MLB Notebook: Beltre's homers right on schedule
Apparently Aug. 22 is a pretty good day to hit three homers.
Adrian Beltre went deep three times Wednesday, and the Rangers cruised by the Orioles, 12-3. Beltre was the eighth player this season to hit at least three homers in a game. He joins Curtis Granderson, Ryan Braun, Rangers teammate Josh Hamilton (who hit four), Joey Votto, Carlos Gonzalez, Jason Kubel and Ike Davis. Beltre was the first player since Casey McGehee on Aug. 3, 2011, to hit three homers while playing third.
Beltre hit two of his home runs in the fourth inning, making him the 60th player in history to homer twice in the same inning. He was the second player to do it this season (Kendrys Morales on July 30), and the second player in the franchise's history to do it (Carl Everett on July 26, 2002).
Beltre is the 20th player in Senators/Rangers franchise history to hit at least three homers in a game. He is the only third baseman to do it, and with Hamilton's four-homer game, 2012 marks the first season in franchise history with two players having three-homer games. Both Beltre and Hamilton had their games against the Orioles.
Before Beltre's command performance on the 2012 version of Aug. 22, players had also gone deep three times during three previous years on this day.
The first was Frank Robinson, who hit three off of three different pitchers for the Reds in 1959. After Robinson, there wasn't another three-homer game on Aug. 22 until 2001, when Sammy Sosa knocked out three at Wrigley Field -- one of three times that season Sosa hit three in a game.
Five years later, Orioles outfielder Nick Markakis -- playing in his 111th career game -- hit three solo shots against Minnesota's Carlos Silva. Coincidentally, Markakis was on hand for the next three-homer performance on Aug. 22, standing in right field on Wednesday night while Beltre electrified the home crowd with three shots of his own.
The White Sox beat the Yankees, 2-1, with Chris Sale going the first 7 2/3 innings, allowing one run and three hits while striking out 13 with one walk.
With the 13 K's, Sale has had four games this season with at least 11. Those four games with 11 or more K's tie Sale with Javier Vazquez (2006) for the most by a White Sox pitcher in any season since 1918.
Sale (23 years and 145 days old) is the seventh left-hander since 1918 to have at least four games with 11 or more strikeouts in between his 23rd and 24th birthdays. Herb Score and Sam McDowell each had six, Frank Tanana had five and Sandy Koufax, Fernando Valenzuela and Clayton Kershaw had four.
Sale was the first White Sox left-hander since Juan Pizarro on July 31, 1964, to have a game with as many as 13 strikeouts and no more than one walk.
Sale now ranks third in the AL in wins (15), fourth in ERA (2.65), tied for seventh in strikeouts (150), third in WHIP (1.033), fourth in batting average against (.218), fifth in OPS against (.615), fourth in hits per nine (7.18), seventh in strikeouts per nine (8.82) and first in strikeout-to-walk ratio (4.17).
Mariners on a roll
Seattle beat Cleveland, 3-1, to extend its winning streak to eight games and pull to within three games of .500. During the team's longest winning streak since 2007, it has posted a 1.50 ERA.
The Mariners are 25-13 since the All-Star break, with a team ERA of 3.00. They have scored the third-fewest runs in the American League in the second half of the season after scoring the second fewest in the first half, but they've also allowed the second-fewest runs since the break.
Kris Medlen threw seven innings of scoreless ball and got the win in Atlanta's 5-1 victory over Washington.
The Braves have won each of Medlen's past 16 starts, a streak dating back to May 29, 2010. According to the Braves' press notes (via Elias), the streak of 16 straight victories in one pitcher's starts is the longest in franchise history, surpassing the 15 consecutive wins in John Smoltz's starts for the Braves in 1996. During that 15-win stretch in '96, Smoltz was 14-0 with a 1.91 ERA, had 127 strikeouts against 21 walks and held opponents to a .478 OPS against.
Since moving into the rotation at the end of July, Medlen has made five starts, going 4-0 with a 0.83 ERA in 32 2/3 innings.
Braves closer Craig Kimbrel struck out the side in the ninth and now has 82 strikeouts and 18 hits allowed in 46 innings. For all pitchers with at least 40 innings pitched this season, Kimbrel's strikeout rate of 16.04 per nine is second to Aroldis Chapman's 16.26, while Kimbrel's rate of 3.52 hits against per nine is the lowest. All-time for pitchers with at least 40 innings, Kimbrel's strikeouts per nine would be the third highest, and his hits allowed per nine innings would be the lowest.
In his Major League debut, D-backs lefty Tyler Skaggs picked up the win with 6 2/3 innings of two-run ball. Skaggs was the seventh pitcher in Arizona history to start and win his Major League debut. Among the seven, Skaggs (21 years, 40 days old) is the second youngest behind Edgar Gonzalez, who was 20 years and 98 days old when he recorded a win on June 1, 2003.
In the second game of a doubleheader vs. the Marlins, D-backs southpaw Wade Miley improved to 14-8, as Arizona blanked Miami, 3-0. Miley allowed four hits in eight shutout innings and lowered his ERA to 2.80. The rookie is in the top 10 in the National League in wins (tied for sixth), ERA (fourth), WHIP (sixth) and strikeout-to-walk ratio (ninth).
Here and there
In his Major League debut, Padres southpaw Andrew Werner recorded a win, allowing two runs in six innings. Werner is the 19th pitcher in Padres history -- and fourth left-hander -- to start and win his first Major League ballgame.
Coco Crisp went 3-for-3, scored three runs, doubled, homered and stole a base in the A's 5-1 victory over the Twins. Crisp has played in 90 games this season. When he scores at least one run, the A's are 28-9. When he doesn't score, the team is 21-32.
Bronson Arroyo allowed two runs and three hits in eight innings and picked up his 10th win, as the Reds defeated the Phillies, 3-2. Since joining Cincinnati in 2006, Arroyo has thrown the seventh-most innings in the Majors and is tied for the eighth-most wins.
Roger Schlueter is senior researcher for MLB Productions. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.