Tigers 5, @Rays 2: Huzzah! For the AL strikeout leader finally got his ERA below 5! It’s been a slow, careful descent for Max Scherzer, who gave up 7 runs in 2.2 IP in his first start. Austin Jackson and Miguel Cabrera each rapped out 4 hits, and all 3 Detroit relievers pitched a scoreless inning, not an everyday event for the team ranked 11th in AL bullpen ERA. James Shields allowed 14 hits, tying a Tampa club record done thrice before (most lately by Edwin Jackson, who coincidentally got knocked around last night).
- Detroit is the only team that has not been blanked in 2012. Their scoring streak of 144 games is the longest since 2001.
- Jackson has hit and scored in 5 straight games. As a point of mild interest, Jackson leads Curtis Granderson (he of the 21 HRs) in BA, OBP, SLG, OPS, OPS+, R/G, RBI/G (yes), dWAR, oWAR, and WAR.
@Giants 5, Reds 0: Mathewson … er, Madison Bumgarner lost his no-hitter in the 6th on a grounder through the middle. But if he felt bummed, you’d never know it from the way he retired the last 12 men in order to complete the Giants’ franchise-record 4th straight team shutout, and their 3rd CG this year of 1 hit or less. The win put them alone atop the NL West for the first time since August 9 of last year. Bumgarner (10-4) has won 5 of his last 6 starts and leads the NL with 110.2 IP.
- Ninth home shutout for SF, tops in MLB. They have just 1 shutout on the road. Their ERA is 2.35 at home (2nd to Pittsburgh), but 4.46 away.
- In games without a HR, the Giants are 24-21 — the most games, the most wins, and the only winning record.
- You know you have a good 5-man rotation when … After 4 shutouts, the next guy out of the shoot already has a perfect game and a 1-hitter this year.
Angels 9, @Blue Jays 7: Edwin Encarnacion has hit into just 4 DPs this year, but this one was a killer — bottom of the 9th, 1 out, bases full, Jays on the verge of the first run(s) against Ernesto Frieri in his 23 games for Anaheim, and then poof!, all gone, with a nice pick by Pujols to seal it.
- Home runs are like potato chips for Brett Cecil sometimes — he can’t have just one. This was the 15th time in 68 career starts that he allowed 2 or more taters, going 4-10, 7.79 in those games. He’s lost all 4 starts when yielding 3+ HRs, which is not exactly breaking news.
- Mark Trumbo (HR, 3B) has 37 extra-base hits, but 36 Runs. There’s only been one season with 70+ XBH and XBH>R: Garret Anderson, 2003 (82, 80).
- Seemed like a big deal at the time: Jose Bautista‘s 3-run HR was the biggest WPA event of the game, putting the Jays ahead in the 5th. He has 14 HRs this month, and is on track to lead the majors in HRs for the 3rd straight year, a trick last turned by Mike Schmidt (1974-76).
- The Jays are only 13-11 this year when Bautista’s homered. For 2010-11, they were 54-30.
- Dan Haren and Clay Buchholz are the only pitchers in the last 5 years to win consecutive starts while allowing 5+ runs each time. In his last 4 starts, Haren has a 7.94 ERA (20 ER in 20.2 IP), but a 3-1 record thanks to 28 Angel runs in the wins. That somewhat redresses the 3 straight zeroes they put up for him in May.
- It took 75 games for Albert‘s first 4-hitter as an Angel. This seems odd: Although he played 161 games as a rookie and batted .329, then .314 in 157 games the next year (averaging 190 hits), Albert didn’t notch his first 4-hit game until September of his sophomore year. From 2003-11, he had a 4-hit game before June 28 in 8 of 9 years.
- Last 4 games for Peter Bourjos: 5 for 12, 2 HRs, 3 doubles, 7 RBI, and at least 1 RBI each of the last 5 games that he’s batted. Bourjos went 47 ABs with a ribby from May 12-June 17.
- From the 2nd through 6th, there was scoring in 8 of the 10 half-innings.
- Halos are 35-18 since bidding farewell to their cruelest month — and 35-19 in games started by Mike Trout, who recently cleared the qualifying threshold and officially leads the AL with a .345 BA along with 21 steals, a combo last attained in 2001 by Ichiro Suzuki.
White Sox 4, @Yankees 3: Ivan Nova answered the call of his fallen comrades with 7 innings of 1-run ball, the 4th time in 5 starts that he’s reached at least those standards. But with Rafael Soriano resting after pitching 4 times in 5 days, Joe Girardi let Cody Eppley start the 9th with a 3-1 lead, then summoned Clay Rapada after the first man reached. A comebacker should have been an easy DP, but Rapada missed his receiver by several steps (his 2nd error in 6 chances this year). With the tying runs aboard, it was time for David Robertson to get acquainted with Dayan Viciedo.
The fill-in closer learned one thing: Don’t pitch him here.
- It was the first-ever HR in the 9th or later for Viciedo. Even more notably, he drew a walk in this game, his 10th of the year in 248 PAs. In May, Viciedo hit .351/.995 with 24 RBI, but began this game at .162 with 6 RBI in June.
- Viciedo hit a 1-and-0 pitch. On that exact count, he’s 13 for 26 with 4 HRs this year. Robertson had never allowed a HR on that count in 39 ABs.
- Robertson has allowed just 2 HRs this year, but both were 3-run shots, accounting for his only 2 blown leads. He’s never allowed a HR with just 1 man on: 10 solo shots, 3 grand slams, and the two mentioned above.
- Robinson Cano had New York’s only hit in 7 chances with RISP.
- Mark Teixeira hit the Yanks’ only HR. They’re 32-7 with 2 or more HRs, but 14-22 (.389) with 1 or none. All other teams combined have a .424 W% with 1 HR or none.
- For the 2nd straight game, Adam Dunn did not strike out. That’s a first for 2012.
@Rockies 11, Nationals 10 (11): Bryce Harper tied the game with a leadoff HR in the 9th, his first-ever HR after the 8th inning. But Marco Scutaro, who hit into a DP to end the home 9th with the winning run on 2nd, came up with 2 out in the 11th and singled for his 9th career game-winning RBI (but first since 2007).
- Nats tied a franchise record with their 3rd straight game of 10+ runs, done thrice before (as Expos) — 1995, ’94 and ’86. This is the only time they mixed in a loss.
- 4th game this year with both teams in double-figures, and surprisingly, the 1st in Coors Field since 2010, when there were 4.
Pirates 5, @Phillies 4: Say, I hear the Yanks might need a starting pitcher … Pittsburgh claimed a series split, as A.J. Burnett won his 8th straight start, the first such streak by a Pirate since 1974 (Dock Ellis) and tying Matt Cain for the longest streak this year. The Bucs scored all their runs in the opening stanza, including a 3-run crunch by Casey McGehee, then held on with a little more help from their determined first baseman. (That was .362-hitting Carlos Ruiz batting with 2 men on.) Phils got the tying run to second again with 1 out in the 9th, but Victorino and Pence went down peacefully, completing a team 0-for-10 with RISP (and 0-6 by those two).
- Andrew McCutchen had his first 0-for-5 game this year. He had been 14 for 35 (.400) in 5-AB games.
- 20th save for Joel Hanrahan. He’s blown 2, but the Bucs won both.
- The right/left tandem of Burnett and James McDonald are 16-5; other Pirate starters are 11-24.
- Chase Utley didn’t start, but fanned on 3 pitches from Burnett as a PH in the 7th.
- Hunter Pence is hitting .197 with RISP (19 for 97).
- Pirates are 18-13 in one-run games (tied with LA for most games and wins); Phils 9-14.