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When the Yankees score first, it's all over but the shouting
From Elias: With their 5-0 win over the Blue Jays, the Yankees became the first team in American League history to begin a season 17-0 in games in which they scored the first run. Two other A.L. teams began seasons with 16-0 records in games in which they drew first blood, and even those two did it more than 100 years ago: Boston in 1904 and Chicago in 1912. The last major-league team to begin a season with a streak of that kind as long as the one owned by the Yankees was their crosstown rival: the 1992 Mets, managed by Jeff Torborg, won the first 18 games in which they posted the first run (but finished the season with 72 wins and 90 losses).
Harvey can hit, too!
From Elias: Matt Harvey drove in the go-ahead run for the Mets in the seventh inning, breaking a 2-2 tie with an RBI single and eventually earning his fifth win of the season. Harvey is the first Mets starting pitcher to earn a win and drive in a go-ahead run in the seventh inning or later since Sid Fernandez on Aug. 16, 1993. Fernandez broke a 2-2 tie with an RBI single in the seventh inning of a 6-2 win at Riverfront Stadium against the Reds.
Harvey is now 5-0 with a 1.55 ERA in nine starts. Only two other major-league pitchers over the last 30 seasons remained undefeated through as many starts with as low an ERA: Kris Medlen last season (7-0, 0.86 ERA) and Pedro Martinez in 2001 (6-0, 1.52). (You will recall that Medlen had started last season in the bullpen before moving into the rotation.)
Hellickson allows a TD and 2-point conversion, but gets the win
From Elias: The Rays' Jeremy Hellickson was the winning pitcher in a 12-10 slugfest against the Orioles despite allowing eight runs (all earned) in seven and two-thirds innings in Baltimore. The last major-league starting pitcher to go seven innings, allow eight-or-more earned runs, and still pick up credit for a win was Britt Burns, back on July 13, 1985. Burns, pitching for Tony LaRussa's White Sox, went all the way in a 10-8 triumph in Baltimore against Earl Weaver's Orioles.
Friday's Orioles-Rays game was the first in the majors this season in which each team scored 10-or-more runs. It's the latest calendar date since 1990 on which the first big-league game was played that featured double-digit runs for each team. On May 19, 1990, the Phillies defeated the Dodgers, 15-12, at Dodger Stadium, the first game of that season that saw each team score in double-digits.
Goldschmidt too hot for Miami
From Elias: Paul Goldschmidt went 4-for-5 with a pair of two-run homers and a double in the Diamondbacks' 9-2 win over the Marlins. Since May 1, Goldschmidt is 22-for-50 (.440) with six doubles and seven home runs. No other major-league player this season has accumulated 22 hits and seven home runs over a span of 50 at-bats. The last Diamondbacks player who had 22 hits and seven home runs in a 50-at-bat span was Tony Clark back in 2005.
With his two home runs on Friday night, Paul Goldschmidt has hit 12 home runs this season and 10 of them (83 percent) have been hit with runners on base (in fact, all ten of his homers with men on base have been two-run shots). No other player with 10 home runs this season has as high a percentage of multi-run homers.
Sale has Halos' number
From Elias: Chris Sale, who threw a one-hit shutout against the Angels in his last start on May 12, pitched seven and two-thirds scoreless innings against them on Friday night. The last pitcher to throw more than seven scoreless innings in each of two straight starts, both against the same opponent, was Shawn Chacon of the Yankees against the Blue Jays in September, 2005.
Out of the deep Freese
From Elias: David Freese entered Friday night's game homerless in his last 112 at-bats, the longest drought of his big-league career; he had not homered since September 19 of last season, off Lucas Harrell. But with the bases loaded and two outs in the first inning, Freese took a Wily Peralta pitch over the centerfield fence for his second career grand slam. The Brewers would rally but never tie the game, with the Cards winning, 7-6.
Freese was the first Cardinals third baseman to homer this season, in their 41st game; the last time that the Cardinals went deeper into a season without a home run from the hot corner was 1986, when they went homerless from third base in their first 112 games of the season: their first homer from third base was hit by Terry Pendleton on August 14 of that year, against the Mets' Ron Darling at Shea Stadium.
Ramirez: 2 homers, 6 RBI and a loss
From Elias: Aramis Ramirez belted a pair of three-run homers to account for all of the Brewers' runs at St. Louis, but those blasts were not enough to prevent a 7-6 Cardinals victory. You have to go back nearly four years to find the last time that a big-league player who produced a multiple-homer game with at least six RBI did not come up a winner; the last such instance came on July 20, 2009, when Justin Morneau had two home runs and seven RBI in a game that the Twins lost to the Athletics by a 14-13 score. (One reason that the Twins lost that game: Matt Holliday had two homers and six RBI for Oakland!) Following that 2009 game, major-league players had gone 69-0 in games in which they contributed two homers and six RBI -- until Ramirez's Brewers lost on Friday night.
