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MLB Notebook: Cards clutch with RISP

The 1996 Rockies led the National League in runs scored by a considerable margin, with their 961 tallies far outdistancing the total of the number two team: the 778 runs scored by the Reds. While Colorado's dominance was no doubt assisted by playing 81 games at Coors Field, the notable sum was also due to an exceptional batting average with runners in scoring position. Hitting .311 in that situation, the '96 Rockies own the highest mark for any NL team in the expansion era. Although the 2013 Cardinals still have 99 games left on their regular-season schedule, it's still worth noting that they currently boast a .341 batting average when runners are in a position to score.

In an 11-4 win over the Reds (featuring a team line of 6-for-15 with runners in scoring position), the Cards' top three hitters -- Matt Carpenter, Carlos Beltran and Matt Holliday -- combined to go 6-for-15 with a double and two home runs, five runs scored, and nine RBIs.

Holliday doubled and hit a 10th-inning grand slam to give him his 91st game with two-or-more extra-base hits. Those 91 since 2004 (his first season) tie him with David Wright for the seventh most in the Majors.

Beltran homered for his 844th career extra-base hit, tying him with Carlton Fisk and Derek Jeter for 85th all-time.

Carpenter singled twice for his 26th multihit game of the year. He is tied with Miguel Cabrera, Marco Scutaro and Mike Trout for the most in the Majors.

  • The Cardinals' win was marked by a seven-run 10th inning: two runs shy of the modern NL record for most runs in a 10th inning. On Aug. 24, 1947, the Reds had a nine-run 10th in a 12-3 win over the Phillies, and on May 28, 1995, the Padres' nine-run 10th catapulted them to a 13-5 win over the Phils.
  • In the Reds' loss, Shin-Soo Choo singled, doubled and walked, while Joey Votto singled once and walked twice. Each player has 22 games this season in which he has reached safely at least three times, with those 22 tying them with Minnesota's Joe Mauer for the most in the Majors.

Tigers' Alvarez sets high mark in big league debut 

Making his Major League debut after eight seasons and 166 games in the Minor Leagues, Tigers left-hander Jose Alvarez limited the Indians to one run, three hits and a walk in six innings, and fanned seven. Alvarez's line works out to a game score of 68. He is the first Detroit pitcher to achieve a score that high and record a win in his debut since Andy Van Hekken on Sept. 3, 2002. In that game, Van Hekken -- facing Cleveland -- posted a score of 70, thanks to an eight-hit shutout with two walks and a strikeout. Van Hekken would not win another game in the Majors.

Marlins' Ozuna a hit in rookie season

In the Marlins' 10-inning, 8-4 win over the Mets, Marcell Ozuna had a pair of hits to raise his total to 47 through his first 36 games. That total through that many games is the most for any Marlins player whose debut came with the club. Hanley Ramirez also had 47 hits through his first 36 career games, with the first two of those contests coming as a member of the Red Sox (he went hitless).

Dempster records 2,000th strikeout; Papi fourth in OPS at Fenway

Boston's Ryan Dempster became the 69th pitcher in history to record 2,000 strikeouts, getting Alberto Callaspo in the sixth inning for the milestone whiff. Among the 69 pitchers, Dempster's K/9 ratio currently ranks him 12th. His strikeout percentage of 20.04 ranks him 13th among the 69.

Of the 69, Dempster owns the third-most saves (87), behind Dennis Eckersley's 390 (Eckersley fanned 2,401) and John Smoltz's 154 (Smoltz -- with 3,084 K's -- is one of 16 pitchers with 3,000 strikeouts).

  • In the Red Sox's home win, David Ortiz went 2-for-4 with a walk and a home run. Ortiz has 3,189 career plate appearances at Fenway Park. Among the 29 players since 1916 to have at least 2,000 plate appearances at this ballpark, Ortiz is one of four to own an OPS of at least 1.000. Ted Williams posted a 1.148 OPS at Fenway, and is followed by Jimmie Foxx (1.099), Manny Ramirez (1.005) and Ortiz (1.005).

Zimmermann sails into seventh

In the first game of a doubleheader, Jordan Zimmermann allowed two hits in seven scoreless innings and improved to 9-3, as the Nationals blanked the Twins. The line marked the third time this season Zimmermann finished an outing with at least seven innings pitched, no runs allowed and no more than two hits surrendered. Since 1916, he is one of nine pitchers to have three such games through his club's first 61 contests. The others: Ernie Broglio (1963), Sandy Koufax ('63), Nolan Ryan ('75), Pedro Martinez (2000), Hideo Nomo ('01), Derek Lowe ('02), Randy Johnson ('04) and Yovani Gallardo ('09).

Orioles resume extra-base production

A day after seeing their streak of having at least one extra-base hit stopped at 42, the Orioles collected seven doubles and a home run and defeated the Rays. The O's have 230 extra-base hits this season -- the second most in the AL (the Red Sox have 235) and the second most for the club through 63 games since moving to Baltimore for the 1954 season. The 2005 club had 236.

Braves' Uggla moving up home runs, strikeout lists

Dan Uggla homered twice to power the Braves to an 8-1 win over the Dodgers. Uggla has 222 career home runs, tying him with Barry Bonds for the 38th most for any player in history through his first eight seasons. Uggla also has 1,162 strikeouts, the fourth most for any player in history through his first eight seasons. Adam Dunn, Ryan Howard and Mark Reynolds are ahead on him on the strikeout list, with Dunn and Howard having more home runs as well.

Fowler helps Rockies overcome Padres' three homers

Dexter Fowler finished off a four-hit day with an RBI single in the bottom of the 10th, giving the Rockies an 8-7 win over the Padres. In addition to the four hits and the RBI, Fowler -- hitting in the leadoff spot -- also scored three runs. The last time a Colorado leadoff hitter had a four-hit, three-run, one-RBI day was on May 28, 2012, when Fowler turned the trick. In that contest, his final hit came on the game's last play, when he hit a walkoff triple.

  • San Diego's loss came despite hitting three homers, marking its third straight defeat when hitting at least three. The last time the Padres lost three straight three-homer games was in 2001.

Giants' Scutaro difficult to strike out

In the Giants' 6-2 win over the D-backs, Marco Scutaro went 3-for-4 to raise his batting average to .332. Scutaro has struck out 16 times in 254 trips to the plate, for a strikeout percentage of 6.30. Since 1901, 46 Giants players have qualified for the batting title and finished the year with a batting average of at least .330. While 27 of the 46 have also posted a strikeout percentage of 6.30 or lower, it hasn't happened since Don Mueller batted .342 with 17 strikeouts in 657 plate appearances in 1954.

Roger Schlueter is senior researcher for MLB Productions.
Read More: Shin-Soo Choo, Jose Alvarez, Ryan Dempster, Dexter Fowler, Carlos Beltran, Marcell Ozuna, Jordan Zimmermann, Marco Scutaro, Matt Holliday, Dan Uggla, Joey Votto, Matt Carpenter