Roger Schlueter

MLB Notebook: Melky making run at history

MLB Notebook: Melky making run at history

MLB Notebook: Melky making run at history
Baseball's all-time mark for the most hits in a season by a switch-hitter is 230, shared by Pete Rose in 1973 and Willie Wilson in 1980.

In 1973, Rose enjoyed his greatest productivity (hit-wise) in July, when he played in 31 games and collected 52 hits. Like Rose, Wilson also had his greatest hit total in July, when he amassed 49 in 26 games. Through the Royals' first 50 games in that 1980 season, Wilson had compiled 66 hits. Similarly, Rose had not yet found a record-setting gear through his team's first 50 games in 1973, as he had 60 knocks at that point.

So in 2012, not only has Melky Cabrera become the only switch-hitter in the expansion era to collect 50 hits in the month of May, he has -- at this point -- far outpaced what Wilson and Rose did in their record-setting seasons. Melky now has 77 hits on the year, through his team's first 50 games; among switch-hitters, that total through that many games has been topped only twice in the live-ball era -- by Max Carey in 1925, and by Roberto Alomar in '96.

• Cabrera went 3-for-4 and scored a pair of runs in San Francisco's 3-1 victory over Arizona. The three-hit game marked the 25th time this season Cabrera has collected at least two hits, and gave the switch-hitter 50 hits for the month.

   o The 25 multihit games, through the team's first 50 games, tied Cabrera with Frankie Frisch (1923) and Bill Terry ('29) for the fourth most for the franchise since 1920. Terry had 30 in 1930, Willie Mays had 28 in '58, and Jo-Jo Moore had 27 in '34.

   o Cabrera is the fourth player in the past 50 seasons to have at least 50 hits in the month of May: Billy Williams (51 in 1964), Carney Lansford (52 in '88) and Ichiro Suzuki (50 in 2004) are the other three.

   o Since the Giants started playing in San Francisco in 1958, Cabrera is the first player to have 50 hits in May, and only the second player to have at least 50 in any single month. Randy Winn had 51 in September 2005.

• The Cubs defeated the Padres, 5-3, with Alfonso Soriano hitting his seventh home run of the season. All seven of Soriano's long balls have come in his past 14 games, a stretch that has seen him bat .320 with an .800 slugging percentage.

• David Ortiz collected two doubles and a home run, leading the Red Sox to a 6-3 victory over the Tigers.

   o Since 2003 (his first year with the Red Sox), Ortiz has 13 games with three or more extra-base hits, a total that ties him with Mike Lowell for the fourth most over that stretch. Mark Teixeira has 20, Albert Pujols has 18 and Aramis Ramirez has 15.

   o Through 49 Red Sox games this season, Ortiz has 29 extra-base hits. Since 1918, that total ties him with Ted Williams in '48, Jim Rice in '78, Nomar Garciaparra in 2003 and Ortiz in '07 for the fifth most for the franchise. Earl Webb had 33 in 1931, Ortiz had 32 in 2004, Jimmie Foxx had 31 in 1938 and Mike Lowell had 31 in 2006.

   o Since the start of the 2003 season, Ortiz has the second-most extra-base hits in the Majors (710), behind the 769 collected by Pujols.

• Justin Verlander (six innings, 10 hits, five runs) ran his streak of consecutive starts with at least six innings to 53 in a row, matching Bob Gibson (1972-73) for the sixth-longest streak in the live-ball era.

A Tale of two streaks
Justin Verlander on Tuesday ran his streak of consecutive starts with at least six innings to 53, matching Bob Gibson (1972-1973) for the sixth-longest streak in the liveball era. A quick comparison of numbers compiled by the two during their runs.
Bob Gibson 442.1 30 18 2.46 333 131
Justin Verlander 394.1 34 9 2.42 399 82

• Adam Jones went 3-for-3 with two home runs, extending his hitting streak to 20 games. Jones, who is the third player to hit in 20 consecutive games this season (joining Giants Pablo Sandoval and Angel Pagan), is the 14th player to have a 20-game hitting streak for the franchise since it moved to Baltimore for the 1954 season.

• Yadier Molina went 4-for-4 with a home run, giving the Cardinals catcher a trio of four-hit games this season. Molina is the 12th player since 1918 to have three games with four or more hits while catching, through his team's first 50 games. Before Molina, Paul Lo Duca (2004) was the most recent to do it. For the Cardinals, only Ted Simmons (1976) had done it before Molina.

O's Hit Streaks (1954-2012)
Adam Jones is moving up the Orioles' all-time list of longest hitting streaks.
Games Player Year
30 Eric Davis 1998
24 Rafael Palmeiro 1994
23 Melvin Mora 2003
22 Roberto Alomar 1996
22 Eddie Murray 1984
21 B.J. Surhoff 2000
21 B.J. Surhoff 1999
21 Joe Orsulak 1991
21 Doug DeCinces 1978
20 Adam Jones 2012
20 Brian Roberts 2005
20 Bobby Bonilla 1995
20 Lee Lacy 1985
20 Bob Nieman 1956

• The Marlins defeated the Nationals, 3-1, to improve to a Major League-best 20-8 since the beginning of May. The 20 victories in the month also established a new franchise record for any calendar month, surpassing the 19 wins accumulated in August 1997.

During May, the Marlins are tied for third in runs scored in the National League and tied for sixth in runs allowed. When April ended, Miami had the third-worst record in the NL (8-14) and already found itself six games off the lead in the NL East. The club is now tied for the fourth-best record in the NL and is tied for second in the NL East, 1 1/2 games off the pace.

• Playing in his 29th game, Bryce Harper collected his fourth triple. Over the past 40 seasons, that total through that many games is tied for the fifth most. The only players to have more than four through their first 29 games: Butch Davis (six), Carl Crawford (five), Andrew McCutchen (five) and Jeff Stone (five).

• The White Sox got a home run from Dayan Viciedo in their win over the Rays, giving the club at least one homer in 15 straight games -- the longest streak for the club since 2004. Over his past 15 games, Viciedo has eight homers, 22 RBIs and is batting .424 with an .847 slugging percentage. The White Sox are 12-3 in those 15 contests.

• Josh Willingham hit a three-run home run with two outs in the bottom of the ninth to elevate the Twins to a 3-2 victory over the Athletics. It was the first time since Aug. 15, 1995, that the Twins got a walk-off home run when down by at least two with two outs in their last at-bat. In that game nearly 17 years ago, Kirby Puckett hit a three-run shot off the Mariners' Bobby Ayala for the win.

• The Angels defeated the Yankees, 5-1, to run their winning streak to eight games. Pujols, who collected two hits and hit his eighth home run of the season, is batting .375 with an .875 slugging percentage during the winning streak, hitting five home runs and driving in 10 during the stretch.

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