MLB Notebook: Wright off to historic start

MLB Notebook: Wright off to historic start

MLB Notebook: Wright off to historic start
In the first inning of a game between the Reds and Mets on May 17, 1969, Cleon Jones came to bat with men on first and second, saw a pitch from Jack Fisher of the Reds that looked hittable, swung, and hit his seventh home run of the season. Jones would finish that day with a 1-for-2 line, lifting his batting average to a National League-leading .388. Until Thursday, when David Wright did his own damage against the Reds, Jones' .388 mark had been the best ever by a Mets player through games played on May 17.

In a perfect day at the plate Thursday, David Wright doubled twice, drew three walks, scored three times and drove in a run. AFterward, he boasted a slash line of .411/.513/.621.

Dating to 1962, the Mets' first season, Wright is one of eight National Leaguers to be hitting .411 or better when the games on May 17 were in the books. The others:

• Chipper Jones: .412 in 2008
• Todd Helton: .417 in 2000
• Larry Walker: .411 in 1999
• Barry Larkin: .425 in 1995*
• Barry Bonds: .430 in 1993
• Billy Grabarkewitz: .420 in 1970
• Willie Mays: .411 in 1964

*The 1995 season began later than normal, commencing on April 25

Orioles In Kansas City, the Orioles defeated the Royals, 5-3, and Adam Jones hit his 13th home run of the season.

The Orioles have won seven straight as the visiting team, their longest road winning streak since capturing 10 straight in 1999.

Jones has 13 single-homer games this season, with the club going 12-1 in those contests. Jones homered in 25 different games last season, with Baltimore owning an 11-14 record in those games.

Pirates most multi-HR games through first career 455 games since 1918
Multi-HR Games Players
17 Ralph Kiner
9 Jason Bay
8 Dick Stuart, Wally Westlake
7 Willie Stargell
6 Brian Giles
5 Aramis Ramirez, Barry Bonds, Andrew McCutchen
Andrew McCutchen produced his fifth career multi-homer game in the Pirates' 5-3 victory over the Nationals. McCutchen's five games with at least two home runs have come through his first 455 career games.

James McDonald struck out a career-high 11 batters in a stint lasting 5 2/3 innings, and won his third game of the season.

McDonald's strikeout totals in his past five starts have been eight, 10, seven, eight and 11. He became the eighth Pirates pitcher in the live-ball era to have at least five straight games with at least seven strikeouts. The others: Bob Veale (six straight in 1965, five in 1966, five in 1969), Jose DeLeon (five in 1983), Paul Wagner (five in 1996) and Oliver Perez (twice had five straight in 2004).

McDonald is the second Pirates pitcher this season, joining Erik Bedard, to have at least 11 strikeouts in a game in which he failed to last six innings. The only other team since 1918 to have two pitchers have a line like this in a single season was the 2009 Yankees. On May 5 of that year, Joba Chamberlain struck out 12 in a start that lasted 5 2/3 innings, and on Sept. 23, A.J. Burnett fanned 11 in 5 2/3.

In the Blue Jays' 4-1 win over the Yankees, Jose Bautista hit his 10th home run of the year, giving himself homers in successive games for the second time in the past seven days. Before his recent barrage, which has seen Bautista hit five home runs in seven games, he had not homered in successive contests since July 2011.

Atlanta's Brandon Beachy threw a five-hit shutout -- the first shutout of his career -- and lowered his league-leading ERA to 1.33.

He became the first Braves pitcher since Tim Hudson on May 2, 2008 to throw a shutout without walking a batter.

Beachy has made seven straight starts in which he has gone at least six innings and allowed no more than two runs. The streak is the longest by a Braves pitcher since Tom Glavine had a run of seven straight in 2002. Since 1920, the longest consecutive run of games with six-plus innings and two-or-fewer runs allowed by a Braves pitcher belongs to Greg Maddux, who had 13 such games in a row in 1995. Maddux's streak is tied for the second longest for any pitcher in the live-ball era. The Astros' Mike Scott strung together 14 straight starts of this definition in 1986.

Carlos Ruiz went 4-for-5 and drove in three runs to help Phillies defeat the Cubs, 8-7. Ruiz has six career games with four-or-more hits, tying him with Bob Boone and Darren Daulton for the sixth-most such games by a Phillies catcher since 1918. Spud Davis and Mike Lieberthal each had nine, Bo Diaz had eight, and Smoky Burgess and Butch Henline each had seven. For all catchers from all teams since 1918, Ivan Rodriguez owns the most games with four-or-more hits while in the lineup as a catcher, with 43.

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