In the five-year stretch from 2006-10, while the Angels were enjoying a run in which they claimed three division titles and averaged 92 wins per season, catcher/first baseman/designated hitter Mike Napoli hit 92 home runs in 1,804 plate appearances for a home run percentage of 5.1. This percentage was matched or surpassed by only 14 other players with at least 1,500 plate appearances.
Over the past two seasons, as the Rangers have won 96 and 93 games, respectively, Napoli -- while catching, playing first base and occupying the DH role for Texas -- has hit 53 home runs in 838 plate appearances, for a home run percentage of 6.3. This percentage has been surpassed by only two players with at least 800 trips to the plate.
In the second game of the Rangers-Angels doubleheader, Napoli went 3-for-3, homered twice, doubled and drove in six runs. In 33 career games against his former team, Napoli owns a .396 batting average and an .829 slugging percentage. He also has 10 doubles, one triple, 12 home runs and 25 RBIs.
The Rangers' 8-7 victory over the Angels in the second game of a doubleheader clinched postseason spots (either in a Wild Card elimination game or as a division winner) for Texas, the Orioles and Yankees.
Trout went 2-for-4, scored twice, stole his 48th base and hit his 30th home run in the Angels' win in the first game of the doubleheader. With the home run, Trout became the first player in history to have a 30-30 season in his age-20 season.
Youngest players with 30-30 campaigns
|Player||Year||Age-season||Home runs||Stolen bases|
In the first game of the Rangers-Angels doubleheader, Darvish fanned seven, giving him 221 K's on the season. That total ties Darvish with Christy Mathewson for the seventh-highest total since 1893 for a rookie.
Rookies with 200-plus K's since 1893
Jeter collected three hits in the Yankees' 9-6 victory, including his 31st double of the year. With 15 home runs this season, Jeter's 46 extra-base hits tie him with Barry Larkin (2002) for the third most in history for a shortstop in his age-38 or older season. Honus Wagner had 62 extra-base hits in his age-38 season in 1912, and he had 55 in 1915.
Johnson worked a 1-2-3 ninth inning to record his 50th save of the year for the Orioles, becoming the 12th pitcher to reach the milestone. With 50 saves, Johnson tied Mariano Rivera (50 saves in 2001), and is the first pitcher to reach the mark since Francisco Rodriguez had 62 saves in '08.
Among the 12 pitchers, Johnson's rate of 5.45 strikeouts per nine innings is the lowest, with Bobby Thigpen (7.11 K's per nine in his 57-save season in 1990) owning the second-lowest rate. Eric Gagne -- who fanned 14.98 batters per nine innings when he recorded 55 saves for the Dodgers in '03 -- owns the highest rate.
With their 6-3 victory against the Red Sox, the Orioles improved to 37-18 since the start of August, the best record in the American League for that span. During this stretch, the Orioles have outscored their opponents by 62 runs.
Price (seven innings, five hits, two runs) became the first Rays pitcher to win 20 games, as Tampa Bay defeated Chicago, 6-2.
Price (20-5), who also leads the AL (and the Majors) with a 2.56 ERA, is the fourth pitcher this season to reach 20 wins, joining the Angels' Jered Weaver, the Nationals' Gio Gonzalez (21 wins) and the Mets' R.A. Dickey. Before 2012, the most recent season with at least four 20-game winners was '08 (Roy Halladay, Mike Mussina, Brandon Webb and Cliff Lee).
If Price hangs on to the ERA title, he will join another elite list. Prior to 2012, 10 left-handers since 1901 have won the ERA title, at least 20 games and have had a winning percentage of at least .800: Lefty Grove (1930-31), Lefty Gomez ('34), Carl Hubbell ('36), Sandy Koufax ('63), John Candelaria ('77), Ron Guidry ('78), Randy Johnson (2002), Cliff Lee ('08) and Clayton Kershaw ('11).
Cespedes homered and tripled, and the Athletics defeated the Mariners, 5-2. Cespedes, with 25 doubles, five triples and 23 home runs, has the most extra-base hits for a first-year A's player since Mitchell Page had 57 in 1977.
Medlen allowed one unearned run and three hits in six innings, and picked up the win as the Braves defeated the Mets, 6-2.
With the win, the Braves improved to 23-0 in Medlen's past 23 starts, passing the Giants' Carl Hubbell (1936-37) and the Yankees' Whitey Ford (1950-1953) for the longest winning streak for a team with a single starter. The Braves' winning streak with Medlen as a starter began on May 29, 2010.
Since joining the starting rotation on July 31, Medlen is 9-0 in 12 starts with a 0.97 ERA in 83 2/3 innings. In those innings, Medlen has allowed 57 hits and a .483 OPS against, and has 84 strikeouts against 10 walks.
Lyles threw a four-hit shutout, becoming -- at 21 years and 347 days -- the youngest Astros pitcher to throw a shutout since Paul Siebert (21 years, 102 days) on Sept. 15, 1974. Across the Majors, Lyles is the youngest with a shutout since Brett Anderson (21 years, 155 days) on July 6, 2009. Lyles also hit his first career home run, making him the first Astros pitcher since Darryl Kile on July 3, 1993 to homer and throw a shutout.
Fielder hit a two-run home run in the top of the top of the eighth to turn a 1-0 deficit into a 2-1 lead, and the Tigers went on to defeat the Twins by that score. Fielder's go-ahead blast gave him 30 home runs and 108 RBIs for the season, and gave the Tigers its first pair of 30-homer, 100-RBI players since 1993, when Mickey Tettleton and Cecil Fielder each reached that milestone.
Prince and Miguel Cabrera (43 homers, 136 RBIs) are the sixth pair of Tigers teammates to do it. Hank Greenberg and Rudy York had done it three times (1937-38 and 1940), and Norm Cash and Rocky Colavito did it in '61.
Beltran homered from both sides of the plate for the ninth time in his career, leading the Cardinals to a 10-4 victory over the Nationals. Beltran has 34 career multi-homer games -- the fourth most in history for a switch-hitter -- behind the 46 from Mickey Mantle, the 40 from Chipper Jones and the 36 by Mark Teixeira.
Kemp hit a two-run homer as part of a two-hit day and the Dodgers rolled to their fifth straight win, beating the Rockies, 7-1. During the five-game winning streak, Kemp has 11 hits in 20 at-bats, with three doubles and four home runs.
Roger Schlueter is senior researcher for MLB Productions. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.