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YANKS WIN IN 14, BUT HARPER HOGS THE HEADLINES
From Elias: Mark Teixeira's two-run double in the 14th inning snapped a 3-3 tie and propelled the Yankees to a 5-3 victory in Washington. But the game will likely be longer remembered for Bryce Harper going 0-for-7, including five strikeouts.
Harper, at 19 years and 244 days, became the youngest player in modern major league history (that is, since 1900) to go hitless in a game with seven-or-more at-bats. The previous record was held by Hall-of-Famer Harry Heilmann, who went 0-for-7 for the Tigers in a game at Boston in 1914, two weeks before his 20th birthday. Harper also became the youngest major-leaguer to strike out five times in a game (of any length) since the majors began recording strikeouts for batters (in the National League in 1910, in the American League three years later).
The first three of Harper's strikeouts came at the hands of Andy Pettitte, who had just turned 40 years of age a day earlier. Since the major leagues began recording strikeouts for batters, only one other 40-or-over pitcher struck out a teenage batter at least three times in one game: John Smoltz (some three months after his 40th birthday) got Justin Upton (six days shy of his 20th birthday) three times in a game in August 2007.
HAMMEL: FIRST TO BEAT BRAVES IN ATLANTA WITH 1-HITTER
From Elias: Jason Hammel completely handcuffed the Braves, tossing a complete-game one-hitter and leading the Orioles to a 5-0 victory in Atlanta. Actually, what Hammel accomplished was more unusual than a no-hitter, at least in this respect: Since the Braves moved south in 1966, three visiting pitchers had tossed complete-game, no-hit victories in Atlanta: John Montefusco in 1976, Randy Johnson (a perfect game) in 2004 and Ubaldo Jimenez in 2010. But Hammel became the first visiting pitcher to defeat the Braves in Atlanta with a complete-game one-hitter.
SANTANA STOPS ARIZONA ON ONE HIT
From Elias: Ervin Santana threw a one-hit shutout, earning a 2-0 victory for the Angels over the Diamondbacks. Saturday night's effort came less than 11 months after he had thrown a no-hitter against the Indians, a game in which he permitted an unearned run and won, 3-1. The last pitcher who threw both a one-hit, no-run complete game and a no-hit, one-run complete game in his major-league career was Dean Chance. Pitching for the Angels in 1962, Chance blanked the Twins, 5-0, allowing but one hit. Then, pitching for the Twins in 1967, he threw another one-hitter, whitewashing the Kansas City A's, 8-0; and later that season, he threw a no-hitter against the Indians, winning, 2-1.
LEE STILL WINLESS AFTER 11 STARTS
From Elias: Cliff Lee, still looking for his first victory of the season, held a 5-2 lead in the eighth inning at Toronto, but he allowed the first three Blue Jays hitters to reach base in the bottom of that inning, all three scored, and the Jays went on to win in 10 innings, 6-5. Lee is 0-3 with a 3.48 ERA in his 11 starts this season, and the Phillies are 3-5 in his no-decision starts. Lee has had a lead in seven of his 11 starts this season, including five leads of at least two runs and three three-run leads.
Lee is only the second Cy Young Award winner to remain winless through 11 starts in any subsequent season. Back in 1983, an over-the-hill Vida Blue, a far cry from the phenom who had won the 1971 American League Cy Young Award, staggered through 14 starts and five relief appearances for the Royals, finishing the year was a record of no wins, five losses.
SALTALAMACCHIA ACTS LIKE HE'S BEEN THERE BEFORE
From Elias: Jarrod Saltalamacchia, playing in his 405th major-league game but his first as the starting clean-up hitter, got the hang of things right away, with a double and a two-run homer on his first two trips to the plate Saturday night at Wrigley Field. The Red Sox went on to top the Cubs, 4-3. The last player with as many big-league games under his belt who homered in his first game as the starting cleanup hitter was Robinson Cano on May 28, 2010, in his 782nd game.
Saltalamacchia joined the not-too-lengthy list of Red Sox catchers who have started in the cleanup spot-a list that over the last 30 years includes Rich Gedman, Mike Macfarlane, Mike Stanley, Jim Leyritz, Scott Hatteberg, Jason Varitek and Victor Martinez, though none of those players started as many as 10 games in the cleanup spot as a catcher for Boston. The last Red Sox player who homered in his first game catching and batting cleanup for the team was Bob Tillman, who did it just over 50 years ago, on May 19, 1962, his third game and first start in the majors.
BURNETT'S 6TH WIN IN LAST 6 STARTS
From Elias: A.J. Burnett won his sixth straight start as the Pirates broke open what had been a close game and defeated the Indians, 9-2, in Cleveland. And in so doing, the Pirates buried another vestige of their all-too-long walk through lean times: Burnett became the first Pittsburgh pitcher to win a sixth straight start within one season since Aug. 3, 1990, when Doug Drabek shut out the Phillies for his sixth win in a six-start span. The nearly 22-year span represents the longest stretch of time ever in which a major-league team has not seen one of its pitchers register six wins over six consecutive starts within a single season.
GOMES PRODUCES A PINCH-HIT WORTH WAITING FOR
From Elias: Jonny Gomes, who had been hitless in his last 34 at-bats as a pinch-hitter, blasted a two-run, pinch-hit homer to break a 4-4 tie and lead the Athletics to a 6-4 triumph over the Padres. Gomes went 0-for-28 with 17 strikeouts as a pinch-hitter for the Reds and the Nationals last season-the most hitless at-bats in a season by a big-league pinch-hitter in more than 60 years. His round-tripper on Saturday ended the longest pinch-hitting drought in the majors since Rob Mackowiak went 0-for-36 as a pinch-hitter for the White Sox, Padres and Nationals from 2006 to 2008.
