Royals 7, @Twins 2 — Justin Maxwell left a team that went 11-29 in games he played this year and lent an instant hand to the hottest club around, with a hit, a walk, a run and a ribby. Two sac flies and three RBI groundouts punctuated K.C.’s 9th straight win, matching their best since 1994. This streak and that one both began on July 23, with a labor-management cloud hanging over baseball.
- The dWAR wizard Lorenzo Cain evoked the Zeppelin refrain: “Bring it back … bring it back!“
- I’ve no clue when K.C. last scored in 5 straight innings, but it’s not an every-day thing.
- Post-game, the Twins sent down starter Scott Diamond (5-10, 5.52) and CF Aaron Hicks (.192 BA). Despite a low K rate last year, Diamond succeeded with a solid HR/9 and league-best walk rate. All three rates slipped this year, and his ERA went up 2 runs.
@Indians 6, White Sox 1 — Ryan Raburn drove in 4 with 2 home runs and a single, pacing an unusually placid 8th straight win for Cleveland. Justin Masterson’s 13th victory set a new career mark, and matched the Tribe’s best since Cliff Lee’s Cy Young year. They pulled within 2 games of idle Detroit, and kept pace with their pursuers for the 2nd wild card.
@Rangers 7, D-backs 1 — Yu Darvish dashed all hopes of a 4th straight walk-off win. Coming in with 172 Ks, he set out as though to reach 200 all at once, fanning 14 through 6 innings (with 2 or more each frame). No walks kept his pitch count healthy, but Yu gave up 2 hits in the 7th, no Ks, and he let the bullpen bring it home from there.
- Darvish now has 4 games of 14 Ks or more this year, the most in franchise history. Two others in MLB have one such game apiece this season.
- Nolan Ryan’s 1989 club record of 301 strikeouts seems safe, but the #2 mark is in reach — Ryan’s 232 in ’90.
- Not with a bang, but with a quad strain? Nelson Cruz left in the 7th, creating a new link between himself and the biggest name (if not the biggest bat) awaiting Biodiscipline.
Cardinals 13, @Pirates 0 — Dawn of the Dead Bats. Joe Kelly blanked the Bucs for six, and a 17-hit torrent (none longer than a double) washed away the Redbirds’ tortures of the dammed. And yes, they went 8 for 20 with RISP.
@Orioles 6, Astros 3 — New hire Bud Norris paid quick returns against his last employer with a Baltimore-style quality start (6 IP, 2 solo HRs), and Nate McLouth’s 2 scoring hits paced a comeback win. Chris Davis swatted #39 to win the 100-ribby dash, edging out the stalled Miguel Cabrera.
- Among third basemen, guess who has the longest active streak without a double? It’s MannyMac, 21 games and counting. But he snapped his 0-for-14 slide with 2 hits and drove in the tying run.
- Davis is 4th-fastest to 100 RBI in franchise history, trailing Miguel Tejada (2004) and two years by ’20s slugger Kenny Williams with the Browns. His 39 HRs are already tied for 5th; Brady Anderson holds their record with 50 in 1996.
- Houston’s Travis Blackley has served up 10 HRs in 34 IP, the highest rate among actives with 30+ IP.
- Tommy Hunter gave up a run that started with a double by a lefty. His ratio of OPS by LHBs to overall OPS is currently 6th-highest among searchable seasons with 50+ innings and 100 ABs vs. LHBs.
@Braves 11, Rockies 2 — Julio Teheran tied his best with 11 strikeouts in just 5 innings and chipped in a ribby double, and Atlanta piled on late to close a 7-0 homestand. Justin Upton popped his 2nd HR in 38 games (and then another), and Jason Heyward had both run and RBI for the 5th straight day. Their next 17 games, like their last 4, are against teams now below .500.
Giants 2, @Phillies 1 — Cole Hamels to the Papelbonehead: “I didn’t sign up for that, either.” The untraded closer showed why deadline demand was slim with his 6th blown save in 6 weeks, letting in 2 runs quicker than you can say “waiver deal” on 4 straight hits by stars like Brett Pill, Roger Kieschnick and Joaquin Arias. Hamels had stiffed San Fran for 8 innings, and drove in the run off Matt Cain with a single in the 5th. Michael Young, another stay-put guy, went 0-4 and couldn’t deliver an insurance run from 3rd with 1 out in the 8th. Philly lost another chance in the 7th, when pinch-runner Michael Martinez stole 2nd and headed home on a single, but was cut down by Jeff Francoeur.
- The Phils have batted .208 while dropping 10 of 11, scoring 2.2 runs per game.
- Roger Kieschnick is nephew to Brooks, but he hasn’t found his way to the mound as yet.
@Red Sox 8, Mariners 7 — Oh, dear. And how’d the carnage start? A 4-pitch walk.
@Angels 7, Blue Jays 0 (3rd) — Which news would be worse: that Josh Johnson’s injured, or that he isn’t? A 4th straight disaster (26 runs in 13 innings) left him with a 6.60 ERA and 100 hits allowed in 76 IP.
The Jays haven’t seen a pitcher implode like this since … Ricky Romero, last summer.
Yankees 3, @Dodgers 0 — The 9th game this year wherein both starters went 7+ scoreless innings with no decision. Only the Astros(?) have been in two such games. (And here’s the one game where both starters did that and one of them won.)
- For a Yankee post-1978 (Guidry’s Cy Young), the most scoreless starts of 7+ innings in one season:
— 7, Hiroki Kuroda 2013 & Mike Mussina 2001.
— 6, Hiroki Kuroda 2012 & Tommy John 1980.
- Out of this year’s 7, Kuroda has 3 no-decisions — the most ever by a searchable Yankee, and one shy of the searchable record for any club.
- Kuroda’s 2.38 ERA would be the 2nd-lowest for a qualified Yankee in the DH era. (And if you run the search, note the faulty return of Righetti ’81 — he did not qualify for the ERA title.)
Royals 4, @Twins 3 — “Eight straight” has a nice ring, as does “K.C.’s best streak since Tony Pena’s 2003 band kicked off the club’s last winning season.” It’s also eight straight for quality starts (9 ER over 53.1 IP), and for games allowing 3 runs or less.
- The Royals have just 35 runs themselves in the streak, almost nailing the AL average of 4.36 R/G.
@Red Sox 5, Mariners 4 (15 inn.) — Here’s Boston’s last walk-off in the 15th or later, tied for their longest in searchable history (and the last time a non-Bonds got 4 intentional walks). And here’s the one it’s tied with.