Elias Says: May 31, 2017

No sweat for Skoglund in MLB debut

The Royals’ starting pitcher Eric Skoglund, in his major-league debut, faced 2011 Cy Young Award winner Justin Verlander on Tuesday and certainly proved to be up to the task. Skoglund tossed 6 1/3 scoreless innings to earn a 1-0 win over Verlander and the Tigers. The last starting pitcher who went at least six scoreless innings in his MLB debut, while going head-to-head with a starting pitcher who had previously won a Cy Young, was the Diamondbacks’ Archie Bradley on April 11, 2015 versus Clayton Kershaw. Bradley pitched six innings without allowing a run and earned the win in a 6-0 Arizona shutout of the Dodgers.

Skoglund is the third starting pitcher, in his MLB debut, to get the win in a 1-0 game while going head-to-head with a former Cy Young award winner, joining the Brewers’ Steve Woodard on July 28, 1997 (8.0 IP) versus Roger Clemens and Lee Tunnell of the Pirates on September 4, 1982 (7.0 IP) against Fernando Valenzuela.

Bronx Bombers living up to the name

Brett Gardner and Matt Holliday each homered twice in the Yankees’ 8-3 win over the Orioles. That is the second game this season in which a pair of Yankees teammates each had multiple home runs. On May 2 versus Toronto, Gardner and Aaron Judge both homered twice. This is the sixth season in franchise history that the Yankees had two games in which teammates each had multiple homers. The previous instances: 1928 (Babe Ruth/Lou Gehrig and Ruth/Joe Dugan), 1939 (Joe DiMaggio/Babe Dahlgren twice), 1961 (Roger Maris/Mickey Mantle/Bill Skowron all in one game, Maris/Clete Boyer), 1962 (Maris/Mantle twice), and 2005 (Tino Martinez/Jason Giambi and Alex Rodriguez/Jorge Posada).

Sale struggles, but the offense has his back

Making his return to Chicago, Chris Sale allowed six runs (five earned) over five innings but still earned the win for the Red Sox as Boston’s offense put 13 runs on the board. It was Sale’s first win in a game in which he allowed at least six runs and his third win when allowing five earned runs (previously done in July 2012 and June 2016).

Jackie Bradley Jr., batting eighth in the Red Sox order, had a home run and four RBIs, while Boston’s batter in the ninth slot, rookie Deven Marrero, had two home runs and five runs batted in. The last time the eighth and ninth hitters in the batting order for a team combined for at least three homers and nine RBIs was on August 22, 2007, when the Rangers’ Jarrod Saltalamacchia (batting eighth) and Ramon Vazquez each had two homers and seven RBIs at Baltimore.

Marrero is the second Red Sox rookie with at least two homers and five RBIs in a game out of the ninth slot, joining Trot Nixon. Nixon had three home runs and five RBIs at Detroit on July 24, 1999.

Bauer piles up the K’s

Trevor Bauer struck out a career-high 14 batters in the Indians’ 9-4 victory over the Athletics. Each of the last 10 outs Bauer recorded on Tuesday were all strikeouts. In the expansion era (since 1961), there were only two other pitchers whose last 10 outs of a game were all recorded via strikeouts : Eduardo Rodriguez of the Red Sox on September 25, 2016 at Tampa Bay (last 11) and the Mets’ Tom Seaver on April 22, 1970 against the Padres (last 10). In his 2016 outing, Rodriguez pitched only 5 1/3 innings, with 13 of his 16 outs coming via strikeout. In Seaver’s start in 1970, he struck out 19 batters, which at the time was tied for the major-league record in a game. Seaver struck out 10 consecutive batters in that game, a major-league record that still stands today.

Bruce and the Mets walk it off

Jay Bruce delivered a walk-off RBI single in the 12th inning, as the Mets downed the Brewers, 5-4. That was the 10th walk-off RBI in Bruce’s career, with the first nine all coming with the Reds. Only two National League players have more walk-off RBIs since 2008, Bruce’s first season in the majors: Andre Ethier (14) and Joey Votto (11).

Salas gets first hit on 32nd birthday

On his 32nd birthday, Mets relief pitcher Fernando Salas recorded his first major-league hit, a single in the sixth inning of a matchup with the Brewers at Citi Field. Among players to debut in the modern era (since 1900), Salas is the first player to get his first major-league hit on his birthday at age 30 or older.