BRAUN'S PAIR BOOST HIM INTO TIE FOR N.L. HR LEAD
From Elias: Ryan Braun belted a pair of home runs in the Brewers' 6-2 victory over the Twins at Target Field. It was the third straight game in which Braun has homered-matching the longest streak of his big-league career (done previously in both 2007 and 2008). With Braun's blasts, he tied Carlos Beltran for the National League lead with 19 home runs; this is the farthest into any season of his major-league career that Braun has held or shared the league lead in home runs; last year-the only other season in which he ever led the National League in homers at any point-he shared the lead with Jay Bruce, at 12 home runs, through games of May 24.
RANGERS MAX OUT WITH 5 RUNS ON 2 CONSECUTIVE PITCHES
From Elias: Adrian Beltre and Nelson Cruz drove in five runs on two consecutive pitches in the sixth inning on Saturday night, quickly turning a 3-0 Astros lead into a 5-3 Rangers advantage. Texas went on to secure the victory, 8-3. It was only the third time in the majors this season that a team has scored the maximum of five runs on two consecutive pitches. The Twins did it on May 22 against the White Sox in Chicago (a bases-loaded two-run single by Josh Willingham followed by a first-pitch three-run homer by Justin Morneau) and the Cardinals did it on June 7 at Houston (a bases-loaded single by Allen Craig followed by a first-pitch, grand-slam homer by David Freese).
BELL WAITS AROUND 5 HOURS, THEN STRIKES EVERYONE OUT
From Elias: The Marlins scored in the top of the 15th inning to take a 4-3 lead over the Rays in St. Petersburg, and then Heath Bell took over-and Marlins fans can only hope that his performance will effect a turn-around in what has been, to this point, a disappointing season. Bell zipped through Matt Joyce, B.J. Upton and Hideki Matsui-Tampa Bay's two-three-four hitters┐striking out each one and securing a Miami victory.
Since the major leagues started keeping track of saves in 1969, only one other pitcher has earned a save in such a long extra-inning game by pitching at least one inning and striking out every batter he faced. No, it's not Rivera, Hoffman or Lee Smith, but Todd Wellemeyer, whose first major-league save came as a rookie on May 15, 2003, when, pitching for the Cubs, he entered in the bottom of the 17th at Milwaukee and struck out Eddie Perez, Royce Clayton and Brooks Kieschnick to seal a 4-2 victory. Wellemeyer would have only two subsequent saves in his major-league career.
WEAK-HITTING MARINERS COME ON STRONG VS. LINCECUM
From Elias: The Mariners carried a .233 team batting average for the season into Saturday night's game, and incredibly, had batted only .197 in 29 previous games at Safeco Field. But they raked two-time Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum and a pair of relievers for 12 hits on Saturday night and defeated the Giants, 7-4-only the third time in 30 home games this season that Seattle has produced a double-digit hits total.
For Washington-state native Lincecum, it was a sixth successive defeat. He joined three other winners of consecutive Cy Young Awards who later endured losing streaks of six-or-more games. Greg Maddux lost six straight with the Cubs in 2006 and Randy Johnson did the same with the Diamondbacks in 2008; but the mother of all losing streaks for consecutive Cy Young winners was Dennis McLain's 11-game losing streak with the Washington Senators in 1971-the team's last year in Washington before becoming the Texas Rangers.
HOLLIDAY AND MOUSTAKAS: ANYTHING YOU CAN DO ...
From Elias: Matt Holliday went 4-for-5 with five RBI, outlasting Mike Moustakas, who went 3-for-5 with four RBI, and the Cardinals took a 10-7 intrastate decision from the Royals. Holliday and Moustakas each produced at least one RBI on four different trips to the plate during the game. It marked the first big-league game since 1999 in which opposing players each had RBI on four-or-more different plate appearances; the last instance came in the Reds' 24-12 win over the Rockies in Denver, and involved Cincinnati's Brian Johnson and Colorado's Dante Bichette.
BRUCE'S KEY 3-RUN HOMER ON 0-2 PITCH
From Elias: The Reds put the first two batters of the game on base against the Mets on Saturday night, but Jonathon Niese then struck out Joey Votto (on an 0-2 pitch), got Brandon Phillips to fly out, and got ahead of Jay Bruce, no balls and two strikes. But that's where the game turned, as Bruce hammered Niese's 0-2 delivery for a three-run homer and the Reds went on to a 4-1 triumph. It was the fifth homer of Bruce's big-league career on an 0-2 count; but while Niese had thrown 360 previous 0-2 pitches in the major leagues (including the one on which Votto was called out on strikes), Bruce's was the first 0-2 home run that Niese has allowed in the majors.
CABRERA REMEMBERS HOW TO ROCK ROCKIES
From Elias: Miguel Cabrera went 2-for-4 and homered in the Tigers' 4-1 victory over the Rockies. Colorado fans with long memories well recall the damage that Cabrera regularly inflicted on the Rockies: with Saturday's performance, he owns a .407 batting average with nine homers and 28 RBIs in 38 games vs. Colorado. Among active players with at least 100 at-bats against a team, the only player with as high a batting average is Jim Thome, who carries a .430 average in exactly 100 at-bats against the Cardinals.