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MLB Notebook: Miggy pulls rare combo

Tigers slugger triples and steals a base in game for first time in career

From 1916-28, Ty Cobb participated in 1,121 games as the No. 3 hitter in a lineup (1,113 starts), and in those contests, he batted .371, posted a .960 OPS and collected 300 doubles, 109 triples, 48 home runs and 250 stolen bases.

Looking at each of these categories separately, and using a minimum of 400 games to rank the rate stats, Cobb was second among No. 3 hitters from 1916-28 in batting, third in OPS, third in doubles, third in triples, third in steals and seventh in home runs.

But when it came to batting third and collecting a triple and a steal in the same game, Cobb's work was unmatched. In those 13 seasons, he did it 25 times -- more than any other No. 3 hitter for that span. In fact, his 25 such games are the most for any No. 3 hitter between 1916-2013.

Miggy and Prince roar
Miguel Cabrera tripled and stole a base (third) in a 1-for-4 day Thursday, putting an uncommon spin on the Tigers' 11-1 victory over the Blue Jays. Entering this contest, Cabrera had played 1,520 games in his career. He had tripled in 13 of them and had stolen a base in 33 others, but had never tripled and swiped a bag in the same one.

Among Tigers players, Cabrera is the first since Alex Avila to have a steal and a triple in the game; Avila did it one year ago, having accomplished the feat on April 12 last season. Cabrera was the first Tigers No. 3 hitter with a triple and a stolen base in a game since Bobby Higginson on Aug. 6, 2001.

Among Tigers players since 1916, Cobb has the most total games with a steal and a triple -- 28. The most such games by a Tigers player in one season since '16 is seven, by Ron LeFlore in '79.

Cabrera's teammate Prince Fielder was 2-for-2, with four RBIs and two walks. The two walks gave Fielder seven for the season, against six strikeouts. Entering 2013, Fielder owned a .306/.413/.547 line over the past two seasons, and he had 192 walks and 190 strikeouts.

For some perspective on this combination of numbers, in the live-ball era, Fielder is one of 887 players to have at least 1,000 plate appearances over his age-27 and age-28 seasons combined. Among those 887, Fielder is one of 48 to own a slash line with at least a .300 batting average, a .400 on-base percentage and a .500 slugging percentage. And among those 48, Fielder is one of 32 to have more walks than strikeouts. Cabrera is also one of the 32.

O's Jones, Davis off to hot starts
Baltimore's Adam Jones had two hits in a 3-2 win over the Red Sox, raising his total for the season to an American League-leading 18.

Jones' 18 hits through nine games is tied for the third highest for the franchise since 1916. In '82, Eddie Murray had 21; in '22, George Sisler had 20; and in 2004, Javy Lopez had 18.

Looking at just full-time center fielders, Jones is one of eight since 1916 to have at least 18 hits through his team's first nine games. The others: Curt Flood (20 in '68), Cy Williams (19 in '19), Joe DiMaggio (19 in '41), Dave Philley (18 in '53), Lee Mazzilli (18 in '79), Eric Davis (18 in '87) and Quinton McCracken (18 in '98).

Jones has six multihit performances through the Orioles' first nine games -- the second-highest total for any Browns/Orioles player since 1916. Ray Knight had seven in '87, while the following players had six: Sisler ('22), Beau Bell ('37), Murray ('82), Dan Ford ('83), Cal Ripken, Jr. ('97) and Lopez ('04).

Orioles slugger Chris Davis hit his sixth home run of the year. Davis is one of seven players since 1916 to homer in six of his team's first nine games, joining the Giants' Willie Mays ('64), the Braves' Dale Murphy ('85), the Mariners' Jim Presley ('85), the D-backs' Luis Gonzalez (2001), the White Sox Jim Thome (2006) and the Rangers' Nelson Cruz ('10). The six previous guys to accomplish the feat hit an average of 39 homers for the season.

Griffin tosses gem
The A's got eight innings of one-run ball from A.J. Griffin, hit two more home runs, and defeated the Angels, 8-1. With the victory, Oakland is 8-2 on the season, its best 10-game start since opening 8-2 in 1992.

Griffin improved to 9-1 through his first 17 career games. Those nine wins through his first 17 appearances tie him with Bob Trice (1953-54) and Tim Hudson ('99) for the third most for an Athletics pitcher since '16. Jim Nash had 11 victories in '66, while Tony Freitas had 10 in '32.

The A's have 18 home runs -- the most for the franchise through its first 10 games since the 1957 Kansas City Athletics also had 18.

Here and there

• Chicago's Anthony Rizzo was 1-for-5 with two RBIs in the Cubs' loss to the Giants. Rizzo is batting only .188 and his OPS is .797, but he has found a way to post four multi-RBI games. Those four tie him for the most in the Majors with Davis, Jones and the Mets' John Buck.

• Seattle's Felix Hernandez reached 1,500 strikeouts, fanning five in a 4-3 loss to Texas. His 1,503 K's are already the 11th most for any pitcher since 1893, through his age-27 season.

King Felix in elite company
1893-2013: Most strikeouts through age-27 season
Pitcher Years K's IP
Sam McDowell 1961-70 1,967 1,895
Bert Blyleven 1970-78 1,910 2,387 1/3
Walter Johnson 1907-15 1,889 2,778 2/3
Don Drysdale 1956-64 1,724 2,266 1/3
Dwight Gooden 1984-92 1,686 1,919 2/3
Christy Mathewson 1900-08 1,650 2,699 1/3
Bob Feller 1936-46 1,640 1,891 2/3
Nolan Ryan 1966-74 1,572 1,452 2/3
Pedro Martinez 1992-99 1,534 1,359 1/3
Fernando Valenzuela 1980-88 1,528 1,948
Felix Hernandez 2005-13 1,503 1,641

• The Giants' Sergio Romo allowed a hit in the ninth, but came away with a scoreless frame and picked up his sixth save of the season in a 7-6 win over the Cubs. Since the start of the 2010 season, Romo is one of 34 pitchers to appear in at least 200 games. Among this group, Romo's WHIP (0.835) is the lowest, his hits-per-nine (5.99) rate is the third lowest, his strikeouts-per-nine (11.19) ratio is the seventh highest, his strikeout-to-walk ratio (7.34) is the second best, and his 1.79 ERA is the third lowest.

• Washington's Bryce Harper drew his first two walks of the season and collected two more hits, giving him seven multihit games and a total of 15 hits; Harper leads the National League in both categories. Harper's seven multihit games through his club's first nine contests ties him with Bryan Little (1984) for the top mark in Expos/Nationals history. Harper's total of 15 hits through nine team games is tied for the 10th highest in team history.

Roger Schlueter is senior researcher for MLB Productions.

Miguel Cabrera, Ty Cobb, Chris Davis, Prince Fielder, A.J. Griffin, Bryce Harper, Felix Hernandez, Adam Jones, Anthony Rizzo, Sergio Romo