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MLB.com Columnist

Roger Schlueter

MLB Notebook: Southpaws dealing at historic rate

MLB Notebook: Southpaws dealing at historic rate

MLB Notebook: Southpaws dealing at historic rate

The Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw and the D-backs' Patrick Corbin are two of six left-handers who currently sport enough innings to qualify for the ERA title and own a WHIP below 1.00 (the others: Chris Sale, Madison Bumgarner, Travis Wood and Cliff Lee). If six sounds like a lot, it is. Since 1893, there have been four seasons in which multiple left-handers finished the year with the qualifications listed in that first sentence. The 1906 season saw Doc White and Jack Pfiester -- a pair of Chicago-based pitchers -- do it, and then it didn't happen again until 1966, when Sandy Koufax and Gary Peters worked their magic. In 2004, Randy Johnson and Johan Santana produced the necessary numbers, and just two years ago, Cole Hamels and Kershaw allowed 2011 to join the party.

On Sunday, Kershaw allowed one run in eight innings as the Dodgers defeated the Giants, 4-1. Kershaw lowered his ERA to 1.89, his hit rate to 5.92 and his WHIP to 0.90 -- all National League-leading numbers. Among Dodgers pitchers with at least 19 starts before the All-Star break, Kershaw's 1.89 ERA would be the lowest since Don Drysdale's 1.37 in 1968; 5.92 hits per nine innings would be the lowest since Don Sutton's 5.83 in 1972; and his 0.90 WHIP would be the lowest since Sutton's 0.85 in 1972.

Meanwhile, D-backs southpaw Corbin picked up his 10th win of the year on Sunday, allowing one run, three hits and a walk in an eight-inning, 10-strikeout performance. Corbin -- pitching in his age-23 season -- is fifth in the Majors in ERA, with a 2.40 mark in 123 2/3 innings.

1933-2012: LH Pitchers in Age-23 or Younger Season, 10+ Wins, ERA Below 2.50 at All-Star Break
Pitcher Year W-L ERA IP
Johnny Vander Meer 1938 10-3 2.28 126 1/3
Hal Newhouser 1944 13-5 1.87 149
Dick Ellsworth 1963 11-6 2.02 147
Vida Blue 1971 17-3 1.42 184 1/3
Bill Travers 1976 10-6 1.91 132
Frank Tanana 1977 12-6 2.15 171 1/3
Dontrelle Willis 2005 13-4 2.39 128
Francisco Liriano 2006 10-1 1.83 88 1/3
Sale 2012 10-2 2.19 102 2/3

• Hanley Ramirez extended his hitting streak to 18 games, doubling and tripling in the Dodgers' victory. Ramirez owns a .478/.520/.884 line during the hitting streak. In 28 games since coming off the disabled list, Ramirez is batting .404/.443/.730, with 15 extra-base hits. The Dodgers are 17-11 over that stretch.

• Yasiel Puig went 2-for-4 in the Dodgers' win. Puig has played 32 games.

In his 32 contests, Puig has 16 multihit games. Those 16 through his first 32 tie Puig for the fifth most for any player since 1916. Roy Weatherly leads with 20, and is followed by Joe DiMaggio (18), Curtis Goodwin (17) and Kevin Stocker (17). The others with 16: Austin Jackson, Mark Lewis, Johnny Pesky, Pablo Sandoval and Gus Zernial.

In Puig's 32 games, the Dodgers own a 19-13 record. Before his first game, the Dodgers were sitting on a 23-32 record. Their 19-13 mark since June 3 is the second best in the NL.

• Baltimore's Adam Jones hit a two-run homer off of Mariano Rivera in the ninth inning to turn a 1-0 deficit into a 2-1 lead and eventual win over the Yankees in the Bronx.

Jones is the third Orioles player to homer off of Rivera to give the Yankees right-hander a blown save. Luis Matos did it in 2003, and Luke Scott did it in 2010. In both of the previous cases, the homers tied the game.

Jones is the ninth player to hit a bases-occupied home run off of Rivera when the Yankees right-hander held a one-run lead. Of these nine, Jones is one of five to do it in the ninth inning. The other four were Bill Selby, walk-off grand slam (July 14, 2002); Bengie Molina, go-ahead two-run shot (May 11, 2004); Bill Mueller, walk-off two-run home run (July 24, 2004); and Ichiro Suzuki, walk-off two-run home run (Sept. 18, 2009).

• In the Tigers' loss to the Indians, Miguel Cabrera went 4-for-4 with his 28th home run and two RBIs.

Cabrera's 28 home runs are tied for the most for a Tigers player before the All-Star break. Cecil Fielder had 28 in 1990.

Cabrera raised his RBI total to 90, becoming the 12th player to reach that plateau before the All-Star break. With the 90, Cabrera is tied with Tommy Davis (1962), Tony Perez ('70) and George Foster ('77). Three players had 91: Lou Gehrig in '34, Harmon Killebrew in '69 and Preston Wilson in 2003.

Cabrera has seven four-hit games this season. He is the seventh player since 1916 to have that many through his team's first 87 games. George Sisler had 10 in 1922, and Mike Sweeney had eight in 2000. The others with seven: Sisler (1920), Lou Finney ('40), Dick Groat ('60), and Carl Crawford (2010).

Cabrera leads the Majors with 125 hits: a total that is also tied for the 26th highest before an All-Star break. Among Tigers players, Cabrera's 125 hits are the most, ahead of Al Kaline's 122 in 1955.

• The Nationals defeated the Padres, 11-7, getting a grand slam from Ryan Zimmerman and a three-hit, two-steal performance from Bryce Harper. Washington has scored 43 runs this month -- the most in the NL. In April, the club ranked 12th in the league in runs; in May, it ranked 12th, and in June, it moved up to 11th in the NL. Entering July, the Nats were 13th in the league in runs scored, ahead of the Dodgers and Marlins.

• Philadelphia's Domonic Brown hit his 23rd home run of the season. Brown's 23 tie him with Mike Schmidt (1976), Jim Thome (2003) and Pat Burrell ('08) for the eighth most by a Phillies player before the All-Star break. Brown's 23 are the second most before an All-Star break for a Phillies player in his age-25 or younger season. Greg Luzinski had 25 in 1975 -- his age-24 season.

• David Price went the distance on an eight-hitter, pushing the Rays to a 3-1 win over the White Sox. The Rays have won eight of their past nine games, and have a team ERA of 1.84 over this stretch. In these nine games, the team has allowed 57 hits and 20 walks in 83 innings, and has racked up 78 strikeouts.

• Lance Lynn allowed two runs in seven innings and recorded the win, as the Cardinals defeated the Marlins, 3-2. The win gave Lynn 11 victories for the season and placed him in a tie with teammate Adam Wainwright for the second most in the NL.

This is the fourth time the Cardinals have had multiple pitchers reach 11 wins before the All-Star break. The full list:

1969: Bob Gibson and Steve Carlton
1972: Gibson and Reggie Cleveland
1985: Danny Cox and Joaquin Andujar
2013: Wainwright and Lynn

With 11 wins in the first half of the season in 2012, Lynn is the first Cardinals pitcher since Andujar in 1984-85 to win at least 11 in the first halves of back-to-back campaigns.

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

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