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MORE YANKEES HOME RUN STUFF
From Elias: The Yankees hit five solo home runs in their 6-4 win over the Red Sox, but it was Jayson Nix who provided the go-ahead RBI with a two-out, sixth-inning single on an 0-2 pitch. Nix now has six hits in his last 10 at-bats with runners in scoring position.
One of New York's homers was hit by Derek Jeter - his 10th of the season and the 250th of his major-league career. He became the 10th Yankees player to reach double-figures in home runs this season, tying the team record set in 1998. Jeter was a part of both groups. In 1998, the others were Tino Martinez, Bernie Williams, Paul O'Neill, Darryl Strawberry, Scott Brosius, Chuck Knoblauch, Jorge Posada, Chad Curtis and Shane Spencer; this season, his 10-homer colleagues are Curtis Granderson, Robinson Cano, Mark Teixeira, Nick Swisher, Raul Ibanez, Alex Rodriguez, Eric Chavez, Andruw Jones and Russell Martin.
With 250 home runs, Jeter became the fifth player in major-league history to have 3,000 hits, 250 home runs and 250 stolen bases. The others are Willie Mays, Rickey Henderson, Robin Yount and Craig Biggio.
MORSE HITS NATS' 1ST GRAND-SLAM OF SEASON
From Elias: Michael Morse hit the Nationals' first grand-slam home run of the season to turn a 2-0 deficit into a 4-2 lead and propel Washington to a 6-4 victory over the Mets. But just because it was the Nats' first four-run homer of the season - Washington was the last National League team to get one this season - doesn't mean that the Nationals have been unproductive with the bases full. In fact, Washington's .369 batting average with the bases loaded is the best in the majors this season.
SANTANA'S SLUMP DEEPENS
From Elias: Johan Santana's struggles continued on Friday night, as he allowed six earned runs and took the loss in the Mets' loss in Washington. Santana has an ERA of 8.27 in 10 games since his no-hitter against the Cardinals on June 1, which is the highest ERA over any pitcher's next 10 appearances following a complete-game no-hitter since baseball began recording earned runs 100 years ago. (Re-read that previous sentence, and then realize that in two of his 10 starts since the no-hitter, Santana has actually pitched scoreless ball - over six innings against the Orioles and over eight innings against the Dodgers!)
And in a more recent slice, Santana's performance has been even more dreadful: he's 0-5 with an ERA of 15.63 in his last five starts, having allowed 33 earned runs and 43 hits in 19 innings over those games. No other major-league pitcher since 1900 has lost five consecutive starts in which he pitched a total of fewer than 20 innings, while allowing as many earned runs and as many hits, and with as high an ERA, as Santana.
STANTON TIES MAJOR LEAGUE MARK: HR IN EACH OF FIRST 5 GAMES AT COORS
From Elias: Giancarlo Stanton's sixth-inning home run tied the game, then John Buck doubled home a run later that inning and the Marlins went on to a 6-5 victory over the Rockies in Denver. Stanton has now played five games in Coors Field (three last year, two this year), and he has belted a homer in each of those games. That ties the major-league record for the most consecutive games from the start of a career hitting a home run at a particular ballpark. And who were the three great sluggers who share that record with Stanton? Johnny Grubb at Fenway Park in 1978, Matt Nokes at what was then Anaheim Stadium in 1987, and Matt Stairs at Citizens Bank Park while playing for the Royals in 2004 (two games) and for the Blue Jays in 2007 (three games).
RAYS ROUT WEAVER
From Elias: B.J. Upton and Ben Zobrist crashed early home runs off Jered Weaver, and then a rat-a-tat-tat of RBI hits in the fourth inning chased the Angels' ace and the rout was on; Tampa Bay won, 12-3, in Anaheim. In that fourth inning, the Rays went 4-for-4 against Weaver with runners in scoring position; prior to the game, he had held opponents to a .141 batting average in those situations.
MILEY PITCHES AND BUNTS D'BACKS TO VICTORY
From Elias: Wade Miley allowed one run over six innings drove in a run with a squeeze bunt in the Diamondbacks' 3-1 victory over the Astros. The last National League rookies to amass at least 13 wins before the end of August were Kazuhisa Ishii (with the Dodgers) and Jason Jennings (with the Rockies), both in 2002. As for the squeeze bunt, why not? Arizona's pitchers had been hitless in their last 38 at-bats prior to Miley's trip to the plate.