Ray dominates on the road

Robbie Ray tossed a complete-game shutout in the Diamondbacks’ win over the Pirates in Pittsburgh. Ray improved to 4-1 with a 0.64 ERA in six road starts this season. Over the last 25 years, only four other pitchers had that low of an ERA through their first six road starts of a season: Pedro Martinez in 2000 (0.61), Roger Clemens in 2005 (0.23), Ubaldo Jimenez in 2010 (0.62), and Joe Kelly in 2013 (0.52).

Altuve extends hitting streak at Target Field to 13 games

Jose Altuve went 4-for-5 in the Astros’ 7-2 victory over the Twins at Target Field on Tuesday. Altuve has 18 four-hit games since the start of the 2014 season, five more than any other player in the majors over that span (Miguel Cabrera is second with 13).

Altuve has recorded at least one hit in each of the 13 games he has played at Target Field, while sporting a .483 batting average (28-for-58) in those games. That is his second-longest current hitting streak at a particular park, behind a 17-game streak at Angel Stadium.

Utley hits third triple in 2017

Chase Utley had three hits (single, double, and triple) and scored two runs in the Dodgers’ 9-4 win over the Cardinals. Utley, who turns 39 years old in December, has three triples already on the season. Since the team moved to Los Angeles, only four other Dodgers had at least three triples in a season at 38 years or older: Maury Wills (three in 1971), Brett Butler (three in 1997), Kenny Lofton (12 in 2006), and Jeff Kent (three in 2006).

Mariners put up 10 in Colorado

Kyle Seager drove in four of the Mariners’ 10 runs in their victory in Colorado on Tuesday night. That is the fourth road game this season in which Seattle scored at least 10 runs, having previously done so on April 23 at Oakland and May 9 and 10 at Philadelphia. The only team with more road games of this type in 2017 is the Astros, with five.

Rays with 48 homers in May

The Rays hit three home runs in their 9-5 loss to the Rangers on Tuesday, increasing their total for the month of May to 48. That is the most home runs they have hit in a calendar month in franchise history. Prior to this month, their high was 44, done twice (September 2012 and May 2016).

First things first

Joey Votto followed up Zack Cozart’s solo home run with a solo shot of his own, giving the Reds an early 2-0 first-inning lead in Toronto. Cincinnati has scored at least one first-inning run in each of its last five games and eight of its last nine. Two other teams have scored a run in the first inning of five consecutive games this season: the Diamondbacks from April 21 to 26 (six straight) and the Mets from April 30 to May 6 (six straight). The last time the Reds had such a streak was in June 2014 (five in a row).

Jays homer their way to victory

Four players hit homers for the Blue Jays on Tuesday (Josh Donaldson, Jose Bautista, Russell Martin, and Kendrys Morales) and that supplied all six of their runs in their win over the Reds. The last time Toronto scored at least six runs in a game, with all coming via the home run, was on August 5, 2015, in a 9-7 win over the Twins. Bautista, Donaldson, and Edwin Encarnacion each homered in that game.

Marlins limit the damage

The Marlins, led by three innings of work from both starting pitcher Justin Nicolino (who left the game early with an injury) and relief pitcher Dustin McGowan, surrendered just two runs to the Phillies in their win on Tuesday. That is the third straight game in which Miami allowed two-or-fewer runs, the second-longest streak of this type for the team since the start of the 2016 season. They had a four-game streak from August 20 to 24 last season.

Braves’ errors equal an Angels’ win

Bartolo Colon allowed nine runs, but just two were earned due to multiple miscues by the Braves’ defense in their loss to the Angels. Los Angeles scored all nine of its runs on the night in the third inning, with Atlanta committing three errors in that frame. There has been only one previous game in which at least seven of Colon’s runs were unearned. That was on May 21, 2009 against the White Sox, when he allowed eight runs with only one being earned.

Cordoba goes 0-for-4 on six pitches

Padres leadoff hitter Allen Cordoba went 0-for-4 and saw only six total pitches in his four plate appearances on Tuesday night against the Cubs. Only one other leadoff batter went 0-for-4 or worse and averaged 1.5 or fewer pitches per plate appearance in a game this season; the Braves’ Ender Inciarte also went 0-for-4 with six total pitches over four plate appearances on May 20 versus the Nationals.