Date: June 30, 2016

Elias Says...

By Elias Sports Bureau, Inc.
Special to


De La Cruz

De La Cruz can't quite make history in debut

Joel De La Cruz drew a tough assignment in his major-league debut, starting against the Indians, who entered Wednesday on an 11-game winning streak. The rookie didn't embarrass himself, allowing three runs in six innings, but his teammates couldn't score and the Braves lost, 3-0. The last player to make his MLB debut as a starting pitcher against an opponent on winning streak of at least 10 games was the Padres' Rodrigo Lopez against Atlanta in April 2000. Lopez allowed one run in seven innings but didn't figure in the decision in a Braves victory. No starting pitcher in major-league history has ever earned a win in his debut when facing an opponent that had won its previous 10+ games that season (0-7 in 10 starts all time).


The Mick, the Stick, the Captain, and Didi

Didi Gregorius's two-run home run capped a six-run ninth-inning rally as the Yankees beat the Rangers 9-7 in the Bronx. In the last 70 years, the only other shortstops to hit walkoff homers for the Bombers are Mickey Mantle (1954 against the White Sox in a game he started in center field), Gene "Stick" Michael (1971 vs. Detroit), and Derek Jeter (2005 vs. Boston).


Trumbo surpasses 2015 homer total

Mark Trumbo hit his 23rd home run of the season in the Orioles' 12-6 win at San Diego. Trumbo, who belted 22 homers for the Diamondbacks and Mariners in 2015, is the first player to hit at least 20 home runs in one season, then exceed that total before the end of June the next year, since the Phillies' Chase Utley (22 in 2007, 23 through the end of June 2008).


High batting averages at the top of Miami, Detroit lineups

Miguel Cabrera had three hits including a home run, raising his season batting average to .301 in the Tigers' 10-3 home win over the Marlins. After the game, the starters in each of the top four lineup slots for both teams boasted batting averages of at least .295 (Ichiro Suzuki .342, Martin Prado .316, Christian Yelich .314, and Marcell Ozuna .319 for Miami; Ian Kinsler .295, Cameron Maybin .348, Miguel Cabrera 301, and Victor Martinez .323 for Detroit). The last time that happened in a major-league game in June or later was on September 9, 2007 in a Red Sox win at Baltimore. The top four of Boston's starting lineup in that game consisted of Jacoby Ellsbury (.373), Dustin Pedroia (.325), David Ortiz (.319), and Mike Lowell (.324). Baltimore's first four hitters were Brian Roberts (.296), Tike Redman (.321), Nick Markakis (.296), and Miguel Tejada (.307).


Murphy goes deep twice against former team

Daniel Murphy hit two home runs in the Nationals' 4-2 home win over the Mets. Murphy, who won the NLCS MVP while playing for New York last October, is the fourth player to homer twice in a game against the Mets after having played for the team in either the current or previous season. The previous three all did so at Shea Stadium: the Astros' Frank Thomas in 1965, the Yankees' Tony Clark in 2004, and, most memorably, the Padres' Mike Piazza in 2006.

No other major-league player this season has hit two home runs in a game against a team for which he played in either 2015 or 2016.


White Sox follow winning formula

First baseman Todd Frazier, second baseman Brett Lawrie, and third baseman Tyler Saladino all hit home runs in the White Sox' 9-6 home win over the Twins. It was the 12th time in team history that each of Chicago's starting "basemen" have homered in the same game. The Southsiders have won all 12 of those games.

Royals survive after blowing two late leads

The Royals blew leads of 1-0 and 2-1 in the ninth and 10th innings respectively but pulled out a 3-2, 12-inning win at St. Louis. It was only the second time in franchise history that Kansas City won a game after surrendering leads in both the ninth and 10th frames. On July 22, 1977, the Royals gave up two-run leads in both the ninth and tenth innings but won 5-4 at Detroit on a home run by Al Cowens in the 12th.

Kansas City Royals


Altuve does it all offensively

Jose Altuve collected two singles, a double, a triple, four runs scored and a stolen base in the Astros' 10-4 win over the Angels in Anaheim. Five other Houston players have put up at least four hits including two for extra bases while also scoring four runs and stealing a base in a game: Joe Morgan (1965), Cesar Cedeno (1977), Steve Finley (1992), Craig Biggio (1994), and Lance Berkman (2008).


Bourjos homers early, scores winning run late

Peter Bourjos gave the Phillies an early lead with a two-run home run in the first inning, then scored the winning run on a sacrifice fly in the 10th inning of Philadelphia's 9-8 win at Arizona Wednesday. Bourjos is the second major-league player this season to homer in the first inning and then score the winning run in extra innings. Ben Zobrist did that for the Cubs at Cincinnati one night earlier.


Rookie Guerra shuts down Dodgers

Junior Guerra pitched eight scoreless innings in the Brewers' 7-0 home win over the Dodgers. The 31-year-old Guerra, who had pitched only four major-league innings before 2016, is the first rookie in seven years to throw at least eight innings without allowing a run in a game at age 30 or older. The Braves' Kenshin Kawakami, age 33, blanked the Cubs for eight innings on May 22, 2009.

Almora Jr.

Almora hits first homer at GABP

Albert Almora hit his first major-league home run in the Cubs' 9-2 win at Cincinnati. Almora is the 60th player to hit his first homer at Great American Ball Park. Since the Reds' stadium opened in 2003, the only stadium that's seen more players hit their first big-league home run is Chase Field in Arizona (64).

Notable visiting players who hit their first MLB homer at Great American Ball Park include CC Sabathia (2005), Hanley Ramirez (2006), Starlin Castro (2010), and Buster Posey (2010).


Sanchez thrives at altitude

Aaron Sanchez allowed one run in eight innings of the Blue Jays' 5-3 win at Colorado. Sanchez is the fifth American League pitcher to throw at least eight innings and allow one run or fewer in a game at Coors Field, joining Aaron Sele (1998 Rangers), Justin Verlander (2011 Tigers), Kevin Millwood (2012 Mariners), and C.J. Wilson (2012 Angels).

Giants lose big despite hit advantage

The Giants lost 7-1 at Oakland despite collecting eight hits against the A's seven. San Francisco hadn't lost a game by a margin of six or more runs in a game in which it out-hit its opponent since falling 9-3 to the Expos on April 28, 2000. San Francisco had 11 hits in that game and Montreal had eight.

San Francisco Giants


Guyer homers in return from DL

Brandon Guyer, in his first at-bat after a missing over three weeks because of a hamstring injury, broke a scoreless tie with a second-inning home run and the Rays went on to win 4-0 over the Red Sox at Tropicana Field. The last player to hit a home run in the first plate appearance of his first game after being activated from the disabled list onto the active roster was the Mets' David Wright at Philadelphia last August.


Versatile Rodriguez stars at the plate

Sean Rodriguez, making his seventh start of the season in right field, doubled twice and drove in four runs in the Pirates' 8-1 win at Seattle. Rodriguez, who has also started games at left field and all four infield positions, is one of two major leaguers to have started at six different defensive positons in 2016. Tampa Bay's Taylor Motter has also started at every position besides pitcher, catcher, and center field.