Roger Schlueter

MLB Notebook: Coors Field still a haven for hitters

MLB Notebook: Coors Field still a haven for hitters

MLB Notebook: Coors Field still a haven for hitters
On July 4, 2008, the Rockies and Marlins traded blows in one of those mind-boggling offensive affairs for which Coors Field has become so famous (or infamous).

In the span of nine innings, the two teams combined for 35 runs (Colorado won the game, 18-17) and 43 hits, with 21 of those hits going for extra bases. Those 21 combined were three shy of the Major League record, and the game still stands as one of only 10 since 1918 during which each team collected at least nine extra-base hits in a nine-inning contest.

Since that game -- when the Rockies were responsible for 12 of the 21 extra-base hits -- Coors Field has played host to six more games in which a team had at least 11 hits for extra-bases, with the latest coming on Tuesday evening.

In the Nationals' 12-5 win over the Rockies, Washington collected 21 hits -- 11 for extra bases. The 21 hits were the most for the Nats since July 11, 2009, when they had 21 against the Astros. The 11 extra-base hits were the most for the franchise since the Expos had 12 on Aug. 21, 2002, also in Colorado. The franchise record is 14, set on July 30, 1978.

Tuesday's game marked the sixth this season in which a team collected at least 20 hits. Two of the six took place at Coors Field and two occurred at Target Field in Minnesota. It was the sixth game this season a team collected at least 10 extra-base hits. Coors Field has hosted two of those six occurrences --the only ballpark to have more than one.

With the Rockies and Nationals combining for 33 hits (eight doubles, six home runs, 19 singles), Coors Field in 2012 has:

• The most hits in the Majors
• The most singles in the Majors
• The third-most doubles in the Majors (Fenway has the most)
• The most triples in the Majors
• The most home runs in the Majors

More Nats bats
Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond went 4-for-5 and had three doubles to tie a franchise record. Before Desmond, the most recent Nats player to have three doubles in a game was Alberto Gonzalez in 2009. The first player to do it for the franchise was Rusty Staub, who went 4-for-5 with the trio of two-base hits in the Expos' ninth game in franchise history in 1969.

Expos/Nationals: 1,000 Hits Through First eight Seasons
Player Years Hits OPS+
Vladimir Guerrero 1996-2003 1,215 148
Andre Dawson 1976-1983 1,167 126
Jose Vidro 1997-2004 1,061 113
Tim Raines 1979-1986 1,028 132
Ryan Zimmerman 2005-2012 1,001 117
Ryan Zimmerman went 3-for-5 with a double and a home run, giving the eighth-year player 1,001 hits. Zimmerman is the fifth player in Expos/Nationals history to collect at least 1,000 hits through his first eight seasons.

The Giants defeated the Dodgers 2-0, with Ryan Vogelsong getting the win after going the first seven. San Francisco is now a game behind Los Angeles for the lead in the National League West.

Vogelsong is sixth in the NL in ERA (2.23), just ahead of teammate Matt Cain (2.27). Vogelsong has six starts this season in which he has finished with at least seven innings and no more than one run allowed. Those six are the most on the Giants, ahead of the five from Cain and Madison Bumgarner. The Giants are the only team in the Majors to have three pitchers with at least five of these starts

On the strength of 17 hits, the Angels defeated the Orioles, 7-3, to improve to 41-33 for the season.

Mike Trout went 1-for-5 with a double and a run scored. Since making his debut in the Angels' 21st game of the season on April 28, Trout has had 27 games in which he's collected at least one hit and scored at least one run. Those 27 are the most for any Angels player.

Beginning with Trout's debut game, the Angels have gone 35-19, with a .648 winning percentage that is the best in the Majors. The Angels have been tied for sixth in the American League in runs scored during this span of games.

On his 38th birthday, Derek Jeter went 2-for-5, giving him 935 career multihit games. Jeter moved past Eddie Murray and now sits alone for the seventh most multihit games since 1918. Paul Waner owns the sixth most, with 939.

With the two hits, Jeter now has 3,183 in his career. He is one shy of tying Cal Ripken Jr. for 13th on Elias' list for career hits. Jeter's 3,183 hits are behind only the totals from Ty Cobb (3,666) and Hank Aaron (3,272) for most on a player's 38th birthday.

Here and there
• Carlos Ruiz went 3-for-4 with a home run in the Phillies' 5-4 win over the Pirates, raising his average to an NL-leading .361. Through 76 team games, Ruiz has 11 games with three-or-more hits -- all while catching. Those 11 as a catcher through 76 games tie Ruiz with Mickey Cochrane (1929), Ernie Lombardi ('38), and Johnny Estrada (2004) for the fifth-most since 1918. Harry Danning (1940) and Ivan Rodriguez ('97) each had 15, and Rodriguez twice had 13, in 1998 and 2000.

• Yu Darvish (seven innings, four hits, four runs) picked up his 10th win of the year and struck out 10 to tie R.A. Dickey for the Major League lead in double-digit strikeout games, with four. Darvish is the first pitcher in Senators/Rangers franchise history to have as many as four games with 10 or more strikeouts through his first 15 career games.

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