In the first game of an Independence Day doubleheader in 1925, rookie Lefty Grove produced the first double-digit strikeout game of his career. At the age of 25 years and 120 days, Grove -- pitching in his 24th career game -- faced a Yankees lineup that included future Hall of Famers Earle Combs, Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, and Grove held them scoreless through the first 14 innings. Unfortunately for Grove and his Athletics, future Hall of Famer Herb Pennock was doing the same thing to Philadelphia's lineup. Grove, who fanned Gehrig three times and got Ruth on strikeouts once, finally succumbed in the bottom of the 15th, and New York put a damper on the left-hander's day with a 1-0 victory at Yankee Stadium.
Grove is one of seven pitchers in the 101 seasons from 1914-2014 to visit the Yanks within his first 24 career games and emerge with at least 10 strikeouts. It's a list featuring four right-handers and three southpaws, including another 25-year-old who didn't have to work quite as long as Grove for his 10 punchouts: Roenis Elias.
Elias posts rare stats
Elias limited the Yankees to two runs (one earned) in seven innings, fanned 10 and came away with a win in a 4-2 Mariners victory.
Elias was making his sixth Major League appearance, and with the 10 K's, he became the third pitcher since 1914 to have as little experience as six games and reach double-digit strikeouts in a road game against the Yanks. In his Major League debut on July 19, 1964, Cleveland's Luis Tiant threw a four-hit shutout with 11 K's (to beat Whitey Ford), while on Sept. 22, 2011, the Rays' Matt Moore made his third game memorable, fanning 11 in a win while working five innings of four-hit, no-run ball.
Dust off the brooms
The Dodgers, Orioles and Rays all swept doubleheaders on Thursday, with Los Angeles taking two from Minnesota, Baltimore beating Pittsburgh twice, and Tampa Bay getting by Boston with a pair of one-run victories.
• The Dodgers had never before swept an Interleague doubleheader. The club's two previous encounters with a pair of Interleague games in one day saw them get swept by the O's and split with the Yankees, both in twin bills played in 2013.
• The Orioles have played five Interleague doubleheaders. They were swept by the Marlins in 1999 and split with the Giants in 2004 before sweeping their past three. In addition to Thursday's sweep of the Pirates and the sweep of the Dodgers last year, they took two from the Phillies in '06.
• The Rays-Red Sox tilt marked the seventh time the two teams have engaged in a doubleheader, but the first time that the outcome in each contest has been in favor of Tampa Bay. The previous six featured three splits and three Boston sweeps.
Puig gets his hits in bunches
In the Dodgers' sweep, Yasiel Puig was 4-for-4 in the first contest, and then began the second game with hits in each of his first two at-bats, giving himself a chance to perhaps challenge for the all-time record for hits in a doubleheader.
Alas, he finished with just the two hits in Game 2 and thus fell quite short of the mark. Nine players share the record of nine hits, but it hasn't been done since the Angels' Lee Thomas was a combined 9-for-11 on Sept. 5, 1961.
Puig now has a trio of four-hit games, with his third -- in the first game of the doubleheader -- coming in his 128th career game. Dating back to 1914, Wally Moon has the most through 128 games, with seven. Moon's seven came in '54, while playing for the Cardinals. Since '14, Al Lopez had the most for a Dodgers player, with five games of four hits or more through his first 128 contests.
O's are walk-off winners once again
In the second game of the Orioles' doubleheader, they got a walk-off homer from Matt Wieters in the 10th inning.
Since the O's surprised the baseball world with their 93-win season in 2012, the team has had five extra-inning walk-off home runs -- a number that ties them with the Athletics, Angels and Indians for the most in the Majors.
Since 2012, the Orioles have 12 walk-off hits in extra-innings -- the second most in the Majors, with the Giants' 13 leading the way.
Buehrle a rare blue bird
Blue Jays left-hander Mark Buehrle became the American League's first five-game winner (Adam Wainwright and Zack Greinke both have five victories in the Senior Circuit). Buehrle is the seventh Toronto pitcher to have at least five wins through the club's first 28 games, joining Dave Stieb (six wins) in 1983, Stieb (five) in '84 and '90, Roger Clemens (five) in '97, Gustavo Chacin (five) in 2006 and Roy Halladay (five) in '09.
In his victory, Buehrle allowed seven hits and two walks in 6 2/3 innings. The victory gave him 191 career wins.
• Of his 191 victories, 102 of them have come in starts in which his baserunners allowed exceeded his innings pitched. Since 1914, those 101 tie Buehrle with Al Leiter (162 career victories) and Tim Hudson (209) for the 67th most.
• Buehrle is one of 87 pitchers since 1893 to have at least 190 wins through 15 seasons. Looking at all 87 through the first 15 seasons for each pitcher, Buehrle and his 1.278 WHIP ranks 61st, between Bob Shawkey and Red Faber.
Here and there
• In Cincinnati's 8-3 win over Milwaukee, Joey Votto had a double, two walks, and a run scored. Votto owns a .444 on-base percentage this season, and since 2009, he is at .431. For all players with at least 3,000 plate appearances in their age-25 through age-30 seasons, Votto's current mark stands tied for 21st.
• Tampa Bay's Sean Rodriguez doubled twice and homered in the Rays' 6-5 win over the Red Sox in the nightcap. Rodriguez is 8-for-34 on the season, with seven of his eight hits (three doubles and four home runs) going for extra bases.
• The Marlins defeated the Braves, 5-4, to complete a three-game sweep in Miami. The Marlins, who had most recently swept the Braves at home in June 2006, have gone 12-4 at home and 2-10 on the road. Not surprisingly they have pitched better at Marlins Park (2.50 ERA vs. 4.66 on the road) and hit better in from of the home crowd (.837 OPS and 6.19 runs per game at home vs. .621 OPS and 2.67 runs per game on the road).
• Colorado's Nolan Arenado went 1-for-3 to extend his hitting streak to 21 games. Arenado is tied with Larry Walker (1999) for the fourth-longest streak in team history. Michael Cuddyer (2013) owns the team record with a 27-game streak, and he is followed by Dante Bichette (23 straight in 1995) and Vinny Castilla (22 in a row in '97).
Roger Schlueter is senior researcher for MLB Productions.