MLB Notebook: High-flying O's grab share of first

MLB Notebook: High-flying O's grab share of first

MLB Notebook: High-flying O's grab share of first
On Sept. 4, 1997, the Orioles defeated the Yankees, 5-2, at Yankee Stadium, with Rick Krivda getting the win to improve to 3-0 on the season. Krivda was ably supported by an Orioles lineup that featured Cal Ripken Jr., B.J. Surhoff, Geronimo Berroa, Harold Baines and Jeffrey Hammonds, and Baltimore got a combined three scoreless relief innings from Terry Mathews, Arthur Rhodes, Jesse Orosco and Randy Myers, who picked up his franchise record 41st save. Hammonds and Berroa had outfield assists, Ripken started a double play from third base and Baines increased his career RBI total to 1,416. With the win, Baltimore moved to 86-51 and stretched its lead over the Yankees in the American League East to 7 1/2 games.

On the 15th anniversary of that victory, the 2012 Orioles moved to 76-59 for the season; although the winning percentage is not quite as good as it was on this day in 1997, the present O's and that '97 club do share the same spot in the standings.

• Mark Reynolds homered for the fifth time in his past five games, Zach Britton threw seven innings of four-hit ball, and the O's cruised to a 12-0 win over the Blue Jays. The victory, combined with the Rays' win over the Yankees, moved Baltimore into a tie with New York for first place in the AL East.

• The Orioles, who own a 31-19 record since the All-Star break (second best in the AL), last saw a first-place position in September in 1997.

• This win gave the Orioles back-to-back shutouts for the third time this season, as well as nine overall. The nine are the most for the club since 2007. Seven of the Orioles' nine shutouts (including this one) have come on the road, with the seven representing the third-highest total in the Majors this season. The Phillies and Athletics each have eight.

• Reynolds' five home runs in his past five games match his total homer output from his previous 39 games.

• Britton has now won four consecutive starts, and owns a 0.94 ERA in 28.2 innings during this winning streak.

Rays
The Rays defeated the Yankees, 5-2, to move to within 1 1/2 games of first in the AL East. Tampa Bay is 9-5 against the Yankees this season.

Tigers
Miguel Cabrera hit a two-run homer in the Tigers' 3-2 loss to the Indians, giving him 1,097 RBIs for his career. Getting to 1,100 this season would make him the seventh player in history to reach the milestone through his first 10 seasons. The others: Joe DiMaggio (1,277), Al Simmons (1,275), Ted Williams (1,261), Albert Pujols (1,230), Lou Gehrig (1,146) and Hank Aaron (1,121). Mark Teixeira, playing in his 10th season this year, has 1,098.

Nationals
Washington hit six homers as part of a 19-hit attack and defeated the Cubs, 11-5.

• Ian Desmond hit his 20th home run of the season to become the first Expos/Nationals shortstop to reach that mark.

• The six homers were the most for the club since May 20, 2011, and two shy of the franchise record set on July 30, 1978.

Pirates
Andrew McCutchen had a double and three singles for his sixth four-hit game of the season, and the Pirates defeated the Astros, 6-2. McCutchen's six games with four-or-more hits are the most in the Majors and the most for a Pirates player since Jeff King had six in 1996. McCutchen leads the National League with 172 hits; no Pirates player has led the league in that category since Andy Van Slyke in 1992.

• Playing in his fourth career game, Pirates second baseman Brock Holt went 4-for-5 with a double and three singles. Holt is the first Pirates player since Jack Merson in 1951 to have a four-hit game so early into his career. On Sept. 15, 1951, Merson went 4-for-5 (falling a homer shy of the cycle) and drove in six runs in his second career ballgame.

Phillies
Jimmy Rollins doubled in four trips to the plate, giving him 2,000 career hits.

• Rollins is the fourth player in Phillies history to reach the milestone, joining Mike Schmidt (2,234), Richie Ashburn (2,217) and Ed Delahanty (2,214).

• Rollins is the 31st shortstop in history (75 percent of career games at SS) with at least 2,000 hits. He is one of 10 to reach the milestone through his first 13 seasons. The others in this group: Derek Jeter (2,356), Dick Groat (2,123), Maury Wills (2,117), Miguel Tejada (2,114), Ripken (2,087), Ed McKean (2,084), Arky Vaughan (2,073), Edgar Renteria (2,070) and Robin Yount (2,019).

Marlins
Giancarlo Stanton hit his 30th homer of the season, and the 86th of his career.

• Stanton, who hit 34 long balls in 2011, is the 10th player in history to have multiple 30-homer seasons through his age-22 season. The others (all of whom had two): Jimmie Foxx, Ted Williams, Eddie Mathews, Frank Robinson, Bob Horner, Jose Canseco, Alex Rodriguez, Albert Pujols and Cabrera.

• Stanton's 86 homers through his age-22 season tie him with Foxx for the 10th most in history. Directly ahead are Johnny Bench and Ken Griffey Jr., who each had 87.

Twins
The Twins scored 10 runs in the fifth inning and defeated the White Sox, 18-9. The 10-run inning matched a season high for Minnesota, who scored 10 in the second on Aug. 6 against the Indians.

• The game marked the second this season that Minnesota has scored at least 18 runs, with the club having defeated the Orioles, 19-7, on July 16. Minnesota is the only team this season to have multiple 18-run affairs. The last time the club had more than one of these in a season was in 1994, when it had two.

Cardinals
Yadier Molina went 2-for-3 with his first hit of the game marking the 1,000th of his career. Molina is the 17th catcher in history to reach 1,000 hits through his age-29 season. Nine catchers have collected at least 1,000 hits from their age-30 season through their final year.

Dodgers
In a no-decision, Clayton Kershaw allowed a run in seven innings and struck out nine to put his season total at 201.

• Kershaw now has three 200-strikeout seasons, making him the eighth pitcher since 1893 to have at least many through his age-24 season. Bert Blyleven had five, while Christy Mathewson and Bob Feller each had four. Kershaw joins Walter Johnson, Sam McDowell, Frank Tanana and Dwight Gooden with the three.

• Kershaw has 946 career strikeouts -- the 12th most for any pitcher since 1893 through his age-24 season. Among left-handers, Kershaw's total is surpassed by Sam McDowell (1,101), Tanana (1,074), and Fernando Valenzuela (1,032).

D-backs
Arizona defeated the Giants in 11 innings, with second baseman Aaron Hill going 5-for-5 with his 34th double and 21st homer. Hill, who fell a triple shy of his third cycle of the season, leads all NL second basemen in extra-base hits (60), total bases (260) and slugging (.513).

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