime Time himself┐it took Atlanta's Deion Sanders just 43 games to amass 10 triples in 1992 (he finished that season with 14 triples in 97 games played).
SABATHIA GOES DEEP AGAIN
From Elias: CC Sabathia went 8 2/3 innings and Mariano Rivera had a one-pitch save as the Yankees downed the Angels, 3-2. It was the fourth straight start in which the Yankees' big guy went at least eight innings, matching the longest such streaks of his career (a pair of four-start streaks for the Indians in 2006). No pitcher had thrown eight or more innings in each of four straight starts for the Yankees since David Cone had five in a row in 1998.
IF BUMGARNER DIDN'T HAVE BAD LUCK, HE'D HAVE NO LUCK AT ALL
From Elias: Madison Bumgarner was again the hard-luck loser as the Giants dropped a 2-1 decision to the Rockies. Bumgarner is now 2-7 with a 3.42 ERA, but the Giants have scored either no runs or one run in six of his seven losses; he shares the major-league lead for losses in which his team has scored no more than one run with Washington's Livan Hernandez and Pittsburgh's Paul Maholm.
MORTON MAINTAINS MASTERY
From Elias: Charlie Morton did it again on Saturday night, thwarting the Phillies' right-handed hitters and keeping the ball in the yard as he earned a 6-3 victory for the Pirates. Morton allowed five hits in 17 at-bats by left-handed batters but held right-handed hitters to one hit in eight at-bats, and for the eighth straight start did not permit a home run. The last Pirates pitcher not to allow a homer over eight straight starts was Kris Benson, who yielded nary a long ball in any of his last 10 starts with the Pirates before being traded to the Mets in 2004.
For the season, Morton has held righties to a .186 average, compensating for the .339 mark produced by lefty swingers. Only one major-league pitcher who has seen 100 at-bats from each side of the plate has a wider difference in the batting average produced by lefties and righties: Cleveland's Carlos Carrasco has allowed a .368 mark to lefties and a .214 mark to righties.
CABRERA: 9TH-INNING IS THE CHARM
From Elias: Miguel Cabrera's two-run homer in the ninth inning propelled the Tigers to a 4-2 win over the White Sox in Chicago. U.S. Cellular Field has not exactly been Cabrera's favorite stomping grounds: coming into that ninth-inning at-bat, the Tigers first baseman had batted only .204 (23 for 113) there over 29 games since joining the Tigers in 2008. But with Saturday's big blow, Cabrera is now batting .471 (8 for 17) in the ninth inning this season.
HELLICKSON SHARES A.L. LEAD IN WINS
From Elias: Jeremy Hellickson won for the sixth time in his last seven starts and grabbed a share of the American League lead with his seventh win of the season in the Rays' 3-2 victory in Seattle. Hellickson became the first major-league rookie, this late in the year, to possess at least a share of his league's lead in wins since 2006, when Justin Verlander shared the American League lead as late as August 14.
GALLARDO WINS 6TH STRAIGHT START
From Elias: Yovani Gallardo won his sixth straight start, a 3-2 decision over the Marlins in South Florida on Saturday night. Only one Brewers pitcher in the last 19 seasons won each of six straight starts within a single season: Manny Parra won six straight starts in May and June of 2008.
Gallardo has not allowed more than two runs in any of his last six starts. Only two pitchers in Brewers history won six straight starts while allowing two-or-fewer runs in each of them: Cal Eldred in 1992 (a streak of seven starts) and Ted Higuera in 1989 (six).
BURROWS WASTES NO TIME IN OT
From Elias: Vancouver's Alex Burrows bit the Bruins for a second consecutive game when he scored 11 seconds into overtime to give the Canucks a 3-2 victory and a two-games-to-none lead in the Stanley Cup Final. Burrows matched the second-fastest overtime goal in NHL playoff history, J.P. Parise's series-winning tally for the Islanders in Game Three of their 1975 first-round matchup against the Rangers. The quickest overtime goal in NHL playoff history was scored nine seconds into extra time by the Canadiens' Brian Skrudland in Game Two of the 1986 Stanley Cup Final at Calgary.
RECCHI, AT 43, SETS CUP FINAL RECORD
From Elias: Mark Recchi's power play goal that gave the Bruins a 2-1 second-period lead also put Recchi into the record books, under the heading "Oldest Goal Scorer, Stanley Cup Final." At 43, Recchi supplanted the record previously held by Detroit's Igor Larionov, whose last Final goal, so to speak, came at the age of 41 on June 10, 2002 against the Hurricanes.
CANUCKS MAINTAIN A TREND
From Elias: The Canucks' victory in Game Two, giving them a 2-0 series lead, maintained a recent trend. The home team has won the first two games in each of the past six Stanley Cup Final series: Carolina over Edmonton in 2006, Anaheim over Ottawa in 2007, Detroit over Pittsburgh in both 2008 and 2009, Chicago over Philadelphia in 2010, and now Vancouver over Boston.