Date: July 31, 2014

Elias Says...

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

MLB

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Kluber

Kluber faces one over the minimum in shutout

From Elias: Corey Kluber tossed a complete-game shutout on Wednesday night, facing just 28 batters in the Indians' victory against the Mariners. In Kluber's previous start, he threw nine innings and faced just one more than the minimum number of batters in a game that went 14 innings. The last pitcher to toss nine innings and face no more than one batter over the minimum in consecutive starts was Jim Scott of the White Sox in 1914. Scott threw nine-inning, complete-game shutouts on May 25 (28 batters faced) and June 4 (27 batters faced).

Kluber needed just 85 pitches in his shutout performance on Wednesday. Over the last six seasons, only two other pitchers threw 85 or fewer pitches in a complete-game shutout (excluding games of fewer than nine innings played): Aaron Cook of the Red Sox on June 29, 2012 at Seattle (81 pitches) and the Pirates' Jeff Karstens on July 15, 2011 against Houston (83).

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Jones

Jones hits 11th first-inning homer of the season

From Elias: Adam Jones hit a two-run home run in the first inning and the Orioles never looked back as they went on to win 4-3 over the Angels. Jones has 21 homers on the season, 11 of which have come in the first inning. Entering this season, the last player who at any point in the season had at least 20 home runs, with at least half of them coming in one particular inning, was Ron Cey in 1980. After the Dodgers' win over the Reds on September 13 that season, Cey had 24 homers and exactly half were hit in the second inning.

Before Cey, the last to do so was Hank Aaron in 1974; he finished the season with 10 of his 20 dingers coming in the seventh inning. That was Aaron's last season with the Braves, playing the following two seasons with the Brewers.

Cincinnati has post-All-Star game blues

From Elias: The Reds dropped to 2-10 since the All-Star game after a 5-4 loss to the Diamondbacks. Cincinnati has scored just 24 runs over those 12 games. Over the last 40 seasons (since 1975), only three other teams scored 24 or fewer runs over their first 12 games after the All-Star break: 2006 Dodgers (23 runs, 1-11 record in those games), 1976 Padres (24, 5-7), and 1976 Red Sox (24, 2-10). The only other season in which the Reds scored 30 or fewer runs in their first 12 games after the break was in 1933 (30 runs), the year of the very first All-Star game.

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Duda

Duda drives in three more

From Elias: Lucas Duda drove in three runs (including a two-run home run) in the Mets' 11-2 rout of the Phillies. Duda has at least one RBI in each of his last six games. Over the last 20 years, there have been only three other instances of a Mets first baseman driving in a run in at least six consecutive games: Carlos Delgado in June 2006 (8 straight games) and John Olerud in both April/May 1999 (6) and September 1997 (6).

Over the last three seasons, the only other Mets player with an RBI in six or more consecutive games is David Wright, who did so in seven straight games in June earlier this season.

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Gardner

Gardner leads the game off the right way

From Elias: Brett Gardner homered to lead off the first inning on Wednesday night after homering in the Yankees' first plate appearance on Tuesday. In the last 50 seasons (since 1965), two other Yankees players have hit home runs to lead off the first inning of back to back team games: Derek Jeter in August 2001 and Chuck Knoblauch in July 1999. The last player in the majors to accomplish this feat was Alejandro De Aza of the White Sox in May 2013.

Astros score five runs with two outs in the first

From Elias: The Astros scored six first-inning runs, five of which came with two outs, in their 8-1 victory against the Athletics. It's the second time this season that Houston has scored at least five two-out runs in an inning; they also did so on June 14 against the Rays (five such runs in the third inning). Over the last 30 years, the Astros scored at least five two-out runs in the first inning in two other games: July 9, 2003 versus the Reds (6) and August 10, 1984 at Cincinnati (5).

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Greinke

Greinke and Kershaw are an unstoppable force

From Elias: Zack Greinke struck out 13 batters and allowed one run over eight innings on Wednesday night. Since 2001, only one other Dodgers pitcher had an outing of at least eight innings while fanning 13 or more batters. And to no one's surprise, that pitcher is Clayton Kershaw, who struck out 15 batters in his no-hitter against Colorado earlier this season.

Stewart's passed ball gives Giants the win

From Elias: With the score tied 5-5 in the bottom of the seventh, a passed ball by Pirates catcher Chris Stewart allowed what proved to be the winning run to score from third base. The last Giants' win in which the winning run scored on a passed ball in the seventh inning or later was on June 11, 1991 against the Cubs at Wrigley Field. In a tie game in the 10th inning, San Francisco's Jose Uribe scored on Rick Wilkins' passed ball and the Giants went on to win 8-6.

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Gallardo

Gallardo with another scoreless outing

From Elias: Yovani Gallardo threw seven shutout innings in the Brewers' 5-0 win over the Rays after tossing 7 2/3 scoreless innings in his previous start last Friday against the Mets. Over the last 10 seasons (since 2005), only two other Brewers starting pitchers had consecutive outings of at least seven scoreless innings pitched: Zack Greinke in May 2012 and Doug Davis in May 2005.

First-inning crooked number leads Tigers past White Sox

From Elias: The Tigers scored six first-inning runs off Hector Noesi and went on to win 7-2 over the White Sox. It's been nearly five years since Detroit scored six or more runs in the first inning; the last such instance was on August 7, 2009 versus the Twins (6 runs). Over the last 50 years, the only other game between the Tigers and White Sox where Detroit scored at least six first-inning runs was on September 12, 1993 in Chicago (6 runs).

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Hahn

Hahn celebrates in style

From Elias: The Padres' Jesse Hahn celebrated his 25th birthday by allowing one run over seven innings on Wednesday. Hahn is the fifth Padres pitcher in franchise history with an outing of at least seven innings while allowing at most one run on his birthday; the last to do so was Matt Clement on August 12, 2000 against the Marlins. Clement pitched eight shutout innings on his 26th birthday.

Marlins keep it close

From Elias: The Marlins scored two runs in the ninth inning, but their late-inning rally fell just short as they lost 4-3 to the Nationals. Miami has played in 12 one-run games this month (7-5 W-L record), tied with the Yankees for the most such games over that span. The Marlins have played 263 one-run games over the last five seasons (since 2010), just ahead of the Reds and Royals (each with 257 such games) for the most in the majors.

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Buehrle

Buehrle finding success on the road

From Elias: Mark Buehrle allowed one run in 6 2/3 innings of the Blue Jays' 6-1 win at Fenway Park, lowering his road ERA on the season to 2.96 (in 12 starts). Last season, Buehrle sported a 5.90 ERA through his first 12 road starts. The last season in which his road ERA was under 3.00 through 12 starts was in 2007 (2.93); he finished that season with a road ERA of exactly 3.00.

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Barnes

Barnes is clutch in extras

From Elias: Brandon Barnes drove in the game-winning run with a single in the 10th inning of the Rockies' 6-4 win versus the Cubs. Barnes is 5-for-12 (.417) with two doubles, a triple, and three RBIs in his career in extra innings. The Rockies' 10-inning win followed up a 16-inning game between these two teams on Tuesday. It's the first time that Colorado has played in extras in consecutive games against the Cubs.


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