Date: July 1, 2013

Elias Says...

By Elias Sports Bureau, Inc.
Special to



Puig has a month for the ages

Yasiel Puig, who debuted in the majors on June 3, went 4-for-5 with a double and a triple in the Dodgers' 6-1 victory against the Phillies to improve his batting average to .436 (44-for-101). That's the highest average for any player in baseball's modern era (1900 to date) in the calendar month of his major-league debut (minimum: 60 at-bats). Only one other player who debuted in the majors since 1900 collected as many hits during his first calendar month in the big leagues as Puig. That was Joe DiMaggio, who went 48-for-126 (.381) in May 1936.

Los Angeles Dodgers


Masterson masters the White Sox

Justin Masterson tossed his third shutout of the season as the Indians topped the White Sox, 4-0. Masterson is 3-0 against the White Sox this year and two of his three shutouts have been at their expense. He's the first pitcher to blank the White Sox twice in one season since Boston's Roger Clemens in 1989, and he's the first to do so for the Tribe since Sam McDowell in 1966. Masterson is the first Indians pitcher to win three or more games in one season against the White Sox with at least two of those victories being shutouts since 1952, when Bob Lemon went 4-0 with three shutouts versus Chicago.

Cleveland Indians


Four extra-base hits for Lough

The Royals outslugged the Twins, 9-8, as David Lough hit three doubles and a home run in four at-bats. Lough is the second player in Royals history to go 4-for-4 or better with four extra-base hits in one game. The first was Lonnie Smith, who had three doubles and a triple in four at-bats for Kansas City against the Angels on Sept. 18, 1986. Lough was the first rookie to have such a game since the Yankees' Shane Spencer did it against the Royals on August 7, 1998 (5-for-5 with two doubles and two home runs).

Kansas City Royals


Pirates keep on rolling

The Pirates extended their winning streak to nine games when Russell Martin's pinch-hit RBI single in the bottom of the 14th inning gave them a 2-1 victory over the Brewers. Martin was the second player in the last six seasons to deliver a pinch-hit walkoff RBI for Pittsburgh. The only other Pirates player to do so from 2008 to date is Ryan Ludwick (Sept. 23, 2011 vs. the Reds). The Pirates (51-30) own the major leagues' best record through the end of June for only the second time during the expansion era. The only other season since 1961 in which they made that claim was 1991, when they entered July with a major-league best 45-27 mark.

Pittsburgh Pirates


Darvish is piling up the K's

Yu Darvish defeated the Reds to post his first win since May 16 and he struck out eight batters to increase his major-league-leading total to 151 this season. Darvish is the first pitcher to register 150 or more strikeouts through his first 17 starts of a season since 2002, when both Curt Schilling (170 strikeouts) and Randy Johnson (155) did it for the Diamondbacks. Darvish has the highest strikeout total for an American League pitcher through his first 17 starts of a season since Boston's Pedro Martinez in 2001 (160).

Texas Rangers


Nathan matches franchise record

Joe Nathan earned his 27th save of the season and his 11th during June in the Rangers' victory on Sunday. In doing so, Nathan tied the franchise record for most saves in a calendar month. That mark was set by John Wetteland in May 2000 and it was matched by Jeff Zimmerman in July 2001.

Texas Rangers

Hamilton drives in a late game-winner

Josh Hamilton's eighth-inning double snapped a 1-1 tie and it proved to be the difference in the Angels' 3-1 victory at Houston. It was Hamilton's first go-ahead RBI in the seventh inning or later of a game since he joined the Angels. He had 12 RBIs of that kind during his five seasons with the Rangers, but none after May 26 of last season.

Los Angeles Angels


A perfect month for Tillman

Chris Tillman won his sixth straight start, all during June, as the Orioles completed a three-game series sweep of the Yankees. Over the last six seasons (2008 to date), the only other major-league pitchers who won as many as six games in one calendar month are Justin Verlander (6-0 in June 2011) and Jered Weaver (6-0 in July 2012). Jim Johnson earned the save on Sunday night, as he's done in seven of Tillman's ten victories this season. It's the most saves for any major-league pitcher this season in games won by a particular teammate.

Baltimore Orioles


If it's Balfour, it's over

Grant Balfour retired the side in order in the ninth inning to nail down the Athletics' 7-5 win over the Cardinals and notch his 19th save of the season while extending his streak of consecutive saves to 37 (since May 5, 2012). The only other major-league pitcher with a current streak of converted save opportunities even half as long as Balfour's is Edward Mujica (21 in a row).

Oakland Athletics


Walkoff slam in Miami

Jeff Mathis's grand slam in the bottom of the ninth inning gave the Marlins a 6-2 win against the Padres. It was the fourth walkoff homer with the bases loaded in the majors this season; the others were hit by Matt Wieters (April 18), Jordany Valdespin (April 24) and John Mayberry, Jr. (June 4). Mathis is the fourth player in Marlins history to hit a game-ending grand slam. The others to do that for the Marlins are Bobby Bonilla (1997), Dan Uggla (2008) and Giancarlo Stanton (2012).

Miami Marlins


Bumgarner wins series finale

Madison Bumgarner allowed one run in seven innings to earn the victory as the Giants salvaged the final game of their three-game set at Colorado. It was the third start of Bumgarner's career in games in which San Francisco was in danger of being swept in a series, and he's won all three of those games while allowing only two runs in 20 innings (for a 0.90 ERA). His two previous wins of that kind were both in 2011 (at home against the Cubs and Dodgers).

San Francisco Giants


Hellickson wins five in June

Jeremy Hellickson improved his record to 7-3 this season in the Rays' 3-1 victory over the Tigers. Hellickson went 5-1 during June to become the fourth pitcher to win five games for Tampa Bay in one calendar month. He joined Scott Kazmir (5-1 in May 2008), David Price (5-1 in June 2012) and Matt Moore (5-0 in April of this year).

Tampa Bay Rays

Desmond puts icing on the cake

Ian Desmond drove in three runs in the Nationals' 13-2 thumping of the Mets, including a two-run homer off of New York's backup catcher, Anthony Recker, who pitched the ninth inning in a mop-up roll. Desmond drove in 28 runs during June, which is the highest RBI total in a calendar month for any major-league shortstop since Troy Tulowitzki had 40 RBIs in September 2010.

Washington Nationals

Another walkoff win for the Red Sox

Pinch-runner Jonathan Diaz raced home from second base in the bottom of the ninth inning on an error by Blue Jays' first baseman Josh Thole to give the Red Sox a 5-4 win on Sunday. It was the seventh walkoff victory of the season for John Farrell's Red Sox, who won only three games in that fashion last year under Bobby Valentine. This is the first season since 1964 in which the Red Sox registered as many as seven walkoff wins by the end of June.

Boston Red Sox


June swoon for Cahill

The Braves posted a 6-2 win over the Diamondbacks with all of their runs being charged to Trevor Cahill in his 4 1/3 innings on the mound. Cahill, who went 0-5 with a 9.85 ERA during June, became the first pitcher to go 0-5 or worse in one calendar month while posting such a high ERA since A.J. Burnett went 0-5 with an 11.35 ERA for the Yankees in June 2010.

Arizona Diamondbacks