MLB notebook: McDonald gets first free pass

MLB notebook: McDonald gets first free pass

MLB notebook: McDonald gets first free pass
D-backs infielder John McDonald was intentionally walked for the first time in his career on Sunday. He was playing in his 891st game and it was his 2,289th career plate appearance. McDonald had been the active leader for most plate appearances without an intentional walk. That honor now belongs to the Rangers' Elvis Andrus, who enters Monday with 1,952 plate appearances.

Since 1955, the player with the most career plate appearances and no intentional walks is former Angels Gary Disarcina, with 4,032.

Among active players, Red Sox catcher Kelly Shoppach owns the most career hits -- 295 -- without a triple. In the modern era, former Braves second baseman Mark Lemke owns the career mark for most plate appearances without being hit by a pitch: 3,664. Among active position players, Astros catcher Chris Snyder has the most career games (637) among all of those who have never stolen a base.

On the pitcher's side, John Cumberland, who played from 1968-74, retired with 334 1/3 innings and no batters hit by a pitch; no pitcher in the modern era has ever thrown more innings in a career and never hit a batter. In 1921, a righty named Allan Sothoron finished the season with 178 1/3 innings without allowing a home run; no other pitcher since 1920 has thrown so many innings in a season without surrendering a round-tripper.

Kyle Lohse
Behind seven innings of six-hit, one-run ball from starter Kyle Lohse, the Cardinals beat the Pirates, 5-1, and Lohse improved to 3-0 on the season. Lohse has gone at least six innings with no more than one run allowed in each of his first four starts. Such a streak to begin the season is the longest by a Cardinals pitcher since Dizzy Dean opened with five straight such starts in 1937. Dating back to 1988, Lohse is the 14th pitcher to begin a season with at least four straight starts of six-plus innings and no more than one run.

Wandy Rodriguez
Wandy Rodriguez allowed three hits in seven innings and got the win as the Astros shut out the Dodgers, 12-0. It was Houston's largest margin of victory in a shutout since they beat the Rockies, 12-0, on July 1, 2007. Rodriguez was the starter in that game as well, and finished with a line of three hits allowed in seven innings. Since 2007, Rodriguez has made 16 starts in which he finished with at least seven innings and no runs allowed; those 16 are tied with Matt Cain for the 16th most. Roy Halladay has the most with 25.

Josh Hamilton
The Rangers got two RBIs from Josh Hamilton, on a solo homer and a sacrifice fly, and defeated the Tigers 3-2.

Over the past 20 seasons, 10 teams have opened a season by winning at least 13 of their first 16 games.
1994 Braves 13-3
1997 Braves 13-3
1997 Giants 13-3
1998 Padres 13-3
2001 Twins 13-3
2002 Mariners 13-3
2003 Giants 14-2
2003 Royals 13-3
2003 Yankees 13-3
2012 Rangers 13-3

Hamilton has seven homers through the Rangers' first 16 games, tying the high mark for the franchise. Pete Incaviglia had seven in 1987, Alex Rodriguez tied the mark in 2003, and Ian Kinsler in 2007 and Nelson Cruz in 2010 also hit seven through the Rangers first 16 contests.

Texas improved to 13-3 for the best 16-game start in franchise history. Over the past 20 seasons, 10 teams have opened a season by winning at least 13 of their first 16.

Through their first 15 games, the Pirates have neither scored more than five runs nor allowed more than five runs in any game. On Sunday, having lost 5-1 to the Cardinals, they became the first team in the Majors since the 1965 Pirates to open their season with 15 straight contests of five-or-fewer runs on both sides of the ledger. This season, the Rangers have held their opponents to five or fewer runs in each of their first 16 games, but have scored six or more runs in six of their contests.

Sacrifice flies
The Rays set a club record with four sacrifice flies in their 6-2 win over the Twins. The Major League record for most sac flies in a game since 1954 is five: the Mariners did it twice, in 1988 and 2008, and the Rockies duplicated the feat in 2006.

Johnny Cueto
The Reds beat the Cubs 4-3, with Johnny Cueto picking up his second win with 6 1/3 innings of two-run ball. Since the beginning of last season, Cueto has made 28 appearances, allowed 145 hits in 181 1/3 innings, fanned 123 while walking 53 batters, and has allowed 45 earned runs for a 2.23 ERA.

Ian Kennedy
Arizona's Ian Kennedy won his ninth straight decision, surrendering three runs in seven innings in a 6-4 win over the Braves. Kennedy's winning streak is tied with Curt Schilling (2002) for the fifth longest in team history. Brandon Webb won 13 consecutive decisions in 2007-08, Brian Anderson had an 11-game win streak in 1999-2000, and Randy Johnson enjoyed 10 consecutive winning decisions twice during his time with the D-backs, in 1999-2000 and again in 2001-2002.

Happy birthday, Tyson Ross
Tyson Ross allowed one run in 6 2/3 innings in Oakland's 5-1 win over Cleveland, becoming the 13th Athletics starting pitcher since 1918 to earn a win on his birthday. Ross, who turned 25, was the first to do it since Todd Stottlemyre in 1995. Rube Walberg did it three times, in 1929, 1931 and 1932. Bobo Newsom had the most winning starts on the date of his birth, with five. Jerry Reuss and Tim Wakefield each had four.

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