BRAVES' PINCH-HITTERS TURN THE TIDE VS. DODGERS
From Elias: Pinch-hitter Reed Johnson singled and later scored the tying run in the eighth inning, and three innings later, Juan Francicso poked a pinch-hit single through the left side and the Braves came from behind to defeat the Dodgers, 4-3, in 11 innings. It was the first game-winning RBI by a Braves pinch-hitter this season, continuing a kind of renaissance for that group.
Last year, in Fredi Gonzalez's first season as the Braves' manager, his pinch-hitters batted only .175, the lowest average by Braves pinch-hitters since back in 1988, when Chuck Tanner and Russ Nixon shared managerial duties. This year, Gonzalez's emergency swingers were batting just .155 through July 27, but they have batted .391 (9 for 23) in subsequent games.
SMOKIN' TODD FRAZIER
From Elias: The Cubs have likely seen enough of Todd Frazier, whose two-run, fourth-inning homer gave the Reds a lead that they never surrendered in a 7-3 victory over Chicago. It was the Frazier's fifth multi-hit game in five games against the Cubs this month, with a couple of homers and eight RBIs in those five games. For the season, Frazier is batting .591 (13 for 22) against the Cubs, the second-highest batting average this season by a major-leaguer against one team (minimum: 25 plate appearances); David Ortiz is batting .619 (13 for 21) against the Yankees.
A'S STAGE ANOTHER BIG COMEBACK
From Elias: The Athletics saw Shelley Duncan belt a grand-slam home run to open the scoring in the fourth inning, but Oakland roared back to defeat the Indians, 6-4. It was the fifth game this season that the A's have won by overcoming a deficit of four-or-more runs, tying the Twins for the most such wins in the majors this season.
PIRATES WIN, SCORING 2 RUNS ON WILD PITCH & PASSED BALL
From Elias: The Pirates scored twice in the fourth inning at St. Louis on Friday night - the first run scoring on a wild pitch, the second on a passed ball - and that was all that Pittsburgh needed to win, 2-1. It has been more than 24 years since any major-league team won a game in which it scored at least two runs, with all of its runs coming on wild pitches and/or passed balls. The last team to win a game like that? The Giants, against the Pirates, on July 2, 1988, when San Francisco scored both of its runs on a wild pitch by Barry Jones.
GIANTS: 1ST TEAM TO SCORE 8 IN INNING VS. PADRES AT PETCO
From Elias: The Giants settled matters early at San Diego, scoring eight runs in the third inning and watching Matt Cain take it from there. That was the most runs that the Padres have allowed in an inning in Petco Park in its nine-year history. Cain won his first three decisions against the Padres, back in 2006, and he is 2-0 against them this season; in between, Cain went 2-11 against San Diego.
EDWIN GETS THE BEST OF YU AGAIN
From Elias: Edwin Encarnacion belted a two-run homer off Yu Darvish in the first inning, then J.A. Happ and the bullpen held down the Rangers as the Blue Jays took a 3-2 decision in Toronto. It was the 31st home run of the season for Encarnacion, but only the second that he has hit in the opening inning, and the first that Darvish has allowed in the first inning. Encarnacion also became the first player to hit two homers off Darvish this season; the other came on April 30, also at home.
FIELDER'S 2 HOMERS TOP ORIOLES
From Elias: Prince Fielder hit a pair of two-run homers, tying the game in the sixth and providing a lead in the eighth, as the Tigers defeated the Orioles, 5-3. Since 2006, Fielder's first big-league season as a regular, he now has hit 112 home runs that either tied the score or gave his team a lead; over that span, only Ryan Howard (131) and Albert Pujols (120) have connected for more homers of that type.
PEREZ'S BIG HIT BEATS WHITE SOX
From Elias: Salvador Perez rapped a two-run tie-breaking double off Chris Sale with two outs in the seventh inning, leading the Royals to a 4-2 triumph over the White Sox. Prior to that big hit, Perez had been hitting only .160 in 25 at-bats with runners in scoring position, the lowest average this season among Royals players with at least 20 at-bats in those situations.