BEYOND THE BOXSCORE by BILL ARNOLD

AROUND THE HORN

Mike Trout of the Angels, Corey Dickerson of the Rays, Jose Altuve of the Astros and Nick Markakis of the Orioles are the only batters with at least 100 plate appearances and a .295 or better batting average who had yet to go hitless in back-to-back games this season through Thursday.

… The A’s (54.0 percent), Yankees (51.5 percent) and Blue Jays (50 percent) had each scored more than 50 percent of their runs in 2017 due to home runs through Thursday; the Red Sox (28.4 percent), Giants (29.5 percent), and Bravess (33.2 percent) had scored the smallest proportion of their runs due to the long ball.

… At each home game of the Double-A Eastern League’s Binghamton Rumble Ponies, a child is chosen to run around the bases carrying a giant toothbrush and brushing each base to clean it; Lalor Dental in Binghamton sponsors the promotion.

… Starter Paolo Espino of the Brewers made his major-league debut on May 19 against the Cubs after spending 11 seasons, making 291 appearances and playing for 26 different teams in the minors; the righty was selected in the 10th round by the Indians during the 2006 amateur draft.

… According to master statistician Bill Chuck, Rockies leadoff batter Charlie Blackmon has not hit into a double play since June 3, 2016, a span of 620 at bats in 149 games and the longest such active streak in the majors.

Ryan Additon became the first fill-in umpire of the season when he was called up from the International League to officiate during a doubleheader between the Royals and Twins on May 21; the rookie ump is in his second full season in the Triple-A IL.

… The Orioles became the first A.L. team since the 1982 Tigers to suffer six one-run losses in a seven-game road trip when they went 1-6 while visiting the Nationals, Royals and Tigers last week.

… Through Thursday, Rays batters were on a pace to strike out 1, 688 times this season breaking the existing major-league mark of 1,543 set last season by the Brewers.

… Outfielder Carlos Gonzalez joined Todd Helton (369 HRs), Larry Walker (258), Vinny Castilla (239) and Dante Bichette (201) as the only Rockies to pop 200 or more for the team; “Cargo” hit number 200 on May 21.

… Since debuting in 2008, Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers has made 275 career starts and has given up three runs or fewer in 231 of them.

… According to the Elias Sports Bureau, through Thursday, the Mets (286 starts), Brewers (239) and Marlins (229) had the three longest active streaks in the majors of not recording a complete game at home.

Bill Shakin of the Los Angeles Times notes that former Angels star and Nebraska head coach Darin Erstad led the Cornhuskers baseball team to its first regular-season Big 10 championship this season; before that, the Huskers last won a regular season championship in 2005 as a member of the Big 12.

… Friday marks the 58th anniversary of Harvey Haddix pitching 12 perfect innings against the Braves in 1959; Haddix lost the perfecto and the game when the Braves scored on an error, a sacrifice and Joe Adcock‘s double to beat the Pirates 1-0 in the bottom of the 13th.

… The White Sox were the only team in the bigs that hadn’t recorded a save in May through Thursday.

… The Hall of Fame changed member Roger Connor from a left-handed batter to a switch hitter after finding conclusive evidence that the first baseman also hit from the right side; Connor, who played from 1880 to 1897, was selected for the Hall in 1976 by the Veteran’s Committee and became just the 11th switch-hitting non-pitcher in Cooperstown.

Bill James notes that the Giants’ 16-24 record to start 2017 gives them just a 19 percent chance for a winning record this season.

… On Monday night, Braves second baseman Brandon Phillips became the 48th major-leaguer to hit 200 homers and swipe 200 bases when he homered against the Pirates.

… After beating the Braves at Sun Trust Park, the Blue Jays had registered a regular or postseason win in 48 different major-league parks; the only big-league venues in which they’ve played and not posted a win during their 41-year franchise history are Shea Stadium (Mets), Busch Stadium II (Cardinals), The Ballpark at Disney’s Wide World of Sports (Rays) and Citi Field (Mets).

… On Tuesday, the Diamondbacks won their 20th home game of the season; last year, they didn’t post their 20th home win until August 15.

… Through Thursday, Marlins outfielder Ichiro Suzuki needed just three more hits during interleague play to pass Derek Jeter for the most knocks in cross-league contests; Suzuki had 362 while Jeter had 364.

Kenley Jansen of the Dodgers and Raisel Iglesias of the Reds each had four saves of more than an inning through Thursday to lead the majors.

… When Andrew McCutchen made the 1,200th start of his career in center field on May 20, he joined Lloyd”Little Poison” Waner (1,518 starts), Max Carey (1,416) and Bill Virdon (1,308) as the only Pirates center fielders to make at least 1,200 starts at the position.

… Astros outfielder Norichika Aoki needs eight hits to reach a combined 2,000 for his career in Nippon Professional Baseball and the majors; reaching the milestone gives Aoki automatic entrance into the Meikyukai, or “Golden Players Club,” Japan’s equivalent of the Hall of Fame.

Scott Schebler of the Reds and Corey Dickerson of the Rays are the only major-leaguers with double-digit home run totals who have the same number of walks as homers; through Thursday, Schebler had 13 HRs and 13 BBs while Dickerson had 12 and 12.

… In the four seasons Bryan Price has managed the Reds, he has been able to start his “projected” lineup in just 27 of 513 games, or just slightly over five percent of the time.

… In the first 54 days of the 2017 season, the Mariners made 84 transactions involving their 40-man roster or an average of one transaction every 15 hours and 26 minutes.

 

Other writers and sources contribute to Beyond the Box Score

Copyright 2017, Sports Features Group