MLB Notebook: Kemp has few peers in NL
From 1920-29, Rogers Hornsby batted .382 with 250 home runs and 1,153 RBIs. Over the span of those 10 years, no National League player hit more home runs, hit for a higher average or drove in more runs than Rajah.
In other words, Hornsby won the NL Triple Crown for the decade.
Matt Kemp -- thanks mostly to his brilliant 2011, and in much smaller part to the extraordinary start to his '12 campaign -- is the NL leader in all three Triple Crown categories since the beginning of last season. From Opening Day in '11 through Thursday's games, no NL player has produced more homers, more RBIs or a higher batting average than the Dodgers' center fielder.
In the Dodgers' 13th game of the season, a 4-3 win over the Brewers on Thursday, Kemp hit his seventh home run of the year. The homer was a solo shot, giving Kemp 18 RBIs. Some perspective:
Kemp is the third Dodgers player in the live-ball era to hit at least seven home runs through the club's first 13 games. Wally Moon had eight in 1961 and Rick Monday had seven in '78.
Kemp's seven homers as a center fielder are the most through a team's first 13 games since Dale Murphy had seven for the Braves in 1985.
Kemp's total of 18 RBIs through 13 team games is tied for the second most for the Dodgers since 1918. Roy Campanella had 22 in 1953, Babe Herman had 18 in '30, Kemp also had 18 in 2010, and Andre Ethier also has 18 this season.
With Ethier driving in his 18th run of the season on Thursday, he and Kemp are one of three pairs of teammates since 1918 to each have at least 18 RBIs through their team's first 13 games. The other two: Edgar Martinez (18) and Alex Rodriguez (18) for the Mariners in 2000 and Vern Stephens (21) and Ted Williams (19) for the Red Sox in 1949.
In Thursday's 7-6 win over the Twins, Curtis Granderson became the first Yankees center fielder since Bobby Murcer on July 13, 1973, to hit three home runs in a game. As a center fielder, Murcer had a pair of three-homer games with the Yankees, Joe DiMaggio had three and Mickey Mantle and Tom Tresh each had one.
In addition to the three home runs, Granderson also collected a pair of singles and had 14 total bases on the night. The 14 are the most for a Yankees player since DiMaggio had 14 on Sept. 10, 1950.
Granderson also became the first player since Victor Martinez on July 16, 2004, to have three homers and two singles in a game. For center fielders in the live-ball era, Granderson joined Mickey Brantley in 1987, Gus Bell in '56, and Ty Cobb in '25 in this three-homer, two-single group.
Yankees captain Derek Jeter went 1-for-5 with an RBI single to tie Dave Winfield on the all-time list with 3,110 hits. Depending on the source, Jeter and Winfield are either tied for 18th or 19th on the all-time list. Elias has Winfield (and now Jeter) in 18th place, because they have Cap Anson just below with 3,081 hits. Other sources have Winfield/Jeter in 19th, with Anson above them (in sixth place) at 3,435 hits. Another source has Anson at 3,011 hits.
Most Hits Through Age-38 Season
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The Rangers improved to 11-2 for the season and 6-0 on the road by defeating the Tigers, 10-3. The overall record is tied for the best through 13 games for the franchise, equaling the 11-2 start by the 1989 club.
Over the past 20 seasons, the 2012 Rangers are the 12th team to open the year with at least 11 wins through their first 13 games, and the first since the Rockies also began with an 11-2 mark last season. Texas is the first AL team to begin with at least 11 wins in its first 13 games since the Yankees began the '03 season at 11-2.
Texas also matched the 1989 club mark for the most consecutive wins on the road to start the season.
Here and there
In the Orioles' 13th game of the season, Adam Jones hit his fifth homer. The most recent Baltimore player with five homers through the team's first 13 games was Brian Roberts, who had five in 2005.
The Twins' Josh Willingham extended his hitting streak to 13 games with a single at Yankee Stadium. Willingham is the first player since Kirby Puckett in 1994 to have a hit in each of the Twins' first 13 games of the year.
The Astros used a 17-hit attack -- one that included three triples in the first inning -- to defeat the Nationals, 11-4. Since 1962 (the Astros' first season), only two other teams have amassed three triples in the first inning: the '95 Marlins on July 25 (Greg Colbrunn, Kurt Abbot and Russ Morman), and the '79 Royals on May 21, (Willie Wilson, George Brett and Hal McRae). In this Astros win, Jose Altuve, Brian Bogusevic and Matt Downs were responsible for the three-baggers.
Albert Pujols collected three doubles in the Angels' 4-2 loss to the Athletics, giving him 462 for his career. Those 462 are fifth most in history for a player through his first 12 seasons. Pujols should reach the leader -- Joe Medwick, with 483 -- by the end of the season. From the perspective of seasons and games, Pujols is ahead of the pace generated by the all-time leader in doubles, Tris Speaker, who had 792 for his career.
Mariners ace Felix Hernandez fanned 12, walked one, and allowed no runs on five hits in an eight-inning gem that turned out to be a no-decision after the Indians rallied for two runs in the ninth and won, 2-1. The game marked the sixth time in his career Hernandez had struck out at least 10 and allowed no runs in a start. Those six, coming in 209 career appearances, tie Hernandez with 10 others for the 20th most in the live-ball era.
Roger Schlueter is senior researcher for MLB Productions. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.