MLB Notebook: Wright in rare air at third
The Mets' David Wright currently owns 785 career RBIs, which for all players with more than half of their games at third base, is the 54th most all-time.
He is still less than halfway to the totals claimed by co-leaders George Brett and Chipper Jones. But at the very least, the Mets man at the hot corner has put himself in position to perhaps someday make a run at the top run producers for the position. For when all third basemen are framed to match Wright's years of service, there aren't too many ahead of him.
Wright's 785 RBIs are the eighth most for any third baseman through his first nine seasons. He is 116 RBIs behind Eddie Mathews, 52 behind Chipper, 46 away from Scott Rolen's total, 29 behind Ron Santo, 22 shy of Ken Boyer's number, 19 behind Pinky Whitney, and just two off of Mike Schmidt's total.
Wright went 3-for-4 for the Mets on Wednesday, hitting his 30th double and 12th home run.
In the NL, Wright is third in batting (.351), second in on-base percentage (.441), sixth in slugging (.568), third in OPS (1.009), tied for fifth in runs scored (59), tied for fourth in hits (113), second in doubles, tied for sixth in RBIs (60), third in walks (52), fifth in total bases (183) and tied for third in extra-base hits (44).
Wright has 525 career extra-base hits. Among players who had at least 51 percent of their career games at third through their first nine seasons, Wright's 525 are the fifth most. Eddie Mathews had 587 through his first nine seasons, Scott Rolen had 550, Chipper Jones had 549, and Mike Schmidt had 530.
Jones hit a solo home run to raise his career RBI total to 1,596. The total ties him with George Brett for the most in history for a player with at least 51 percent of his career games at third base.
In a seven-inning affair, the Yankees defeated the Blue Jays, 6-0, and extended their streak of games with three-or-more runs to 42. In the live-ball era, those 42 in a row represent the second longest single-season streak, surpassing the 41-game run produced by the Athletics in 1930. The 1994 Indians (48 straight games with three-plus runs) own the longest streak since 1920. During their 42-game streak, the Yankees have averaged 5.31 runs per game and are 31-11.
Robinson Cano went 1-for-3 with a first-inning double, extending his hitting streak to 21 games. The double was the 314th of Cano's eight-year career. The Yankees second baseman in now tied with Ted Williams and Wade Boggs for the sixth most doubles in history for any player through his first eight seasons. Cano's next double will tie him with Al Simmons for the fifth most.
Lee vs. Kershaw
In the Dodgers 5-3, 12-inning win over the Phillies, both Cliff Lee (77) and Clayton Kershaw (75) produced game scores of at least 75. This contest marked the third this season that featured a pair of left-handers each producing a score of at least 75; all three of the games have the Dodgers as one of the contestants.
Before this season, the Dodgers had not been involved in a game like this since 1998. The other two games: on June 17, the Dodgers Chris Capuano (77) and White Sox lefty Jose Quintana (78) matched up; on June 21, Kershaw (77) and Oakland's Travis Blackley (78) faced off.
In Colorado, the Pirates got home runs from Garrett Jones, Pedro Alvarez, Casey McGehee and Rod Barajas, and defeated the Rockies, 9-6. Pittsburgh has hit 64 home runs on the road this season -- tied (with the Yankees) for the most in the Majors.
Brandon Hicks hit a ninth-inning walk-off home run, giving Oakland a 4-3 victory over Texas. Hicks is the second A's player this season -- after Derek Norris on June 24 -- to have a game-ending home run for his first Major League homer. Before this season, the franchise had seen two players do this: Dee Miles (September 14, 1939) and George Hendrick (May 28, 1972).
In San Diego's 8-4 win over Houston, Yonder Alonso went 2-for-4 with two doubles and three RBIs. Alonso has seven games this season with a pair of two-base hits.
Those seven are the most for any player in a season in Padres history. In 1993, Tony Gwynn had six, and in 2007, Adrian Gonzalez matched that number.
Across the Majors, the last player to have at least seven through his team's first 93 games was Michel Young in 2006.
Washington's Jordan Zimmermann threw six shutout innings, lowered his ERA for the season to 2.35, and picked up his seventh win. Zimmermann is fourth in the NL in ERA -- one of three Nationals pitchers in the top-11. Stephen Strasburg is tied for sixth, at 2.66, and Gio Gonzalez's 2.93 ERA is tied for 11th.
In Boston's 10-1 win over Chicago, Cody Ross doubled, homered twice, and drove in six runs. The six RBIs were one shy of his career best, accomplished twice in 2006. Ross is the seventh Red Sox right fielder in the live-ball era to have at least six RBIs and three extra-base hits in a game. The others: Roy Johnson (1932), Ted Williams (1939), Clyde Vollmer (1951), Dwight Evans (1988), Tom Brunansky (1990), and J.D. Drew (2007).
Boston's Felix Doubront allowed one run in six innings and picked up his 10th win. Doubront is the fourth Red Sox southpaw in the past 50 seasons to collect at least 10 victories in his age-24 season or younger. John Curtis won 11 games in 1972, Roger Moret won 13 in 1973 and Jon Lester recorded 16 victories in 2008.
Paul Konerko -- playing in his 2,000th game with the White Sox -- went 1-for-1 with an RBI and two walks. Konerko is the third player in franchise history with 2,000 games, joining Luke Appling (2,422) and Nellie Fox (2,115). Konerko is one of 63 players in history to have at least 2,000 games with one franchise. The Tigers have the most players with this claim, with seven.
The Royals defeated the Mariners 8-7, with Alex Gordon collecting two doubles and two RBIs. Gordon, who leads the AL with 31 doubles, had 45 two-base hits for Kansas City in 2011. In the franchise's history, four different players have posted back-to-back seasons of 40+ doubles. George Brett did it twice, in 1978-79 and 1990-91, Billy Butler has hit at least 40 in each of the past three seasons (he has 13 this year), Hal McRae did it in 1982 and 1983, and Jermaine Dye had 44 in 1999 and 41 in 2000.
Francisco Liriano struck out 10 Orioles, but took the loss as Minnesota fell to Baltimore, 2-1. Liriano's line marked the second straight outing in which he reached double digits in strikeouts and took the loss. Before Liriano, the last pitcher to do this was James Shields in 2007. Liriano is the only Senators/Twins pitcher since 1918 to have back-to-back outings with 10 K's and a losing decision.
Roger Schlueter is senior researcher for MLB Productions. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.