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A MEMORABLE BIG-LEAGUE DEBUT FOR COLLIN McHUGH
From Elias: With Johan Santana sidelined for the rest of the season the Mets gave Santana's scheduled start against the Rockies on Thursday afternoon to Collin McHugh, who made a terrific impression in his major-league debut by pitching seven innings, allowing no runs, two hits and striking out nine Colorado batters. McHugh was only the fifth pitcher in modern major-league history (i.e., since 1900) to record nine or more strikeouts while giving up no runs and two or fewer hits in his first big-league game. The other pitchers to debut in that fashion were Elmer Myers (1915 Philadelphia A's), Juan Marichal (1960 Giants), Steve Woodard (1997 Brewers) and Kazuhisa Ishii (2002 Dodgers).
MIKE TROUT: YOUNGEST 20/40 PLAYER IN MLB HISTORY
From Elias: Mike Trout became the youngest player in major-league history to hit 20 or more home runs and steal 40 or more bases in the same season when he reached 40 stolen bases by swiping third base during the Angels' eight-run third inning in Boston on Thursday night. (He recorded stolen base #41 later in the game.) Trout, who has hit 24 home runs this year, turned 21 years old earlier this month (August 7). The only other player with a 20-homer, 40-steal season as a 21-year-old was the Astros' Cesar Cedeno in 1972 (22 home runs, 55 stolen bases), but Cedeno turned 21 before the season began. (His birthday is February 25.) Trout is the third rookie in major-league history with a 20-steal, 40-homer season. The first two were Tommie Agee (1966 White Sox, 22 HR, 44 SB) and Mitchell Page (1977 A's, 21 HR, 42 SB).
SEVEN PLAYERS WITH THREE OR MORE HITS
From Elias: The Angels edged the Red Sox, 14-13, in a ten-inning slugfest at Fenway Park in which four L.A. players each recorded three hits (Mike Trout, Torii Hunter, Erick Aybar, Chris Iannetta) and three Boston players banged out at least three hits (Pedro Ciriaco 4, Dustin Pedroia 4, Jacoby Ellsbury 3). It was the first major-league game this season in which seven different players had three hits or more. There were two such games last year: Milwaukee-Houston on April 22 (four Brewers and three Astros) and Texas-Minnesota on July 25 (the Rangers had all seven).
JUSTIN VERLANDER: 12 STRIKEOUTS BUT NO WIN
From Elias: Justin Verlander pitched nine innings and struck out a dozen Toronto batters but he wasn't involved in the decision as the Tigers beat the Blue Jays, 3-2, in 11 innings on Thursday afternoon. It was the 23rd time that Verlander recorded a double-digit strikeout total in a major-league game but only the fourth such game that he did not win. He had a 13-strikeout no-decision game against the Twins in May 2009, and 10-K losses to the Mariners in August 2009 and Indians in September 2010.
CARDINALS ROUT THE ASTROS WITH LOTS OF CLUTCH HITS
From Elias: The Cardinals recorded 10 hits in 14 at-bats with runners in scoring position in their 13-5 win over the Astros on Thursday. It was the first time that St. Louis batters reached double-figures in hits with men in scoring position in one game since they were 10 for 21 with RISP in a 14-4 win over the Padres on Sept. 17, 2010.
ALEX COBB'S FIRST BIG-LEAGUE SHUTOUT
From Elias: Alex Cobb's 5-0 victory against the A's at Tropicana Field on Thursday was his first major-league shutout. Cobb is the third Rays pitcher to hurl a shutout this year; David Price blanked the Angels on April 24 and James Shields whitewashed the A's in Oakland on July 31. Tampa Bay is the second American League team to have three or more pitchers record shutouts this season; the Angels have four (Dan Haren, Ervin Santana, Jered Weaver and Jerome Williams).
Cobb has a 4-0 record in five starts this month. In the four wins Cobb has pitched 30 innings and allowed only three runs and 17 hits. In the other game, against the Angels in Anaheim last Saturday, he gave up eight runs and 12 hits in only 2 2/3 innings though Cobb's teammates took him off the hook by rallying from an 8-0 deficit to win, 10-8.
ANOTHER FIVE-RBI GAME FOR JOSH HAMILTON
From Elias: Josh Hamilton drove in five runs for the Rangers in their 10-6 win against the Twins. It was the third time that Hamilton posted at least five RBI in a game this season. He had five RBI at Boston on April 17 and eight in his four-homer game at Baltimore on May 8. Only two other players have registered five or more RBI in three different games this year: Mark Teixeira and Matt Wieters.
PHILLIES RELIEVERS HOLD REDS HITLESS FOR FIVE INNINGS
From Elias: Phillies starter Cole Hamels pitched six innings and allowed three runs and six hits against the Reds on Thursday night, but five Phillies relievers each pitched one inning without allowing a hit or a run as Philadelphia went on to beat Cincinnati, 4-3, in 11 innings. It was only the second time in the last six seasons that the Phillies' bullpen did not allow at hit in a game in which their relievers pitched at least five innings. The previous instance was in a 4-1, 13-inning win over the Cubs on July 21, 2009, when Ryan Madson, Brad Lidge, Chan Ho Park and Clay Condrey held Chicago hitless for six innings.