MLB Notebook: Konerko keeps rolling

MLB Notebook: Konerko keeps rolling

MLB Notebook: Konerko keeps rolling
Paul Konerko has 396 home runs, the fourth most for any player in history who owns fewer than 10 triples in his career. Konerko's 396 homers are also the most for any player who has failed to reach 10 career triples and 10 career steals.

In 2010, Konerko became one of eight players in the modern era to have his first 160 OPS+ season (while qualifying for the batting title) in his age-34 season or older. The others were Hall of Famers Zack Wheat in 1924, Ernie Lombardi in '42, Billy Williams in '72 and Tony Gwynn in '94, along with non-immortals Mike Grady in '04, Bob Johnson in '44 and Phil Weintraub in '44.

Since the start of the 2010 season, Konerko is tied for the fifth-best OPS+ in the Majors for all players with at least 1,000 plate appearances. The only men above him on this list are Miguel Cabrera, Jose Bautista, Joey Votto and Albert Pujols.

From his late-career surge to his numerous rankings high atop the White Sox all-time leader boards, Konerko has constructed a fascinating career.

More Konerko
Konerko's RBI double in the first inning of Chicago's win over the Indians gave him 3,530 total bases and moved him past Luke Appling for sole possession of second place on the South Siders' all-time list. For the franchise, Konerko is also third in doubles (363), fifth in hits (1,985), fifth in runs (1,022), second in home runs (389), second in RBIs (1,237), fourth in walks (795) and second in extra-base hits (760).

Three-hit performances
Behind Ricky Romero's 8 1/3 innings of three-hit, one-run ball, the Blue Jays defeated the Red Sox, 3-1. Jon Lester was the hard-luck loser in this pitchers' duel (one in which each club finished the game with three hits), going the full eight innings.

Interestingly enough, the most recent game to feature both teams managing no more than three hits also involved the Red Sox, and also featured Lester on the mound for Boston. On Aug. 16, 2011, Lester went the first seven for Boston and came away with the win in a 3-1 victory over the Rays. James Shields was on the mound for Tampa Bay, and he finished with an eight-inning, three-hit complete-game loss.

Strasburg vs. Santana
Stephen Strasburg (six innings, two hits, nine strikouts, three walks) outdueled Johan Santana (five innings, five hits, one run, eight strikeouts, three walks) and picked up the win as the Nationals defeated the Mets, 4-0.

This starting matchup was one of three on the day that produced a linescore in which both starting pitchers went at least five innings and allowed no more than one run, bringing the season total for such games to 15 (there have been a total of 86 contests so far this season). Through 92 games in 2010, there had been six to feature both starters going at least five and allowing no more than one run.

For the entirety of the 2010 season, there were 189 of these games -- the most in any season since the league expanded to 30 teams in 1998.

Milwaukee's John Axford struck out three in a scoreless ninth inning to convert his 45th consecutive save opportunity. His streak, which began on April 24, 2011, is the fifth longest in history. The top four: 84 games (Eric Gagne), 54 (Tom Gordon), 51 (Jose Valverde) and 47 (Brad Lidge).

Ryan Dempster struck out five batters to become the 12th pitcher in Cubs history with 1,000 K's. Dempster, who has 1,002 strikeouts with Chicago, trails Fergie Jenkins (2,038), Carlos Zambrano (1,542), Kerry Wood (1,468), Charlie Root (1,432), Rick Reuschel (1,367), Greg Maddux (1,305), Bill Hutchinson (1,225), Hippo Vaughn (1,138), Larry Corcoran (1,086), Bob Rush (1,076) and Three Finger Brown (1,043).

For all franchises, the Dodgers have the most pitchers (16) with at least 1,000 strikeouts, followed by the Tigers (15). The Cubs are tied with the Giants for the third most.

A's vs. Royals
The A's defeated the Royals, 5-4, in 12 innings, winning the game on Jonny Gomes' bases-loaded hit-by-pitch.

• The Athletics last enjoyed a walk-off hit-by-pitch on July 20, 2002, when Olmedo Saenz was hit by Texas' Dave Burba.

• The Royals were last victimized by a walk-off hit-by-pitch on Aug. 20, 1998, when Scott Service plunked John Flaherty and the Devil Rays beat Kansas City, 5-4.

• This event marked the second time in his career Gomes was the batter in a walk-off hit-by-pitch. He is the only player since at least 1948 to have two.

The Rockies scored 17 runs -- more than they had produced in their first four games of the season -- and blasted the Giants, 17-8.

• The Rockies collected 22 hits -- the 30th time in franchise history the club had at least 20. Of these 30 games, 26 (including Thursday's contest) came in Denver.

• Colorado scored at least 17 runs for the 17th time in franchise history. All but one of those occurrences came in its home ballpark. The lone 17-run outburst on the road came on Sept. 25, 2011, when the Rockies the Astros in Houston by the score of 19-3.

• Colorado had five players -- Dexter Fowler, Carlos Gonzalez, Todd Helton, Michael Cuddyer and Chris Nelson -- collect three hits. The five players with three-plus hits were tied for the second most in team history. On Sept. 25, 2011, it had six players each collect at least three.

• The Rockies had 11 extra-base hits, with eight doubles and three triples.

• The last time any team had as many as 11 extra-base hits with no home runs was on Aug. 11, 2003, when the Royals had 11 doubles in a 12-9 win over the Yankees. Before Kansas City did it, it had happened only three other times in the live-ball era: July 12, 1931 (Cardinals against the Cubs), Aug. 6, 1931 (Senators against the Red Sox), and Aug. 2, 1986 (Phillies against the Cubs).

• The 11 extra-base hits were tied for the third most ever produced by the Rockies. They twice collected 12 in a game -- on July 4, 2008, and then again on July 30, 2010.

• The Rockies are the 111th team since 1918 to score at least 17 runs without the benefit of a home run, and the first to do it since the Astros on Aug. 3, 2010. From 1918-2012, the most runs in a game by a team without a homer was 27, by the Indians against the Red Sox on July 7, 1923. During that game Cleveland collected five doubles, two triples and 17 singles.

Roger Schlueter is senior researcher for MLB Productions. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.