Elias Says: August 7

Dodgers celebrate weekend in New York with HR-fest

Justin Turner and Cody Bellinger homered in the Dodgers’ 8–0 win over the Mets. Los Angeles finished the series with 10 homers in three games, their highest total in a three-game series since 2009, when they homered 10 times at Miller Park in Milwaukee. The Dodgers also set a record for home runs in a three-game series at Citi Field. The previous mark was nine, set by the Mets against the Diamondbacks in 2015 and tied by the Cubs two months ago.

Bregman provides something extra in Astros’ win

Alex Bregman delivered a two-run, two-out triple to tie the score in the bottom of the ninth, then scored the deciding run on Juan Centeno’s game-winning single as the Astros rallied for a 7–6 win over the Blue Jays. Bregman’s triple extended his extra-base-hit streak to eight consecutive games. Only four other active players had a XBH streak that long at age 23 or younger: Evan Longoria (2009), Justin Upton (2011), Freddie Freeman (2012), and Yasiel Puig (2014).

Nats rally for late win at Wrigley

The Nationals blasted the Cubs’ bullpen, scoring eight runs over the last three innings for a 9–4 victory at Wrigley Field. The Cubs, who led 4–1 after six innings, suffered their second loss this season in a game in which they led by three or more runs in the seventh inning or later. They lost only one such game over the two previous seasons combined.

Yankees rebound for split after debutants fail

The Yankees erupted for five runs in the sixth inning and Aaron Judge hit a three-run homer in the seventh to take an 8–1 win at Cleveland and gain a split of their four-game series. Here’s a weird one: This was the fifth time since 1980 that the Yankees lost the first two games of a four-game series at Cleveland and they managed a split in each of them.

Of note, the Indians defeated Sonny Gray and Jaime Garcia in the first two games of the most recent series. Gray and Garcia were the first pitchers in 28 years to lose back-to-back Yankees games in their debut for the team. The only other Yankees pitchers to do so during the expansion era were Andy Hawkins and Dave LaPoint in the team’s second and third games of the 1989 season.

A’s rookies star in explosive win over Angels

The Athletics scored five runs in the eighth inning to rally for an 11–10 victory at Anaheim. Four rookies made big contributions to Oakland’s high-scoring victory: Chad Pinder (4-for-5 with a home run), Jaycob Brugman (2-for-6), Matt Chapman (2-for-4), and Bruce Maxwell (1-for-4). It was the first in nearly 17 years in which A’s rookies had at least nine hits. Their last such game was a 23–2 win over the Rangers. Adam Piatt (4-for-6) and Terrence Long (3-for-4) accounted for the lion’s share of Oakland’s 11 hits by rookies in that game.

Berrios shakes off rough start, earns victory over Rangers

The Rangers scored five runs in the top of the first, but Minnesota overcame the early deficit to post a 6–5 victory. Twins starter Jose Berrios earned the win by completing five innings and allowing only three hits after the first inning. Berrios is the first pitcher to be credited with a win this season after allowing five or more runs in the first inning. Only one pitcher did so in 2016 (Johnny Cueto), and only one other did so for the Twins since they moved to Minnesota in 1961 (Nick Blackburn in 2011).

Bosox find a new power source

Chris Young hit a pair of homers and tied a personal record with five RBIs in the Red Sox’ 6–3 win over the White Sox. Young had three games of five RBIs for the Diamondbacks in 2010. But this was only the second time in 583 starts over the last seven seasons that Young drove in five runs. The other was for the Yankees two years ago.

A reward for Tampa’s walkoff-starved fans

Steven Souza Jr. hit Jacob Barnes’ second pitch for a ninth-inning home run that gave the Rays a 2–1 victory over the Brewers. It was the first walkoff homer by Tampa Bay in more than three years—since Sean Rodriguez hit an 11th-inning game-ender against Oakland. Every other major-league team has hit at least two walkoff home runs over the last three seasons.

Rodriguez’ rousing return to Pittsburgh

Speaking of Sean Rodriguez, he also hit a walkoff home run on Sunday in his first game back with the Pirates after playing the past four weeks with Atlanta. Rodriguez’ homer gave Pittsburgh a 5–4 12-inning win over San Diego. The only other players to hit a walkoff homer in their season debut for the Pirates did so in Pittsburgh’s season-opening games: Bob Bailey off Juan Marichal in 1965 and Neil Walker in 2014.

Cruz belts a pair in Seattle’s win

Nelson Cruz hit two home runs in the Mariners’ 8–7 victory at Kansas City. Cruz has hit 24 homers this season, and even with Sunday’s pair he still ranks outside the top 20 in the majors. He ranked first or second in the majors in home runs in each of the past three seasons (2014–16), something no one had done since Sammy Sosa had a four-year run from 1998 through 2001.

Versatile Royals rookie even the score against Seattle

Jake Junis, who won his last major-league appearance by pitching a scoreless inning of relief on July 24, allowed one run over eight innings as the Royals gained a split of their doubleheader with a 9–1 win over the Mariners. Junis has a 2–2 record as a starter for Kansas City this season, and he is 2–0 as a reliever. He is the first Royals pitcher with at least two wins in each role in his rookie season since 1989, when Tom Gordon went 7–7 as a starter and 10–2 in relief.

Ozuna hitting home runs that count

Marcell Ozuna hit a three-run home run in the first inning of the Marlins’ 4–1 win at Atlanta. Ozuna snapped a home-run drought of 79 at-bats on July 30; since then, he has homered three times, each of them with two runners on base.

Cardinals have Wainwright’s back, inflict a beating on Bailey

Adam Wainwright spotted the Reds to a 3–0 first-inning lead, but the Cardinals picked him up scoring four runs in the second inning and nine in the fourth in a 13–4 rout at Cincinnati. Wainwright had allowed as many as three first-inning runs in only one of his previous 95 starts, dating back to 2013.

Cincinnati’s beleaguered starting pitcher. Homer Bailey, was charged with 10 of the Cardinals runs. Bailey was the third pitcher in the last two weeks to allow as many as 10 runs in one game. The others were Jameson Taillon and Yu Darvish in his final start for the Rangers.

Orioles find their home-run stroke

The Orioles hit five home runs in their 12–3 win over the Tigers. Baltimore ranked among the American League’s top four teams in home runs in each of Buck Showalter’s first six full seasons as the team’s manager, leading the AL in three of the last four years. But coming into Sunday’s game, the O’s ranked only fifth in the league in homers.

Rupp comes through in the clutch for rare Phillies win

Cameron Rupp drove in two runs with a ninth-inning double, giving the Phillies a 3–2 win at Colorado. Rupp came into the game with a .210 career batting average in Late-Inning Pressure Situations. Prior to Sunday’s victory, Philadelphia had won only four of the previous 167 games in which it trailed heading to the ninth inning, dating back to July 2015.