Date: September 9, 2012

Elias Says...

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

MLB

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Verlander

TROUT HITS LEADOFF HOME RUN OFF VERLANDER

From Elias: Mike Trout led off the first inning with a home run off Justin Verlander in the Angels' 6-1 win over the Tigers. The only other rookies who ever led off a game with a homer off the reigning Cy Young award winner were Nomar Garciaparra in 1997 (twice against Pat Hentgen) and Terrence Long in 2000 (against Pedro Martinez).

Detroit Tigers, Los Angeles Angels

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Bruce

UNPRECEDENTED STREAK FOR BRUCE

From Elias: Jay Bruce hit his 33rd home run of the season on Saturday, continuing his upward trajectory. Bruce had 21 homers as a rookie in 2008, 22 in 2009, 25 in 2010 and 32 last season. He's the first player in major-league history to hit 20 homers as a rookie and improve on that total in each of the next four seasons. Only five other players have done that at any point in their careers: Hack Wilson (1926-30), Willie Stargell (1967-71), Jim Thome (1998-2002), Derrek Lee (2001-05) and David Ortiz (2002-06).

Cincinnati Reds, Houston Astros

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Hamilton

HAMILTON HITS 40TH HOME RUN

From Elias: Josh Hamilton reached the 40-home run mark in a season for the first time in his major-league career with a two-run blast in the fourth inning on Saturday night against Tampa Bay, the team that selected him with the first overall pick in the June 1999 draft.

Hamilton is the seventh player chosen #1 overall to hit 40 home runs in a season during his major-league career. The others are Alex Rodriguez eight times, Ken Griffey, Jr. seven times, and once each for Jeff Burroughs, Phil Nevin, Chipper Jones and Adrian Gonzalez.

Tampa Bay Rays, Texas Rangers

NATIONALS WIN WITH LATE-INNING SCORING

From Elias: The Nationals scored in the 8th, 9th and 10th innings to defeat the Marlins on Saturday. Earlier this season the Nationals defeated the Mets by scoring in the 8th, 9th and 10th innings. The last team before Washington to win twice in that manner in one season was the Angels, who had three "8-9-10" wins in 2005.

The Nationals hit four home runs on Saturday, giving them 20 in their last five games (6-6-2-2-4). They're the first team with 20 homers over five games since the Braves did that in July 2006.

Miami Marlins, Washington Nationals

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Kubel

KUBEL AND UPTON PUMMEL PADRES AT PETCO

From Elias: Jason Kubel hit two home runs and Justin Upton had four hits (including a homer) in the Diamondbacks' 8-5 win over the Padres. It was the first time in more than six years that a visiting team had one player connect for multiple home runs and another for four hits at Petco Park. Chipper Jones (two HRs) and Adam LaRoche (4 hits, including 2 HRs) did that in a 15-12 Braves win in 11 innings on July 14, 2006.

Arizona Diamondbacks, San Diego Padres

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Sale

REED SAVES SALE AGAIN

From Elias: Addison Reed saved a win for Chris Sale for the fifth time this season on Saturday against the Royals. It's only the second time in the past 20 years that a pitcher under age 24 saved at least five games in a season for a teammate who was also younger than 24. Francisco Rodriguez earned a save in 10 wins by Ervin Santana in 2005, when those two Angels teammates had each not yet reached their 24th birthdays.

Chicago White Sox, Kansas City Royals

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Ramirez

RAMIREZ LEADS MAJORS IN GAME-WINNING RBIs

From Elias: Hanley Ramirez's ninth-inning RBI double drove in the winning run in the Dodgers' 3-2 win at San Francisco. Ramirez leads the majors with 19 game-winning RBIs in 2012. Six of his game-winners have come in the ninth inning or later, tied with Hector Sanchez for most in MLB.

Los Angeles Dodgers, San Francisco Giants

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Ramirez

PERFECT NIGHT FOR RAMIREZ

From Elias: Aramis Ramirez was 3-for-3 with two walks in Milwaukee's 6-3 win over the Cardinals. The only other players in Brewers history who reached base in every one of five or more plate appearances in a game against the defending World Series champions were Ryan Braun in 2009 against the Phillies and Jeff Cirillo in 1998 versus the Marlins.

Milwaukee Brewers, St. Louis Cardinals

INDIANS BLANKED AGAIN

From Elias: The Indians were not shut out in any of their first 57 games this season and at that point (through June 8) the Tigers were the only other major-league team that had scored in every game. But Saturday night's 3-0 loss to the Twins marked the ninth time in three months since then that Cleveland has been blanked. Only the Dodgers, who've failed to score in 10 games since June 9, have been held without a run more often over that span.

Cleveland Indians, Minnesota Twins

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Samardzija

SAMARDZIJA THROWS FIRST COMPLETE GAME

From Elias: Jeff Samardzija recorded the first complete game of his major-league career with a 4-3 win at Pittsburgh on Saturday night in which he allowed only two earned runs and struck out nine batters. Samardzija lost his final four starts in June, allowing a total of 25 earned runs in 18 1/3 innings (that's a hideous 12.27 ERA), but he's posted a 2.58 earned-run average in 13 starts since then, though his record is only 4-6 largely due to poor run support. (The Cubs have averaged fewer than three runs per game in his last 13 starts.) In eight of Samardzija's last 13 starts he's pitched at least seven innings and given up two or fewer earned runs.

Chicago Cubs, Pittsburgh Pirates

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Matsuzaka

MATSUZAKA ALLOWS FIVE EARLY RUNS

From Elias: Daisuke Matsuzaka was replaced after allowing five runs in the second inning and the Red Sox went on to lose to the Blue Jays, 9-2. Matsuzaka has allowed a run in the first or second inning in each of his last 11 starts. That's the longest current streak of that type for any major-league pitcher who has started a game this season and the last Red Sox pitcher with a streak that long was Aaron Sele in 1997.

Boston Red Sox, Toronto Blue Jays

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Sabathia

SABATHIA CAN'T HOLD LEAD

From Elias: The Yankees took a 2-0 lead at Baltimore, but CC Sabathia could not hold it, allowing three home runs in a 5-4 loss. Sabathia has squandered a lead in each of his last four starts, matching the longest such single-season streak by a Yankees starting pitcher during Joe Girardi's five years as the team's manager. A.J. Burnett had a four-game streak of that type in July 2011.

Baltimore Orioles, New York Yankees

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McCann

McCANN ENDS DROUGHT WITH 4-HIT GAME

From Elias: Brian McCann, who carried a streak of 17 consecutive hitless at-bats into play on Saturday, went 4 for 5 for the Braves in their win over the Mets. It was the ninth four-hit game of McCann's major-league career and they've all come while he's been catching. The only other active players with at least nine games of four or more hits as a catcher are A.J. Pierzynski (18), Joe Mauer (17), Victor Martinez (12) and Yadier Molina (11).

Atlanta Braves, New York Mets


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