MLB Notebook: Why stop at one home run?
On night of Aaron anniversary, several players go deep more than once
Hank Aaron's first multihomer game came on June 29, 1955, when his Milwaukee Braves hosted Ernie Banks and the Cubs on a Wednesday night at County Stadium. It gave Aaron, then in his second season, his 27th and 28th career homers.
In the other eight games played that day, only one other player had a multihomer game: the Giants' Willie Mays, who knocked out a pair at Ebbets Field in Brooklyn. At the time, Mays had 84 career home runs and 10 career multihomer games.
Mays ended his career with one more multihomer game than Aaron, who, of course, has the upper hand on the "Say Hey Kid" when it comes to career home runs and who celebrated the 40th anniversary of his unforgettable 715th home run on Tuesday night at Turner Field. Although no player had a multihomer game in front of Aaron, the day's worth of games did produce more than its fair share of players going deep multiple times.
Braun breaks out in Philly
Milwaukee's Ryan Braun homered three times and drove in seven to lead a Brewers attack that piled up eight extra-base hits in a 10-4 victory over Philadelphia on Tuesday. Braun's three-homer game was the second of his career, with both coming on the road.
Braun is the fifth player in Brewers history to have multiple three-homer games, joining Ben Oglivie (who had three), Geoff Jenkins (two), Jeromy Burnitz (two) and Richie Sexson (two).
Among players who have played in 2014, Braun is one of five to have multiple three-homer games on the road. He joined Albert Pujols, Aramis Ramirez, Alfonso Soriano and Mark Teixeira.
Braun set a career high with the seven RBIs, tying the franchise record. It had been accomplished seven other times, first by Ted Kubiak in 1970, and most recently by Jonathan Lucroy, who did it twice in 2012.
White Sox pair doubles up on dingers
While thoroughly enjoying the thin air at Coors Field, the White Sox powered out six home runs in a 15-3 rout of the Rockies. The six homers were the most for the White Sox on the road since they also tallied six at Yankee Stadium on Aug. 26, 2003.
Avisail Garcia and Jose Abreu each had the first multihomer game of his career. For Abreu, the two homers were his first in the big leagues.
The most recent game in which a pair of White Sox batters each hit two homers took place on June 8, 2004, when Juan Uribe and Paul Konerko turned the trick in a 14-11 victory against the Phillies in Chicago. The most recent White Sox road game with such an achievement was the aforementioned contest against the Yankees in 2003, by Konerko and Magglio Ordonez.
Let's crush two
In a day of multihomer efforts, Mariners designated hitter Corey Hart added his name to the list, belting a three-run shot in the third and a solo home run in the seventh. Thanks in large part to Hart's work, the Mariners defeated the Angels, 5-3, to improve to 5-2 on the season. The five wins through seven games are the most for the club since 2009. Seattle is currently tied for second in the American League in home runs, continuing a trend that saw the club finish second in the league in homers in 2013.
Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro put together his first career multihomer game. Still only 24 years and 15 days old, Castro is the second-youngest Cubs shortstop since 1914 to hit two long balls in a contest. On Aug. 22, 1954, Ernie Banks -- at the age of 23 years and 203 days -- hit a pair of solo shots in a 12-6 loss to Aaron and the Milwaukee Braves.
O's bats come alive in the Bronx
The Orioles collected 20 hits in a 14-5 win over the Yankees, improving to 3-5 on the season. Entering this game, the O's had tallied 22 runs in their first seven games of 2014.
These 14 runs Tuesday were the most for the Orioles on the road vs. the Yanks since June 5, 1989, when they scored 16, and Baltimore's 20 hits were the most for the club against the Yankees in New York since the O's amassed 22 in an 18-9 win on June 8, 1986.
Every batter in Baltimore's starting lineup had at least one hit, and eight of the starters had multihit days. Those eight were the most for the Orioles since Aug. 17, 2008. The most recent time the O's had all nine starters collect at least two hits was on April 19, 2006.
Belt, Hudson lead Giants in home opener
In their home opener, the Giants defeated the D-backs, 7-3, with Brandon Belt hitting his fifth home run and starter Tim Hudson picking up the victory to improve to 2-0. Belt's five home runs through the team's first eight games tied him with seven players for the second most for the club since 1914. Mays had six in '64, while the following Giants had five: Travis Jackson ('30), Bill Terry ('32), Johnny Mize ('47), Orlando Cepeda ('59), Kevin Mitchell ('91), Barry Bonds (2002) and Jose Cruz, Jr. ('03).
Hudson worked eight innings, allowing three runs (two earned) with four strikeouts and no walks. In his first start of the year, he pitched 7 2/3 innings with no walks. He is the second Giants pitcher since 1914 to open the year with back-to-back starts of at least seven innings and no walks. Juan Marichal accomplished the feat in '68.
Colon goes seven scoreless in win
Bartolo Colon did not walk a Braves batter while working seven scoreless innings, and he came away with the victory as the Mets notched their first shutout of the season.
Since the start of the 2012 season, Colon's 10 games with at least seven innings pitched and no runs allowed are the fourth most in the Majors. Hiroki Kuroda and Clayton Kershaw each have 14, while Felix Hernandez owns 12 such games.
Since the start of the 2012 season, Colon's nine games with at least seven innings and no walks puts him in a tie (with six others) for the seventh most. Cliff Lee is the leader, with 21 such games.
Archer, Ventura face off in duel
After Chris Archer (seven innings, six hits) and Yordano Ventura (six innings, two hits) dueled for the first two-thirds of the contest, the Rays eventually plated a run in the top of the ninth and came away with a 1-0 win over the Royals.
James Loney's RBI single in the ninth was just the Rays' fourth hit of the game. The most recent time Tampa Bay won a game on four or fewer hits was on July 28, 2012.
Archer and the bullpen held the Royals to zero extra-base hits. Over the past five seasons combined (2010-14), the Rays' staff owns the fifth-lowest slugging percentage-against in the big leagues, and second lowest in the AL behind only the A's.
At 22 years and 309 days, Ventura became the youngest Royals pitcher since Bret Saberhagen on May 17, 1985, to have a start which ended with at least six scoreless innings and no more than two baserunners allowed. In that May game 29 years ago, Saberhagen went the distance on a two-hit shutout, and with a pair of double plays, he finished the game having faced the minimum 27 batters.
Roger Schlueter is senior researcher for MLB Productions. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.