MLB Notebook: Giants rapping out hits at historic pace
Only three seasons in National League history have witnessed a higher league batting average than the .294 mark the Senior Circuit posted in 1929. As part of this historic success, the New York Giants -- with their team batting average of .296 -- were merely slightly above average. But from June 11-23 that season, the club's batting prowess was anything but pedestrian. Over the course of 15 consecutive games, the Giants -- playing the Reds, Pirates, Dodgers and Phillies -- had at least 10 hits every time out while batting .360. In contrast, the 2013 Giants -- who have now had at least 10 hits in six straight games while posting a .324 mark during their active streak -- are doing this in an environment in which the NL batting average stands at .249.
On Thursday, the Giants put together their 21st double-digit hit game, overcoming a six-run deficit and defeating the Rockies, 8-6. San Francisco's total of 21 games with at least 10 hits is the most for the club -- through 41 team games -- since the 1987 team had 21.
The Giants have collected at least 10 hits in six straight games -- the club's longest streak since a six-game run in August 2009.
San Francisco's eight runs vs. the Rockies came on 12 hits (and two walks), with none of the hits leaving the yard. Since the start of the 2010 season, the Giants have 15 games in which they've scored at least eight runs and hit no home runs. Over this span, the Tigers have the most such games, with 20. The Mets have 17, and the Padres and Royals each have 15.
• The Mariners defeated the Yankees, 3-2, with reliever Tom Wilhelmsen converting his 11th save in 11 chances. Right-handed hitters are now 0-for-30 against Wilhelmsen. Jeff Nelson owns the lowest season mark for a Mariners right-hander against right-handed hitters (minimum 20 innings, minimum 100 batters faced), holding them to a .119 batting average (17-for-143) in 2001.
• The Pirates topped the Brewers, 7-1, improving to 24-17 on the season. The 24 wins through 41 games are the most for the club since the 1992 team also started 24-17.
• Pirates leadoff hitter Starling Marte was 2-for-5 with a double and two runs scored. Marte has had at least one hit and one run scored in 24 of the team's first 41 games this season.
That ratio tied Marte for the third most for any Pirates player (regardless of batting order position) since 1916. Arky Vaughan had 28 such games in 1934, while Bob Skinner had 26 in 1960. With the 24, Marte is tied with Paul Waner (1927 and '29), Vaughan (1936) and Dale Long (1956).
Marte's 24 games with at least one run and one hit are the most for any player in the Majors this year. Evan Longoria leads the American League with 23.
• In their loss to the Reds, the Marlins had a pair of triples in the ninth inning. Entering Thursday, there had been a total of five ninth-inning triples in the Majors, with no team having more than one. The last team before the Marlins to have two in the ninth inning was the Rays in 2012 (Desmond Jennings and B.J. Upton on June 6), while the Marlins had never before had two in the ninth.
Miami's second triple of the inning -- Marcell Ozuna's two-out, game-tying three-bagger -- marked the first two-out, game-tying triple in the ninth inning or later since Alcides Escobar's two-run triple for the Royals on June 13, 2012.
Making this Marlins night on offense even more unusual was how it got started, with Juan Pierre homering to lead off the bottom of the first. Pierre, who owns the fifth-lowest home run percentage of any player with at least 5,000 plate appearances since 1961, last hit a leadoff home run on Aug. 28, 2006.
• Reds leadoff hitter Shin-Soo Choo had a hit and two walks, raising his on-base percentage to .468. Choo has 17 games this season in which he has reached safely at least three times. Those 17 through 41 team games tie him for the fourth most for any leadoff hitter since 1916. Tony Phillips had 20 in 1993, while Dom DiMaggio had 19 in 1941 and 18 in '49. Fresco Thompson (1929) and Stan Hack (1941) also had 17.
• The Rangers tallied 10 runs on 10 hits (with eight of the runs and six of the hits coming against Justin Verlander) and defeated the Tigers, 10-4.
Texas has 18 games this season in which it has collected at least 10 hits, tied with the Orioles for the fifth most in the Majors. The Giants have the most (21), followed by the Rockies, Cardinals and Tigers, each with 19.
Verlander's outing lasted only 2 2/3 innings -- his shortest start since June 22, 2010, when he lasted two innings in a start cut short by a 58-minute rain delay. The last time Verlander allowed at least eight runs in a start that did not see him complete three innings was on Sept. 1, 2008. From Sept. 2, 2008-May 15, 2013, there were a total of 114 outings that saw a pitcher allow at least eight runs in a start that lasted no more than 2 2/3 innings.
• In the White Sox 5-4 win over the Angels, Adam Dunn doubled and singled in four trips to the plate, with his two outs coming on a groundout and a flyout. In his past two games, Dunn has five hits in eight at-bats, including four extra-base hits and no strikeouts. These two games represent the first time this season Dunn has collected at least two hits in back-to-back games and the first time this season he has gone two straight games without a strikeout. Dunn's longest streak of starts with no strikeouts is seven games, accomplished in 2005.
• Stephen Strasburg threw eight innings of two-run ball, Bryce Harper hit his 11th home run and the Nationals defeated the Padres, 6-2.
Strasburg struck out four in the victory, his 23rd career win. The strikeout total was the second lowest in any of his wins, with his lowest total -- three K's -- coming earlier this season, when he won on Opening Day.
Now playing in his age-20 season, Harper has 33 career home runs -- the eighth most for any player through his age-20 season. Only three players -- Mel Ott (61), Tony Conigliaro (56) and Alex Rodriguez (41) -- have reached 40 long balls through that age-season. Next up for Harper would be Mike Trout (35) and Mickey Mantle (36).
Roger Schlueter is senior researcher for MLB Productions. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.