MLB.com Columnist

Roger Schlueter

MLB Notebook: Hamilton makes 2012 unique

MLB Notebook: Hamilton makes 2012 unique

MLB Notebook: Hamilton makes 2012 unique
When Josh Hamilton connected on Darren O'Day's 0-2 pitch in the top of the eighth inning on Tuesday night, and when that connection resulted in the pitched ball reversing direction in the blink of an eye and then landing beyond the center-field fence approximately 425 feet away, the 2012 season imprinted yet another bold stamp on the game's timeline.

Before Tuesday night, no individual season in baseball history -- a glorious past that reaches back into the 1870s -- had enjoyed both a perfect game and a four-homer game. Thanks to Philip Humber and Hamilton, 2012 is the first to make that claim.

The Rangers' star slugger went 5-for-5 with four home runs and a double, drove in eight runs and compiled 18 total bases in a 10-3 win over the Orioles. Hamilton became the 16th player in baseball history to hit four home runs in a game, the sixth American League player to do it, and the first to hit four in either league since the Blue Jays' Carlos Delgado in 2003.

The other 14: Bobby Lowe (National League -- 1894), Ed Delahanty (NL -- '96), Lou Gehrig (AL -- 1932), Chuck Klein (NL -- '36), Pat Seerey (AL -- '48), Gil Hodges (NL -- '50), Joe Adcock (NL -- '54), Rocky Colavito (AL -- '59), Willie Mays (NL -- '61), Mike Schmidt (NL -- '76), Bob Horner (NL -- '86), Mark Whiten (NL -- '93), Mike Cameron (AL -- 2002) and Shawn Green (NL -- '02).

Hamilton's eight RBIs (a career high which tied for the second most in franchise history) tied him with Mays and Schmidt for the third most by a player in a four-homer game. Whiten drove in 12 runs in his (with the 12 RBIs tying the Major League record held by Jim Bottomley), and Hodges had nine RBIs when he hit his four home runs.

Since 1920: At Least 14 homers, 36 RBIs through 30 team games
Player Year HR RBIs
Cy Williams 1923 16 44
Albert Pujols 2006 16 36
Alex Rodriguez 2007 14 37
Josh Hamilton 2012 14 36
Hamilton became the 10th player to have five extra-base hits in a game. His 18 total bases (a new AL record) tied for the second most in baseball history, one shy of the 19 collected by Green in his four home run game on May 23, 2002. Green also singled in addition to his four long balls and one double. Adcock, on July 31, 1954, also had 18.

With his performance Tuesday, Hamilton has 14 home runs and 36 RBIs through the Rangers' first 30 games. He is one of four players since 1920 to have at least 14 and 36 at this point in the season.

Beltran
The Cardinals' Carlos Beltran homered twice and drove in six runs in a 6-1 win over the D-backs.

Beltran has 32 career multihomer games (including two this season), with the 32 moving him past Eddie Murray for the fourth most in history for a switch-hitter. Mickey Mantle had 46, Chipper Jones has 39 and Mark Teixeira stands at 34.

This game marked the sixth time in his career Beltran had driven in at least six runs. That total of six is tied for the second most for any switch-hitter since 1920. Teixeira has seven of these games, while Murray and Jorge Posada each had six.

Going along with his two-homer, seven-RBI game on May 2, Beltran joined Joe DiMaggio in 1948, Mays in '61, Geoff Jenkins in 2001 and Alex Rodriguez in '05 as the only players since 1918 to have, through their team's first 30 games, a pair of games with at least two home runs and at least six RBIs.

Dempster
Despite allowing just one run in seven innings, Cubs pitcher Ryan Dempster remained winless on the season, as the Braves defeated Chicago, 3-1. Dempster has made three starts this season in which he has finished with at least seven innings pitched and no more than one run allowed, and he is 0-0 in them.

Over the past 40 seasons, Dempster is one of three pitchers to have, through his team's first 30 games of the season, at least three starts of seven or more innings and one or fewer runs allowed and to not have a win in any of them. The other two: Pete Harnisch in 1991 and Todd Stottlemyre in '97.

A's walk-off win
Brandon Inge hit a game-ending grand slam in the ninth inning to give the Athletics a 7-3 victory over the Blue Jays. It was the first walk-off slam for an Athletics player since Mark Ellis hit one in the 12th inning on June 8, 2008.

Since moving to Oakland in 1968, Inge's blast represents the sixth game-ending slam for the franchise. Mark McGwire hit two, and Gene Tenace and Tony Armas each had one. Since '68, those six walk-off slams are tied for the ninth most in baseball, with the Expos/Nationals franchise having the most, with 13.

Here and there
• Washington's Bryce Harper went 1-for-4 with the sixth double of his nine-game career. Dating back to 1918, Harper is the fourth player to have that many two-base hits through his first nine big league games. Carlos Gonzalez had seven, and Harper is tied at six with George Washington and Adam Lind.

• The Pirates' A.J. Burnett fanned 10, giving him 28 career double-digit strikeout games. Burnett is tied with CC Sabathia for the fifth most among active pitchers, behind Johan Santana (50), Kerry Wood (41), Tim Lincecum (31) and Jake Peavy (30).

• Cincinnati's Jay Bruce (2-for-4, homer) became the 10th player for the Reds in the modern era to have at least 10 home runs through the team's first 29 games. Tony Perez (1970) and Eric Davis ('87) share the top mark, with 12. Bruce's teammate Joey Votto went 1-for-3 and collected his 14th double of the season. Votto is the third Reds player since 1918 to have at least 14 through the club's first 29 games, joining Don Hoak (15 in '58) and Johnny Temple (14 in '59).

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