Roger Schlueter

MLB Notebook: Moyer a classic late bloomer

MLB Notebook: Moyer a classic late bloomer

MLB Notebook: Moyer a classic late bloomer
In a start for the St. Louis Cardinals on May 21, 1991, 28-year-old Jamie Moyer lasted 2 2/3 innings, allowed four runs on five hits and took the loss to drop to 0-5 for the year. It was the final Major League appearance for Moyer for almost exactly two years, meaning that he concluded his 20s with a grand total of 34 career victories.

Since 1893, 1,214 pitchers have recorded more wins through their age-29 season than Moyer's 34. Smokey Joe Wood had 34 victories in his age-22 season alone, and Christy Mathewson had reached 30 victories in four different seasons before he turned 30.

Yet with all of that, as of Thursday, only 34 pitchers in baseball history have accumulated more wins than Jamie Moyer.

Moyer allowed one run on six hits in 6 1/3 innings and picked up his second victory of the season in the Rockies' 6-1 win over the D-backs to improve to 269-207 for his career.

Moyer now has 105 wins since his age-40 season (second most in history, behind Phil Niekro's 121), 180 victories since his age-35 season (tied with Warren Spahn for third most), and 235 wins since his age-30 season (tied with Randy Johnson for fifth most in history).

With the victory Wednesday, Moyer moved past Jim Palmer and into sole possession of 35th on the list of career wins.

Adam Jones' go-ahead home run in the top of the 15th turned out to be enough, as the Orioles defeated the Royals, 4-3.

Jones has 12 home runs this season, with nine of them either tying a game or putting his team ahead. Those nine are the most in the Majors, two ahead of the seven from the Cubs' Bryan LaHair and the Rangers' Josh Hamilton.

Since 1954, seven Orioles players have had at least 20 homers in a season that tied the game or put the team ahead. Brady Anderson had 24 of them in 1996, and Rafael Palmeiro matched that total in '97 and '98. Eddie Murray had 22 in '78, Boog Powell had 21 in '66 and Jim Gentile ('61) and Reggie Jackson ('76) each had 20.

With their 15-inning win, the Orioles improved to 5-2 in extra-inning games, and 24-14 overall. The five extra-inning wins are tied for the most in the Majors. The Marlins are 5-1 in such contests.

The 24 wins through 38 games are tied with four other O's teams for the sixth most victories through 38 games since the franchise began its stay in Baltimore in 1954. The '60, '64, '81 and '92 Orioles also began with 24-14 records.

The Rangers' Yu Darvish allowed one run on four hits in 7 2/3 innings and struck out seven in a 4-1 win over the A's, improving to 6-1.

First eight appearances: Hideo Nomo, Daisuke Matsuzaka and Yu Darvhish
Pitcher Record ERA Innings K's Hits
Hideo Nomo 2-1 2.94 49 59 32
Daisuke Matsuzaka 5-2 4.17 54 52 46
Yu Darvish 6-1 2.60 52 58 43
Darvish has recorded at least seven K's in five of his first eight Major League appearances. He is the 18th pitcher since 1918 to have as many as five games with that many strikeouts this early into a career. The most games with at least seven K's through a pitcher's first eight appearances is seven, a total shared by Herb Score, Jose DeLeon and Stephen Strasburg.

Darvish is the only Rangers pitcher to have as many as five. Fellow Japanese countrymen Hideo Nomo and Daisuke Matsuzaka also had five such games through their first eight appearances.

Here and there
• Irving Falu (1-for-3) became the third Royals player in club history -- joining Mike Kingery and Johnny Damon -- to have at least one hit in each of his first five career games. Through his first five contests, Falu has gone 8-for-20.

• In the Marlins' 8-4 win over the Braves, Emilio Bonifacio went 2-for-4, drove in two runs and improved to 20-for-20 in stolen bases attempts. In 117 games since the beginning of July 2011, Bonifacio has batted .304 (144-for-473) and has stolen 52 bases in 60 attempts.

• The Yankees' Robinson Cano doubled in a 1-for-3 night and became the 13th player in history to reach 300 two-base hits through his first eight seasons. Cano is the first second baseman to reach that milestone this early into a career. Joe Medwick had the most doubles through eight seasons, with 353.

• The Cardinals' Rafael Furcal went 3-for-4 and now has nine games with at least three hits this season through 37 team games. Since 1918, those nine through 37 team games tie him with Austin McHenry (1921), Rogers Hornsby ('21) and Stan Musial ('57, '58) for the most in franchise history.

• Bud Norris allowed one run on four hits in seven innings and improved to 4-1, as the Astros defeated the Brewers, 8-3. Houston is 7-1 in games started by Norris, who is 3-0 in three May starts. In those three games, Norris allowed two runs in 19 innings, surrendered 10 hits and struck out 21.

• Jeremy Hellickson allowed one run on five hits in six innings and recorded the win, as Tampa Bay defeated Boston, 2-1. Hellickson and fellow Rays starters James Shields and David Price are a combined 16-3 with a 3.14 ERA in 24 starts this season.

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