On page 94 of the 2013 edition of "The Elias Book of Baseball Records," the listing for the largest comeback victories is introduced. Under the American League heading, one finds three teams sharing the high mark of 12 runs. The record was set on June 18, 1911, when the Tigers defeated the White Sox, 16-15, in a wild one at Bennett Park in Detroit.
The only other times an AL team has overcome a 12-run deficit to win, Cleveland has been involved. On June 15, 1925, the Indians took a 15-3 lead into the bottom of the seventh against the Athletics. Philadelphia scored one in that frame to inch a little closer before erupting for 13 runs in the bottom of the eighth, eventually winning, 17-15.
Three-quarters of a century later, it was Cleveland's time to rejoice after an unimaginable comeback. Trailing the eventual 116-win Mariners, 12-0, after three innings on Aug. 5, 2001, the Indians were in a 14-9 hole in the ninth. A five-run frame tied the contest, and in the bottom of the 11th, Kenny Lofton touched the plate with the Tribe's 15th run, giving the franchise another entry -- literally -- in the record book.
Down 5-2 entering the bottom of the ninth on Sunday, the Red Sox scored four runs -- the last two coming on a Jacoby Ellsbury two-run double -- and defeated the Indians, 6-5. The last time, before this game, Boston entered the bottom of the ninth down by at least three runs and rallied all the way back to win with a walk-off hit in that inning was on May 13, 2007. In that contest, the Red Sox entered the ninth down 5-0 to the Orioles. The game finished on a two-out Julio Lugo single. This win against the Indians improved Boston's record to 2-15 when trailing at the start of the ninth inning.
Down 5-2 entering the bottom of the ninth, the Blue Jays scored four runs -- the last two coming on a Munenori Kawasaki double -- and defeated the O's, 6-5. The last time, before this game, Toronto entered the bottom of the ninth down by at least three runs and rallied all the way back to win with a walk-off hit in that inning was on April 27, 2003. In that affair, the Blue Jays entered the ninth down 9-4 to the Royals. The game concluded on a two-out single from Shannon Stewart. This victory against Baltimore improved Toronto's record to 2-24 when trailing at the start of the ninth inning.
Tigers: In Detroit's 6-1 win over Minnesota, right-hander Max Scherzer allowed three hits and a run in six innings and improved to 7-0 on the season. Scherzer is the first Tigers pitcher to open the year with wins in each of his first seven decisions since Jeremy Bonderman opened the 2007 season 8-0.
D-backs: Patrick Corbin improved to 8-0 as Arizona defeated San Diego, 6-5. Corbin, who allowed more than two runs for the first time this season, is the first D-backs starter to open the year with wins in each of his first eight decisions since Brandon Webb began the 2008 season 9-0.
Nationals: Stephen Strasburg allowed five hits in eight innings of one-run ball, fanned nine -- giving him a season high for strikeouts -- with no walks and picked up the win as the Nationals defeated the Phillies, 6-1. From his debut through the end of the 2012 season, Strasburg made 45 starts, and in 27 of them, he lasted at least five innings and finished the day with more innings than hits allowed. Strasburg has made 11 starts this season, with this performance marking the eighth time he has finished with at least five innings and more innings pitched than hits allowed. Among his 45 starts from 2010-12, 25 of them saw Strasburg finish with at least five innings and more K's tallied than innings pitched. He's now done that five times in his 11 starts this year.
• With Strasburg's effort leading the way, Nats pitchers fanned 10 Phils batters, didn't allow a walk and also did not allow an extra-base hit. It is the second time this season Philadelphia has finished a game with at least 10 K's, no walks and no extra-base hits. Before this year, the Phils hadn't had such a game since 2001.
Angels: The Angels won their eighth straight game, defeating the Royals, 5-2. Over the course of the streak:
• Josh Hamilton is hitting .308/.438/.731, with three home runs, six RBIs, six walks and eight strikeouts.
• Mike Trout is batting .406/.486/.750, with five extra-base hits and seven RBIs, and he is 4-for-5 in stolen-base attempts.
• Mark Trumbo is hitting .333/.389/.576 with two home runs and seven RBIs.
• Halos pitchers own a 2.50 ERA and have allowed just two homers in 72 innings.
Rangers: At the age of 20 years and 95 days, Jurickson Profar hit a home run to lead off the game for the Rangers. Profar is the fifth-youngest player since 1916 to homer to lead off the game.
|Lou Klimchock||18.348||Sept. 28, 1958||A's|
|Bob Kennedy||19.256||May 1, 1940||White Sox|
|Mickey Mantle||19.328||Sept. 13, 1951||Yankees|
|Sibby Sisti||19.355||July 16, 1940||Braves|
|Jurickson Profar||20.095||May 26, 2013||Rangers|
Rays: Alex Cobb allowed two runs and five hits in 8 1/3 innings, struck out eight with no walks, and picked up the win as the Rays defeated the Yankees, 8-3. With the outing, Cobb improved to 3-1 with a 2.21 ERA in five starts against New York. With his work against the Yanks as part of the mix, Cobb is 11-5 with a 3.29 ERA in his career against teams with a winning percentage of at least .500; against teams with a winning percentage below .500, he is 9-8 with a 3.91 ERA.
A's: Bartolo Colon threw seven scoreless innings, fanned nine with no walks and picked up the win as Oakland defeated Houston, 6-2. At 40 years and two days old, Colon is the oldest A's pitcher to have a scoreless outing with at least nine K's and no walks. Across the Majors, he is the oldest to have a start like this since John Smoltz fanned nine in five scoreless innings for the Cardinals on Aug. 23, 2009. Smoltz was 42 years and 100 days old for that performance.
In the Mets' 4-2 win over the Braves, Shaun Marcum fanned a career-high 12 batters while issuing no walks. Marcum is the 10th Mets pitcher to have a line featuring at least 12 K's and no walks. The others: Sid Fernandez (three), Tom Seaver (two), Dwight Gooden (two), Jon Matlack (one), David Cone (one), Rick Reed (one), Chris Capuano (one), R.A. Dickey (one) and Matt Harvey (one). With Harvey also having his game this year, 2013 represents the first season since 1989 the Mets have had two such performances. That year, Fernandez had a 16-strikeout, no-walk game and a 13-strikeout, no-walk effort.
Roger Schlueter is senior researcher for MLB Productions. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.