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Nuggetpalooza: Stats notes from a very positive Red Sox weekend

05.21.12 at 9:47 am ET
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Random notes from a very positive Red Sox weekend plus a nugget or two from around Major League Baseball:

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* – On Thursday against Tampa Bay, the Red Sox’ first batter reached base in three different innings. The Red Sox scored in all three of those innings, totaling four runs. In the six innings where their leadoff batter did not reach base, they managed just one run. For the season, the Red Sox are averaging 0.95 runs when their first batter reaches base (only Texas has a higher average at 0.97) and 0.27 runs when he doesn’t. The difference in those averages is 0.68, the highest in the majors (thru Thursday):

0.68 – Red Sox
0.62 – Rangers
0.62 – White Sox
0.59 – Three teams tied

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* – Cody Ross’ two-run single in the 8th inning Thursday night was his fourth multi-RBI hit in the 7th inning or after this season. He trails only Josh Hamilton (5).

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* – Daniel Bard walked three batters in the 1st inning on Friday night, the third time this season that he’s walked 3+ batters in a single inning. That’s tied with the Royals’ Jonathan Sanchez for the most such innings in the majors.

Note this: Following the two-run single he allowed, five of the last seven batters Bard has faced with the bases loaded have reached base dating back to last season (1-for-3 with four walks and six RBI plus another run that scored on a double play grounder).

Random note: Since the start of last season, only two pitchers have faced 3+ batters in 100 or more different innings and never walked more than one batter in any single inning: Cleveland’s Josh Tomlin (204 such innings) and Toronto’s Henderson Alvarez (119 such innings).

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* – Friday night was Mike Aviles first interleague game as a member of the Red Sox. Between Boston and Kansas City, it was his 9th straight interleague road loss.

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* – Entering Friday night, Nick Punto had batted .500 (3-for-6) in his career when batting as the tying or go ahead run with two outs in the 9th inning and his team trailing on the scoreboard. Jonathan Papelbon needed only three pitches to make him 3-for-7.

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* – On Saturday and Sunday, Aviles led off each game with a home run. The Red Sox have led off SEVEN of their last 53 road interleague games with a HR. Aviles became the first Red Sox player to lead off consecutive road games with a homer since Harry Hooper did it in 1913. The closest the Red Sox had come since then was when Tommy Harper did it on August 17 and 19, 1972.

Note this: Aviles becomes the 5th Red Sox shortstop in history to hit a home run in three straight games, joining Nomar Garciaparra, Rico Petrocelli, Ed Bressoud, and Joe Cronin. Garciaparra is the only one to homer in four consecutive games. Aviles and Garciaparra are the only ones to homer in three straight road games.

Note this too: In Sunday’s win, Aviles had RBI’s on two different plate appearances for the 6th time this season. He never did it last season after May 1.

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* – The Phillies picked up six infield hits on Saturday, and they lead the majors with 61 such hits this season (through Saturday). They came into the game averaging 1.4 infield hits per game. Last season, the Phillies ranked dead last with 112 infield hits. Every other major league team had at least 133. It was the fewest by any team since the Padres managed only 109 such hits in 2007.

Note this: The Red Sox have allowed 58 infield hits this season, the most in the majors (again, through Saturday):

58 – Red Sox
53 – Diamondbacks
50 – Orioles

The Red Sox allowed only 144 infield hits in 2011, the 4th fewest in the majors.

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* – Dustin Pedroia had a somewhat forgettable weekend, going just 2-for-13 (.154) during the three games in Philadelphia. This dropped him into second place in the all-time interleague batting race (min. 300 AB):

.353 – Nick Markakis
.352 – Dustin Pedroia
.346 – Larry Walker
.344 – Albert Pujols

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* – On Sunday night, Dodgers’ rookie Scott Van Slyke hit his first major league home run. What’s more, it was a three-run homer on a 3-and-0 count that vaulted his team from a two run deficit to a one run lead in the 7th inning. Since 1988 (when they first began tracking ball/strike counts), his was just the 9th such home run (7th inning or later, hitting a go ahead homer while trailing on a 3-and-0 pitch) and the first by a Dodgers hitter or allowed by a Cardinals pitcher.

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* – Extra base hits leaders among shortstops, 2012 (through Saturday):

20 – Mike Aviles, Red Sox
20 – JJ Hardy, Orioles
19 – Ian Desmond, Nationals

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* – Josh Beckett had faced 24 batters in GIDP situations and failed to induce a GIDP going into his start on Sunday, the second most GIDP situations without inducing one this season. Then he got two double plays turned behind him on Sunday afternoon.

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* – Detroit’s Max Scherzer struck out 15 batters by himself on Sunday. As a team, Tigers pitchers have struck out 15 or more in five different games since the start of the 2010 season. Here are teams that have gone the longest without striking out 15+ opposing batters in a regulation game (9 innings or less):

1,631 – Indians (since May 13, 2001)
865 – Cardinals (since June 14, 2006)
448 – Diamondbacks (since May 22, 2009)

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