Roger Schlueter

MLB Notebook: Salty homers in a pinch

MLB Notebook: Salty homers in a pinch

MLB Notebook: Salty homers in a pinch
Terry Francona managed the Boston Red Sox to 744 regular-season victories, but he never got to see the club turn a potential loss into a win on a walk-off home run from a pinch-hitter.

However, his father did.

On June 26, 1964, Terry's father, Tito, was manning first base for the Indians in the bottom of the ninth at Fenway Park when pinch-hitter Russ Nixon walked to the plate. Felix Mantilla was leading off of first, Tommy John was on the mound, and Carl Yastrzemski had just been retired for the second out of the inning. And then, Tito got to turn and watch as a 2-1 Indians lead transformed instantly into a 3-2 Red Sox victory on Nixon's game-winning shot.

Saturday, with Boston trailing, 2-1, to the Rays, Jarrod Saltalamacchia hit a pinch-hit, two-run home run in the bottom of the ninth to give the Red Sox a 3-2 victory. Saltalamacchia's blast was Boston's first game-ending home run from a pinch-hitter with the team trailing since Nixon's two-run homer off John in that 1964 contest.

Mark Teixeira hit two homers in the Yankees' 9-2 win over the Athletics, giving the switch-hitter 35 career multihomer games. Teixeira is four shy of tying Chipper Jones for the second most in history for a switch-hitter. Mickey Mantle had 46.

Derek Jeter collected a pair of singles to increase his career hit total to 3,154 -- the same career total as George Brett. Jeter began the season 19th on the all-time list, and he has passed Hall of Famers Dave Winfield, Tony Gwynn, Robin Yount and Paul Waner to now tie Brett in the 14th slot. (All rankings are based on Elias Sports Bureau hit totals).

Robinson Cano doubled and homered as part of a three-hit game, and he now has 481 career extra-base hits. His 481 extra-base hits through his first eight seasons are the most in history among players who spent at least 75 percent of their time at second base. Alfonso Soriano is second, with 466, and is followed by Tony Lazzeri (443), Chase Utley (442) and Joe Gordon (439).

Through his first 1,099 contests, Cano has had 72 games in which he was playing second and had at least two extra-base hits. Those 72 through his first 1,099 are the second most for any second baseman since 1918, behind Utley's 78.

White Sox slugger Paul Konerko had a perfect day at the plate vs. the Indians, going 4-for-4 with three doubles and a walk.

Slugging at 36
First basemen who've posted an OPS+ of at least 145 in age-36 season, since 1920.
Player, Year BA OBP SLG HR RBI
Musial, 1957 .358 .424 .627 12 45
Weintraub, 1944 .331 .441 .574 8 39
Evans, 1983 .338 .444 .650 12 30
Cash, 1971 .277 .383 .643 11 22
Clark, 2000 .333 .482 .417 0 4
Konerko, 2012 .396 .473 .667 10 29
Konerko -- who is playing in his age-36 season -- is currently leading the American League in batting and on-base percentage, and his OPS+ through Chicago's first 47 games stands at 207.

Since 1920, five first basemen in their age-36 season have qualified for the batting title and have posted a season-ending OPS+ of at least 145: Stan Musial (172 OPS+ in 1957), Phil Weintraub (163 in '44), Darrell Evans (150 in '83), Norm Cash (149 in '71) and Will Clark (145 in 2000).

Phillies tossing goose eggs
Kyle Kendrick threw a seven-hitter for his first career shutout, as the Phillies blanked the Cardinals, 4-0.

Kendrick became the fourth different Phillies pitcher since the start of last season to throw a shutout, joining Cliff Lee (who has six), Roy Halladay (one) and Joe Blanton (one).

Seven other teams have received shutouts from at least four different pitchers in the past two seasons: the Angels, Blue Jays, Cardinals, Giants, Marlins, Rangers and White Sox (who have had shutouts from five different pitchers).

The Mets' Johan Santana threw a four-hitter vs. the Padres and notched his first shutout since Aug. 12, 2010.

With seven strikeouts and no walks, this start produced a game score (an equation used to measure a pitcher's dominance) of 86 -- the 12th time in his career Santana has been at 85 or better.

Among active pitchers, that total stands as the third most, behind the 15 from CC Sabathia and the 14 by Roy Halladay.

Here and there
• Josh Hamilton's 20th home run of the year -- a game-ending, two-run shot in the bottom of the 13th -- gave the Rangers an 8-7 victory over the Blue Jays. Hamilton's third career walk-off home run made him the 15th player in history to have at least 20 home runs through his team's first 47 games.

• At the age of 45 years and 32 days, Omar Vizquel (3-for-6) became the oldest player since Julio Franco on Sept. 30, 2006, to collect three hits in a game. That day, Franco was 48 years and 38 days old. Besides Franco and Vizquel, the only other players since 1918 to have a three-hit game after their 45th birthdays were Pete Rose and Satchel Paige.

• In Oakland's 47th game of the year, outfielder Josh Reddick hit his 13th home run. Over the past 20 seasons, Reddick is the sixth Oakland player to have as many as 13 through 47 team games. The others: Mark McGwire (18 in 1995), Jason Giambi (17 in 2000), McGwire (14 in 1997), Nick Swisher (14 in 2006) and Eric Chavez (13 in '04).

• Albert Pujols homered in his third straight game, and the Angels won their fifth straight contest. Pujols hit his first home run of the year on May 6. With that game as the starting point, he owns a .280/.326/.561 slash line in his past 20 games. He entered that May 6 game with a line of .194/.237/.269 in 27 games.

• For the second straight game, Reds first baseman Joey Votto had a pair of doubles. Votto leads the Majors with 21 doubles, with those 21 coming through 46 team games. Since 1918, that total through that many games is tied for the 16th most. Waner, who had 31 in '32, owns the highest total.

• The Dodgers defeated the Astros, 6-3, on A.J. Ellis' game-ending, three-run homer. Since the start of the 2007 season, the Dodgers have hit 16 walk-off homers, a total that ties them with the Rockies for the fifth most in the Majors. Andre Ethier (six) and Matt Kemp (five) are responsible for 11 of the Dodgers' 16.

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