By the first days of summer in 1917, fans of the Boston Red Sox might have been a little spoiled when it came to pitching. After all, in the previous six seasons, Boston had tossed a trio of no-hitters. And from '01-16, the club had authored seven no-hitters, including the American League's first perfect game in '04.
Leave it to Babe Ruth to stir things up.
On June 23, 1917, Ruth was the starting pitcher for Boston in the first game of a doubleheader, but he didn't stick around very long. Ruth walked the first batter, argued with umpire Brick Owens, was tossed from the game for his display of unhappiness and replaced by Ernie Shore.
The runner on first was thrown out trying to steal, Shore faced and retired 26 batters in a row, and the game's first combined no-hitter was in the books.
Mariners' combo no-no
This effort marked the 10th combined no-hitter in baseball history, and the first since the Astros used six pitchers in an Interleague game to defeat the Yankees on June 11, 2003.
SEA vs. LAD
PIT vs. HOU
ATL vs. SD
BAL @ OAK
CAL vs. SEA
CWS @ OAK
OAK vs. CAL
BAL vs. DET GM 1*
BOS vs. WAS GM 1
* Orioles lost, 2-1, to Tigers
This game marked the third no-hitter in Mariners history. Randy Johnson threw the first on June 2, 1990, and Chris Bosio threw one on April 22, 1993. This was also the fifth in Interleague history. The others: David Cone (perfect game in 1999), the Astros' combined no-no (2003), Justin Verlander ('07) and Edwin Jackson (2010). The Angels kept the Dodgers to no hits on June 28, 2008, but only threw eight innings in the loss as the visiting team, so it was not an official no-hitter.
The combined no-hitter Friday was the fourth no-no of this season. Philip Humber threw a perfect game on April 21 to start things off, and then Jered Weaver (May 2) and Johan Santana (June 1) followed with no-hitters.
In the Nationals' 7-4 win over the Red Sox, Stephen Strasburg improved to 7-1 on the season, allowing two runs in six innings and striking out 13. The performance marked the fifth time in his 29-game career he had fanned at least 10.
Dating back to 1918, Strasburg is tied with seven others for the 10th-most double-digit strikeout games for any pitcher through his first 29 appearances. Dwight Gooden owns the record, with 14.
This game marked the second time this season Strasburg struck out 13 in six innings. Dating back to 1918, only two other pitchers had multiple games in a season in which they had at least 13 strikeouts in no more than six innings. Johnson had a pair in 2001, and A.J. Burnett had two in '05.
Harper and Trout
Nats rookie Bryce Harper fell a triple shy of the cycle, going 3-for-5 with three RBIs. The homer and double gave him 18 extra-base hits this season. The high mark for extra-base hits in a season by a player in his age-19 season or younger is 48, shared by Mel Ott in 1928 and matched by Phil Cavarretta in '35.
Phenoms Bryce Harper and Mike Trout in 2012
The Angels' Mike Trout assembled his 16th multihit game of the season, going 3-for-4 with three runs scored vs. the Rockies. Trout has 49 hits since the start of May -- tied with Angel Pagan for the third most in the Majors, behind only Melky Cabrera (60) and Miguel Cabrera (51).
In his three-hit game on Friday, Harper was 19 years and 236 days old, while Trout's most recent three-hit game came at the age of 20 years and 306 days. Harper and Trout -- the two youngest players in the Majors -- each made their 2012 season debuts on April 28.
Cincinnati's Joey Votto homered and doubled in a 3-for-5 night that extended his hitting streak to 14 games. During this streak, Votto has batted .549 with an .882 slugging percentage.
Votto has a Major League-leading 35 extra-base hits on the season (10 homers and 25 doubles). He is the fourth player since 1918 to have at least 35 extra-base hits through the Reds' first 57 games. Johnny Bench had 37 in 1970, Ival Goodman had 36 in '38, and Sean Casey had 35 in '99.
With the D-backs down by two runs in the bottom of the ninth, Ryan Roberts hit a two-out, three-run home run to defeat the A's, 9-8.
There have been 99 game-ending home runs since the start of the 2011 season, and 72 of the 99 came when the game was tied. Among the other 27, 20 came with the eventual winning team down by one run, four with the winning team down by two runs, and three when the eventual victors were down by three runs.
Roberts is one of three players since the start of last season to have two game-ending home runs when his team was trailing, with Travis Hafner and Josh Hamilton being the other two. In both of Roberts' walk-off homers, his team was down to its final out -- neither Hamilton nor Hafner could make that claim.
Arizona's Paul Goldschmidt homered and singled in a 2-for-4 night that extended his hitting streak to 15 games. During the streak, Goldschmidt has six home runs, nine doubles and a .927 slugging percentage.
Torii Hunter homered twice and drove in six runs in the Angels' 7-2 victory over the Rockies.
The game marked the sixth time in his career Hunter had driven in at least six runs, with his career high being seven RBIs. Hunter's total of six games with six or more runs driven in is tied for the third most among active players (not including Manny Ramirez, who has seven). Alex Rodriguez has 14 games with six-plus RBIs, and Mark Teixeira has seven. Carlos Beltran, Jason Giambi and Aramis Ramirez each also have seven.
Roger Schlueter is senior researcher for MLB Productions. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.