MLB Notebook: Bucs, Reds power up in Cincy
Pirates have three sets of back-to-back homers in slugfest at Great American Ball Park
In the top of the eighth inning at Crosley Field on Aug.12, 1966, the Pirates' Willie Stargell led off the frame with a flyout against Reds left-hander Joe Nuxhall. In a double switch, Nuxhall was then replaced (in the batting order) by Art Shamsky, who took his glove out to left field.
Shamsky then took his bat to the plate in the bottom half of the inning, and with a man on first, he hit a two-run home run to give Cincinnati an 8-7 lead. Jerry Lynch, a former pinch-hitting star with the Reds, then tied up the game in the top of the ninth with a solo homer. Aside from the drama of a game-tying pinch-hit home run in a team's final at-bat, Lynch's blast also gave Shamsky the opportunity to make some history.
The left fielder came to bat in the bottom half of the 10th, and in response to Stargell's solo home run in the top half of that frame, Shamsky hit his own homer with the bases empty. In the bottom of the 11th, Shamsky came up to bat with one runner on and his team down by two, then homered yet again to tie the score.
A go-ahead homer in the eighth, a game-tying home run in the 10th and another game-tying shot in the 11th -- not bad for a man who was a spectator until the eighth.
Shamsky became just the third player to hit a pair of extra-inning home runs, and the first (and still only) player to hit three home runs in a game after being left out of the starting lineup. It was all part of a crazy night in Cincinnati in which the Bucs and Reds combined for 11 home runs to set a National League record -- seemingly the only type of game that can serve as a worthy companion to what just recently took place between Pittsburgh and Cincinnati at Great American Ball Park.
Bucs, Reds club 10 combined homers
In the conclusion of their suspended game from the night before, the Pirates got an RBI single from Russell Martin in the top of the seventh for the go-ahead run, and defeated the Reds, 8-7, on Tuesday.
In one of the more fascinating games of the season -- and recent memory -- Martin's RBI single was the second of the game, with the first run of the contest coming in the top of the first on an RBI single from Andrew McCutchen. In between, the two teams combined to hit 10 home runs.
Some notes from this extraordinary affair:
• The 10 combined home runs set a new record for Great American Ball Park, which opened in 2003.
• The 10 combined home runs were two shy of the Major League record of a dozen, accomplished twice by the Tigers and White Sox (first in 1995, and then again in 2002), and one shy of the NL record of 11 (accomplished four previous times). In the case of the NL record, the Pirates and Reds are one of the entrants, having combined for 11 in that 13-inning affair on Aug. 12, 1966.
• In three separate innings, the Bucs hit back-to-back home runs, with Neil Walker and Gaby Sanchez doing it in both the second and sixth innings, and Starling Marte and Travis Snider accomplishing the feat in the fifth frame. Pittsburgh was the third team to have three back-to-back homer occurrences in the same game, joining the 1977 Red Sox (June 17) and the 1956 Reds (Aug. 18).
• The Pirates had two players (Walker and Sanchez) hit a pair of home runs. It marked the second time this season the Bucs had at least two players with multiple homers (also April 9 vs. Cubs). Dating back to 1914, the Pirates had never had two such games so early in a season.
• The Pirates' six solo homers tied the NL record for a nine-inning game, most recently accomplished by the Braves (also against the Reds) on May 31, 1996.
In Cincinnati's 7-5 win over Pittsburgh in the regularly scheduled contest for Tuesday, first baseman Joey Votto had four hits and drew a walk in a perfect 4-for-4 night at the plate. In his Reds career, Votto has had seven games in which he's collected at least five plate appearances and reached safely in each one. Looking at the Reds' history since 1914, those seven tie Votto with Sean Casey for the sixth most. Pete Rose tops the list with 18 such performances, and Barry Larkin follows with 13. Vada Pinson comes in third with nine, and then Frank Robinson and Joe Morgan are tied with eight.
Rangers blanking the opposition
The Rangers blanked the Mariners, 5-0, to run their record to 7-7, including four team shutouts. The total of four shutouts through 14 games tied the 2014 and 1979 clubs for the most in Rangers franchise history.
Three of the four shutouts have come at home. Texas also produce three home shutouts through the team's first 14 games in the 1979 and '81 seasons. The three team shutouts at home this year are already more than the following full years produced for this franchise: 1992 (zero), '87 and 2003 (one home shutout apiece); 1964, '82, '84, 2002 and 2010 (two).
The 1990 Brewers, with five, were the most recent team to have more than four team shutouts through their first 14 games.
Trout does it all
In the Angels' 10-9 loss to the Athletics, Mike Trout fell a triple shy of the cycle, stole his first base of the season, drove in three runs and scored twice.
Since the beginning of the 2012 season, here are Trout's MLB ranks:
• First in runs, times on base and OPS+
• Second in batting average, on-base percentage, total bases, steals (tied), OPS, wOBA and wRC+
• Fourth in slugging percentage, fifth in hits and extra-base hits and 13th in home runs
Here and there
• Giancarlo Stanton homered (his fifth of the year) and tied a career high with five RBIs as the Marlins defeated the Nationals, 11-2. Stanton is tied for second in the NL in home runs and leads in RBIs, with 21. Before Stanton, no Marlins player had driven in as many as 21 runs through the club's first 15 games. The most recent players before Stanton to do it were the Dodgers' Matt Kemp (22) and Andre Ethier (21) in 2012. The Miami outfielder is now just nine RBIs shy of matching Moises Alou's 1997 high mark for any Marlins player in a March/April.
• In a three-hit night, Oakland third baseman Josh Donaldson contributed a double, and shortstop Jed Lowrie had a pair of two-base hits among his three total hits. Last season, the duo became the 13th American League third base/shortstop combo to each produce at least 60 extra-base hits in a season, and just the second A's combo to do it, joining third baseman Eric Chavez and shortstop Miguel Tejada (who were responsible for three of the previous 12 times it had had happened in the AL, doing this in 2001, '02 and '03).