MLB Notebook: Giants fare well without homers

MLB Notebook: Giants fare well without homers

MLB Notebook: Giants fare well without homers
The Giants are doing it again. Last season, San Francisco didn't hit a home run in more than half of its games -- 84, to be exact. Although this percentage is not necessarily noteworthy, how the club fared in those 84 games is worth mentioning.

Between 1998 and 2011, 29 teams tallied at least 80 homerless games in a season, but among those 29, the 2011 San Francisco squad is the only one that managed a .500 record in those games. When going without a home run in 2011, San Francisco compiled a 42-42 record; impressive for sure, but the Giants have enjoyed even more success this year, assembling a .548 winning percentage when the opposition has kept them in the yard.

In Sunday's 2-0 win over the Cubs, the Giants collected a pair of doubles and a pair of singles. They now have 17 wins when held without a homer, the most in the Majors. Their 31 homerless games are the second most in the Majors, behind the Padres' 36.

At the other end of the spectrum, the Yankees are winless when they haven't homered.

In defeating the Cubs and picking up his 150th career victory, Barry Zito allowed four hits in 8 1/3 scoreless innings. He is the 63rd left-hander in baseball history with at least 150 wins. His career ERA+ of 111 is tied for 33rd among these 63 pitchers, and his 1,722 strikeouts rank 31st.

• Derek Jeter homered to lead off the game and singled later in the Yankees' 5-1 win over the Tigers, giving him his 22nd multihit game of the season and tying him with Paul Konerko and Ian Kinsler for the the second most in the American League.

The leadoff homer was the 27th of Jeter's career, tying him with Johnny Damon for the 17th most in history.

Jeter has 49 multihit games since turning 37 (he'll turn 38 on June 26). That ties him for the 14th most for any player between his 37th and 38th birthdays since 1918. The others are Jake Daubert, Kiki Cuyler and Mark Grudzielanek. Zack Wheat has the most, with 66, followed by Tony Gwynn (65), Ty Cobb (61) and Ichiro Suzuki (59).

• Toronto's Drew Hutchison allowed one run on five hits in seven innings, and in his ninth career game, picked up his fifth win. It was the fourth time he has finished with at least six innings and no more than one run allowed. The other pitchers in Blue Jays history to have at least four such starts through their first nine appearances are Brandon Lyon (five), Mark Rzepczynski (four) and and Jesse Litsch (four).

• Despite home runs from the first two batters -- Steve Lombardozzi and Bryce Harper -- of the game, the Nationals lost to the Braves, 3-2. It was the third time in Expos/Nationals history that the first two batters went deep. On June 16, 2002, Brad Wilkerson and Jose Vidro went back-to-back in a 6-5 Expos win over the Blue Jays. Exactly nine years later, Washington's Jayson Werth and Roger Bernadina opened up an eventual 7-4 win over the Cardinals with consecutive blasts.

Lombardozzi's home run was the first of his career.

• Carlos Zambrano (7 2/3 innings, four hits, one run) won his fourth game of the season and helped his own cause with his first home run of the season. He now has 24 career home runs, tied for the seventh most in history.

Most home runs as a pitcher
Pitcher Homers
Wes Ferrell 37
Warren Spahn 35
Bob Lemon 35
Red Ruffing 34
Earl Wilson 33
Don Drysdale 29
John Clarkson 24
Bob Gibson 24
Carlos Zambrano 24
• The Astros' Justin Maxwell hit his Major League-leading third pinch-hit homer of the year. The franchise record for pinch-hit homers in a season is five, set by Cliff Johnson in 1974.

• Chris Sale allowed two runs on five hits, struck out eight and notched his first career complete game. With the effort -- which generated a game score of 75 -- Sale is the first White Sox lefty since Mark Buehrle in 2005 to have three starts with a score of at least 75 through the first third of the season.

• The Royals blanked the Athletics, 2-0, handing Oakland its 11th shutout of the season. The only other team since 1918 to have been shut out at least 11 times within its first 54 contests is the 1954 Pirates.

• James McDonald fanned eight in six innings and picked up the win as the Pirates defeated the Brewers, 6-5. McDonald has struck out at least eight in six starts this season, tying him with Cole Hamels for the most in the Majors. It's the most by a Pirates pitcher through 53 team games since Bob Veale had six in 1966.

• Nelson Cruz hit his eighth homer of the season in the Rangers' 7-3 victory over the Angels. The distance -- an estimated 484 feet -- makes it the longest home run of the season, eclipsing the 481-foot blast hit by Travis Hafner on April 15.

• Trevor Cahill threw a six-hitter for his first shutout since Aug. 2, 2010, in the D-backs' 6-0 win over the Padres. Cahill's performance produced a game score of 75, the eighth time this season a pitcher has put up a score of at least 75 against San Diego. The only other team to be on the wrong end of that many 75-game score starts is Oakland. In contrast, no pitcher this season has posted a score that high against the Rangers or Dodgers.

• Jonathon Niese struck out a career-high 10 against one walk and picked up the win in the Mets' 6-1 victory over the Cardinals.

In the last turn through the rotation, Mets starters are 4-0 with a no-decision and have allowed five runs (all earned) in 36 2/3 innings (1.23 ERA) with 36 strikeouts. Niese's outing marks the 28th time through 1,614 starts this season a pitcher has fanned at least 10 and walked no more than one. Last season there were 91 such performances, the most in any season since the league expanded to 30 teams in 1998. Through the first 1,606 starts in 2011, there were 32 pitching lines of 10 K's or more with one or no walks.

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