AROUND THE HORN by BILL ARNOLD

… With his callup to the Rangers on May 7, thirty-two-year-old reliever Austin Bibens-Dirkx finally made it to the majors after playing for 20 different teams in the minors and independent leagues (although, through Thursday, he had yet to appear in an MLB game); since being drafted by the Mariners in 2006, the well-travelled right-hander has played for six Triple-A teams (Buffalo, Colorado Springs, Iowa, Round Rock, Syracuse and Tacoma), three Double-A teams (Harrisburg, New Hampshire and Tennessee), five Single-A teams (Dunedin, Everett, High Desert, Peoria and Wisconsin), one Rookie League team (Arizona Summer League Mariners), two independent league teams (Lancaster and Victoria), two Venezuelan League teams (Aragua and Zulia) and one Dominican League team (Toros).
… Through Thursday, according to Inside Edge, Aaron Judge led all 211 qualifying batters in the majors with one homer per 5.2 at bats when playing at home this season; the Yankees right fielder had hit 10 taters in 52 ABs at Yankee Stadium.
… Tigers ace Justin Verlander has made 311 pickoff throws to first base since the start of the 2016 campaign, 118 more than the man in second place, the Indians’ Josh Tomlin.
Buster Posey of the Giants and Starlin Castro of the Yankees are the only batters in the bigs who had posted averages above .400 with the bases empty through Thursday.
… The Padres, on May 7, recorded the 100th rainout in California major-league history when wet weather caused the cancellation of their home game against the Dodgers; the Giants have registered the most rainouts (31) among teams in the Golden State followed by the A’s (19), Padres (18), Dodgers (17) and Angels (15).
… The A’s celebrated three consecutive walk-off wins on April 6-8, the sixth time the club has accomplished that feat since the team moved to Oakland in 1968; their other strings of three occurred in 1969 (7/31-8/2), 1972 (9/27-28), 1976 (4/18-20), 2002 (9/1-4) and 2004 (5/6-8).
… Stat whiz Bill Chuck notes that, since 2013, Red Sox pitcher Chris Sale leads the majors in hit batters having drilled 57 in 126 starts.
… The all-time major-league leaders for home runs hit on Mother’s Day (celebrated on Sunday) are Hall-of-Famers Hank Aaron and Frank Robinson who hit nine apiece on the day.
… The Reds overwhelmed the Giants last weekend in Cincinnati sweeping the three-game series while batting .376 and posting an on-base percentage of .454; the team’s 2017 batting average jumped 12 points (.253 to .265) going from eighth to second in the N.L. and their on-base percentage jumped from .316 to .331 going from eighth to fourth in the league.
… When Lorenzo Cain singled then scored on a three-base error by the Rays on Monday, he became the first Royals player to do so since Mike Sweeney in 2005.
… Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register notes that the A’s had cornered the market on unusual spellings of common first names with Jaff (Jeff) Decker, Ryon (Ryan) Healy and Khris (Chris) Davis; the oddly-spelled trio was broken up when Decker was designated for assignment on Tuesday.
… Sunday marks the 75th anniversary of Jim Tobin becoming the only pitcher to hit three homers in a big-league game; the Braves starter popped the three dingers against the Cubs on May 13, 1942, and hit a ball to the left field wall in his fourth at bat at Braves Field in Boston.
… Pitcher Troy Scribner of the Triple-A Salt Lake Bees was preparing to deliver a 3-2 pitch on May 6 at Smith’s Ballpark in Salt Lake City when a gust of wind, estimated at 30 mph, caused him to stumble and fall off the mound resulting in a balk call; the official balk rules make no exceptions for extreme weather.
… The Rockies are 9-0 in one-run games and are the only undefeated team in that situation so far this year; last year, the Rox were 12-20 in one-run contests.
… The Padres, Rockies, Tigers and White Sox were the only teams in the majors without a walk-off win this season through Thursday.
… The Giants had been the only team in the majors without a five-homer player this season until catcher Buster Posey connected for his fifth on Wednesday against the Mets.
… According to the good folks at the Elias Sports Bureau, Hector Santiago and Ervin Santana comprise the first pair of Twins pitchers to each go 4-1 or better and boast ERAs under 3.00 in their first seven starts in a season since Jim Kaat and Bert Blyleven in 1972.
… The game between the Orioles and White Sox on May 7 was the 2,000th regular-season game at Camden Yards in Baltimore, which opened in 1992.
… The Rays led the majors, through Thursday, with 23 games in 2017 in which the club’s batters struck out at least 10 times.
… The house in which Hall-of-Famer Nolan Ryan grew up is on the market in Alvin, Texas, for $165,000 and features four bedrooms and one-and-a-half baths.
… Stat guru Doug Kern notes that the May 7 contest between the Yankees and Cubs was just the 15th game out of 8,169 played at Wrigley Field that lasted 17 innings or longer.
… There was a snake delay during the third inning of a game between the Reno Aces and Sacramento River Cats of the Triple-A Pacific Coast League on May 7; a snake was seen slithering around second base at Raley Field in Sacramento causing play to be halted until it was determined that the serpent was a harmless garter snake and could be safely removed by the grounds crew.
… Cubs ace Jake Arrieta has allowed an opponents batting average of .290 in his first seven starts of 2017, nearly 100 points higher than his combined mark of .193 for the 2014 through 2016 seasons.
… According to baseball wordsmith Diane Firstman, the pitching matchup between Dylan Covey of the White Sox and Dylan Bundy of the Orioles on May 6 was the first meeting in the majors between two starters sharing the first name of Dylan.

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