MLB Notebook: Price leaves duels empty-handed

MLB Notebook: Price leaves duels empty-handed

David Price sits among the top five in the American League in wins (first), ERA (first), innings (fourth), strikeouts (fifth), WHIP (fifth), hits per nine (third) and OPS against (fourth).

From this perspective, Price is making quite a case as his league's best pitcher. Thanks in large part to his work this August, he's also making some history.

Price's start on Tuesday night marked the third time in his career (and second time this month) he had finished with eight scoreless innings, no more than three hits allowed and a no-decision. Those three career no-decisions in starts with at least eight shutout innings and three or fewer hits allowed made him the fifth pitcher since 1918 to have at least three.

Nolan Ryan had four such starts in his 27-year career: three coming with Houston (one each in 1985, '86 and '87) and a final one with the Rangers in '90. Price shares the second spot with Jose DeLeon, Dennis Martinez and Tom Seaver, who went 10 innings in each of his three such starts.

Price vs. Hochevar
The Royals defeated the Rays, 1-0, in 10 innings, following an epic duel between Luke Hochevar (eight innings, one hit, 10 K's) and Price (eight innings, three hits, 8 K's).

The Hochevar-Price duel marked the first game in which both starters finished with at least eight scoreless innings and no more than three hits allowed since July 17, 2011. In that contest, Josh Beckett allowed one hit in eight shutout frames, while the Rays' Jeff Niemann put together a line of two hits in eight scoreless innings.

Tuesaday's game was the second this month to feature Price in a classic duel. On Aug. 5, he allowed two hits in eight scoreless innings, while the Orioles' Miguel Gonzalez allowed two hits and no runs in seven innings. Baltimore won that game, 1-0, in 10 innings.

Hochevar's line produced a game score (an equation used to determine a pitcher's dominance) of 87 -- the highest for a Royals pitcher since Bruce Chen's two-hit shutout with seven strikeouts and two walks produced an 88 on Oct. 1, 2010. That game was also against the Rays.

Tuesday's game marked the first 1-0, extra-inning win for the Royals since Sept. 14, 1983, when they beat the Angels in 14 innings. They are fourth in the AL in team shutouts this season, with 10. The 10 are the most for the club since the 2003 Royals also had 10.

Strasburg
Stephen Strasburg (six innings, one run, 10 K's, one walk) improved to 15-5 as Washington defeated Atlanta, 4-1, and took a seven-game lead over the Braves in the National League East.

In the NL Triple Crown categories, Strasburg is tied for third in wins, is seventh in ERA (2.85) and is first in strikeouts (183). In other rate categories, he is tied for fifth in WHIP, is first in K's per nine, is seventh in hits per nine, and seventh in strikeout-to-walk ratio.

Strasburg is averaging 11.33 strikeouts per nine with a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 4.26. Only two qualifying pitchers in baseball history have been in their age-23 season or younger and finished the season with a strikeout rate of at least 11 per nine: Dwight Gooden in 1984 (with a 3.78 strikeout-to-walk ratio) and Kerry Wood in '98 (with a 2.74 strikeout-to-walk ratio).

Strasburg's line Tuesday marked the eighth time in his 42-game career Strasburg had fanned at least 10. Those eight through his first 42 tie him with Vida Blue, Jim Bibby and Roger Clemens for the eighth most since 1918. Gooden, with 18, had the most.

Jeter
Derek Jeter's 29th career homer to lead off a game gave him 3,256 career hits and moved him out of tie with Eddie Murray into sole possession of 11th place on the all-time list.

Jeter entered the season with 3,088 hits which, on the Elias hits list, had him at 19th all-time. In moving up into the 11th spot, he has passed Dave Winfield, Tony Gwynn, Robin Yount, Paul Waner, George Brett, Cal Ripken Jr., Nap Lajoie and Murray.

The 29 career lead-off homers tie Jeter with Kenny Lofton for the 14th most in history.

Frazier
Todd Frazier homered and doubled in the Reds' 5-4 win over the Phillies, giving him 54 extra-base hits -- including 24 home runs -- since making his Major League debut on May 23, 2011 (a total of 138 games). Among all Reds players since 1918:

• The 54 extra-base hits in his first 138 games tie Frazier with Sean Casey for the fifth most. Frank Robinson had 67, Vada Pinson had 65, Adam Dunn had 63 and Edwin Encarnacion had 57.

• Frazier's 24 home runs are the fifth most. Robinson had 38, Hank Sauer had 34, Dunn had 33 and Jay Bruce had 31.

• Among NL rookies this season, Frazier's 18 home runs are the second most (to Wilin Rosario's 19) and his 43 extra-base hits are the second most (to his teammate Zack Cozart's 47).

Wainwright
Adam Wainwright tied a career high with 12 K's and hurled a five-hitter for his second shutout (and third complete game) of the season in the Cardinals' 7-0 win over the Astros.

In his past nine starts, Wainwright owns a 1.98 ERA in 63 2/3 innings and has gone 6-2. In those outings, he has allowed 50 hits and has struck out 63.

Wainwright is the first Cardinals pitcher since Todd Stottlemyre on May 15, 1996, to throw a shutout and strike out at least 12. He is the first Cardinals pitcher to do that and not issue more than one walk since Jose DeLeon on Sept. 6, 1988.

King Felix
In his first start after throwing the 23rd perfect game in history, Felix Hernandez allowed one run in 7 2/3 innings and improved to 12-5, as the Mariners upended the Indians, 5-1, for their seventh straight win.

Hernandez, who has won eight consecutive decisions, has 15 games this season in which he has finished with at least seven innings and no more than one run allowed. His 15 are tied for the most by a Mariners pitcher in a season, matching the mark he established in 2010.

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