MLB Notebook: Reynolds is double trouble for Yanks
When Hank Greenberg challenged Babe Ruth's single-season home run record in 1938, the great Tigers first baseman did something that not even The Babe could manage: In 11 contests, he hit more than one home run.
Before Greenberg, no one had put together so many multihomer games in a season, and since then, no one has surpassed Greenberg's 11, although Sammy Sosa matched the total in 1998. Greenberg spread his power vs. the Tigers' opponents that season, having at least one multihomer game against every team except the Red Sox. He clipped the Senators, Browns and White Sox each twice and touched the Athletics and Indians for one apiece.
However, Greenberg saved his best work for the best team in the league -- the New York Yankees. In 22 games against the soon-to-be three-time defending World Series champs, Greenberg batted .422, slugged .892, posted an OPS of 1.381 and hit 11 home runs. Those 11 homers came from five contests in which he hit one long ball and three when he hit two. It would take 74 years before the Yankees were again a victim of so many multihomer games from an individual in a season.
On Thursday, the Orioles reclaimed a share of the lead in the American League East, defeating the Yankees, 10-6. The O's powered out six home runs, with first baseman Mark Reynolds hitting two.
The multihomer game was the third of the year for Reynolds against the Yankees. He joined Greenberg in 1938 as the only players since '18 to have a trio of multihomer games in a season vs. the Bronx Bombers.
Reynolds has homered in three straight games and has hit a total of eight in his past seven contests. Before this barrage of eight homers in 26 at-bats, Reynolds had 12 home runs in 335 at-bats for the season.
The first homer of the night came from Matt Wieters, who extended his hitting streak against the Yankees to 15 games. The streak is tied for the fourth longest in the live-ball era for any Browns/Orioles player against New York. George Sisler set the franchise mark by hitting in 19 straight for the Browns vs. the Yankees in 1920-21.
Tim Hudson (seven innings, six hits) and three relievers combined for a seven-hitter, as the Braves beat the Rockies, 1-0, for the second straight game. Before those two wins, Atlanta had not put together consecutive 1-0 victories since 1971, when it had two in a row against the Padres. Before the Braves, the Dodgers in 2011 had been the most recent team to win back-to-back 1-0 games.
1918-2012: Most Wins Through First 402 Games
|201||Greg Maddux, Randy Johnson|
|200||Carl Hubbell, Bob Feller, Andy Pettitte|
|197||Warren Spahn, Roy Halladay|
|195||Lefty Grove, Tim Hudson|
Hudson improved to 14-5 in 2012 and 195-102 in 402 career games (401 starts). Hudson's 195 victories through 402 games tie him with Lefty Grove for the 15th most since 1918.
Braves closer Craig Kimbrel allowed a hit and struck out two to pick up his 34th save. Kimbrel has surrendered 21 hits in 51 1/3 innings while striking out 94. No pitcher in baseball history with at least 50 innings has finished a season with four times as many strikeouts as hits allowed.
In the Marlins' 6-2 win over the Brewers, Jose Reyes collected his 31st double to give him 51 extra-base hits for the season. Reyes also has drawn 55 walks while compiling 48 strikeouts. He is one of three players in the Majors with at least 50 extra-base hits and more walks than K's. Prince Fielder has 53 extra-base hits with 71 walks and 66 strikeouts, and Joey Votto has 50 extra-base hits, 67 walks and 66 strikeouts.
The Marlins have had one player finish a season with at least 50 extra-base hits and more walks than K's: Gary Sheffield in 1996. That year, Sheffield collected 76 extra-base hits (33 doubles, one triple and 42 homers) and fanned 66 times with 142 walks.
The Nationals defeated the Cubs, 9-2, scoring at least nine runs for the third consecutive game. It was the second time this season the Nationals had scored at least nine in three straight games, having also done it in late June against the Rockies.
Before this season, the Nats hadn't had a three-game streak of at least nine runs scored since 2007. The franchise's longest such streak took place in 1995, when the Expos scored at least nine in four straight. The longest nine-run streak for any National League team in the live-ball era was six straight, by the '29 Giants and '30 Cubs.
Washington's Adam LaRoche homered in his fourth consecutive game. LaRoche, who has also hit six home runs in his past six games (a two-homer day making up for a homerless effort on Sunday), has 29 for the season.
LaRoche tied the Expos/Nationals single-season record for most consecutive games with a homer. It had been done previously 10 times, with the first four-game streak authored by Bob Bailey in 1970.
LaRoche's 29th home run tied him with Andres Galarraga for the second most in franchise history for a first baseman. Galarraga's 29 came in 1988, while the high mark of 38 was produced by Adam Dunn in 2010.
In the Rangers' 5-4 victory over the Royals, Josh Hamilton and Adrian Beltre hit back-to-back home runs in the fourth inning.
Hamilton's two-run homer was his 39th long ball of the season, and gave it him 116 RBIs for the year. He is the Majors' outright leader in homers (one ahead of Dunn) and is tied with Miguel Cabrera for the big league lead in RBIs. In Senators/Rangers franchise history, only Alex Rodriguez in 2002 (57 homers and 142 RBIs) led the Majors in the two categories in a season.
Beltre's homer was his 30th of the season and 340th of his career. His 340 homers are the third most in history for any third baseman through his age-33 season, behind Eddie Mathews' 477 and Mike Schmidt's 389.
Since the beginning of 2010, Beltre has a .313/.352/.557 line and has hit 90 homers, driven in 296 and collected 206 extra-base hits; all of those figures except the on-base percentage are the best in the Majors for any player with at least 200 games at third base.
Roger Schlueter is senior researcher for MLB Productions. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.