It's "Citizens Bank House Of Horrors" for the Reds
From Elias: The Reds fell behind, 3-0, to Cliff Lee in Philadelphia, but rebounded on Jay Bruce's two-run, sixth-inning homer off Lee and Joey Votto's solo shot in the eighth inning off Antonio Bastardo. But those heroics proved to be in vain as the Phillies won, 5-3, scoring two in the bottom of the eighth with an RBI groundout and sacrifice fly in a rally that included a Ryan Howard infield hit! The Reds are now 11-23 (.324) at Citizens Bank Park, their second-lowest winning percentage at any venue where they have played at least 20 games; they put together a 15-34 (.306) won-lost mark from 1892 to 1899 at Oriole Park, the home of a Baltimore Orioles team that then played in the National League. (The Reds are also 0-2 in postseason play at Citizens Bank Park; they were no-hit in one of those losses, by Roy Halladay.)
Tracy takes Street deep in the tenth
From Elias: Chad Tracy hit a two-out homer off Huston Street in the top of the 10th inning to nudge the Nationals to a 6-5 victory at San Diego on Friday night. It was the third extra-inning homer of Tracy's career, though his first since 2008, and it lifted his career batting average in extra innings to .349 (22 hits in 63 at-bats).
Meanwhile, in a season barely past the quarter-pole, Tracy's homer was already the sixth allowed by Street, all in the ninth inning or later. That's the most homers allowed by any pitcher during or after the ninth inning in the major leagues this season.
Dazed Astros walk off the plank in Pittsburgh
From Elias: The Pirates, down 4-1 in the sixth, scored one in that inning and two in the eighth to pull even with the Astros. Then in the ninth, with two outs and the bases full, Russell Martin hit a shallow pop up to right field. Right fielder Jimmy Paredes collided with second baseman Jake Elmore and dropped the ball, letting the winning run cross the plate. The last major-league game decided on a walk-off dropped pop up or dropped fly ball was the Yankees' victory over the Mets on June 12, 2009, when second baseman Luis Castillo dropped an Alex Rodriguez pop up, allowing the tying and winning runs to score.
Kipnis keeps things hoppin' in Cleveland
From Elias: The Indians defeated the Mariners when Jason Kipnis hit a three-run, walk-off home run off Lucas Luetge. That blow extended to ten Cleveland's streak of seasons in which it has had at least one extra-inning walk-off homer, the longest current streak in the majors among teams that have had such a home run this season.
The Phillies will have a chance to have a longer current streak: they have treated the hometown fans to an extra-inning walk-off home run in each of the 18 seasons from 1995 to 2012, although they have not yet produced such a shot in 2013.
Gomes is clutch in extra innings again
From Elias: Jonny Gomes lifted a sacrifice fly in the 10th inning to send in what proved to be the winning run as the Red Sox took a 3-2 decision over the Twins in Minneapolis. If your team finds itself in extra innings, the well-travelled Gomes is a man you want to have on your side. Since the start of last season, there have now been four different extra-inning games in which Gomes has provided a go-ahead RBI in extra innings; last year, he did that with a hit-by-pitch against Jonathan Broxton and home runs off Joel Peralta and Freddy Garcia. The only other major-league players with as many go-ahead RBI in extra innings since the start of last season are Adam Jones (five for the Orioles) and, of all people, Hector Sanchez (four for the Giants).
Pacheco's grand-slam keys Rockies' win over Giants
From Elias: Jordan Pacheco's first major-league grand-slam broke a 5-5 tie in the fifth inning and the Rockies held on to defeat the Giants, 10-9, in Denver. In their 21-year major-league history, it was just the fifth grand-slam home run that the Rockies have hit against the Giants - and all five of those four-run wallops have been hit at Coors Field. Dante Bichette, Preston Wilson, Mark Sweeney and Ryan Spilborghs had provided Colorado's previous four-run hits against San Francisco.
Pacheco's blow was the Rockies' 50th grand-slam home run at Coors Field since it opened in 1995. Of the Rockies' 82 grand-slam homers, 56 have been hit at home (including six at old Mile High Stadium) and only 26 have come in road games.
Crosby hat trick helps Penguins fly
From Elias: Sidney Crosby helped defeat the Senators, 4-3, with a hat trick, giving the Penguins a 2-0 series lead. Crosby is the third player with a hat trick in the same game in which he recorded his 100th career postseason point: the others were Detroit's Dino Ciccarelli on May 11, 1995, and the Islanders' Mike Bossy on April 10, 1983.