MLB Notebook: Davis continues early tear
Orioles slugger has gone deep in each of club's first three games this season
In his final seven games of the 2012 regular season, Baltimore's Chris Davis collected nine hits in 25 at-bats, with seven of those hits being of the four-base variety. In Davis' first three games of the 2013 season, he has collected seven hits in 11 at-bats, with six of the knocks going for extra bases. Put together, Chris Davis has been on an incredible, if oddly rationed, tear. Over his past 10 regular-season games, Davis owns a .444/.500/1.361 slash line, with three doubles, 10 homers and 24 RBIs.
In the O's 6-3 win over the Rays on Thursday, Davis homered in his third straight game and finished 2-for-3 with four RBIs. With the four RBIs, Davis has 11 for the season.
Davis joined Frank Robinson in 1966 as the only Orioles players to have hit at least one homer in each of the team's first three games. Davis is now one shy of the Major League record for most consecutive games with a home run to start the season. In '71, Willie Mays homered in his club's first four games, a feat later matched by Mark McGwire in '98 and Nelson Cruz in 2011.
Davis is the only player since at least 1916 to have at least three RBIs in each of his team's first three games. He is the fourth player since '16 to have six extra-base hits through his team's first three games (no player has had more). In '54, Jim Greengrass opened with five doubles and a homer; in '73, Cesar Cedeno had four doubles, a triple and a home run after three games; and in '98, David Segui had three doubles and three homers.
Davis' 11 RBIs through his team's first three games are the second most for any player since 1916. In '35, Dolph Camilli had 12.
The Nationals' shutout streak ended at two, but Washington defeated the Marlins, 6-1, to improve to 3-0 on the season. With six innings of one-run ball, Jordan Zimmermann picked up the win.
The 3-0 start marks the sixth time in franchise history that the club has won its first three games of the season. In 1972, the Expos opened with five straight wins, and in '83, they began with four consecutive victories. The franchise also began the '97, 2003 and '08 seasons at 3-0.
Zimmermann followed fellow starters Stephen Strasburg and Gio Gonzalez in the win column. In Expos/Nationals history, only two other seasons have opened with each of the first three starters collecting a victory. In 1983, Steve Rogers opened the season with a six-hit shutout, Bill Gullickson followed with an eight-hitter, and in the third game, Scott Sanderson went the first five and came away with the win. In 2003, Tony Armas (Opening Day), Zach Day and Javier Vazquez combined for a 3-0 record and a 0.48 ERA in 18 2/3 innings.
Washington's Bryce Harper went 2-for-4, giving him two hits in each of the team's first three games. The franchise high mark for most consecutive multihit games to begin the season is four, shared by Bryan Little (1984) and Ian Desmond (2009).
Jed Lowrie doubled twice in the Athletics' 8-2 win over the Mariners, giving him five extra-base hits (four doubles and a homer) through the club's first four games. Since 1916, Lowrie is one of six players to have at least five through the team's first four contests. In '74, Reggie Jackson had six, while Al Simmons ('30), Bob Cerv ('58), Joe Rudi ('74) and Geronimo Berroa ('97) each had five.
Seattle's Michael Morse hit his fourth homer of the year Thursday. Morse's four long balls through four games tied him with Ken Griffey, Jr. (four in 1997) for the most by a Mariners player.
Here and there
• In the Cubs' 3-2 win over the Pirates, Pittsburgh's starter James McDonald took the loss despite allowing just two hits and a run in seven innings. The outcome marks the second straight year a Pirates starter had a loss in an effort in an outing in which they finished with at least seven innings and no more than two hits allowed. On July 23, 2012, Erik Bedard allowed two hits and one run in seven innings and took the loss (also against the Cubs). Before last season, no Pirates starter had a loss of this nature since '02.
• Eric Stults (five innings, three hits, no runs, seven K's) and five relievers combined to strike out 14 Mets batters as the Padres picked up their first win of the year. Across the Majors, the strikeout rate stands at 8.01 K's/9 -- the highest mark for any one full season was produced in 2012: 7.50 K's per nine innings.
• Right-hander Jeremy Guthrie allowed a run and five hits in six innings of work, fanned nine White Sox and picked up the win as Kansas City got its first victory of the year. Since being acquired by the Royals in July 2012, Guthrie -- who owns a career 56-77 record and a 4.26 ERA -- has made 15 starts, going 6-3 with a 3.06 ERA.
• Andy Pettitte (eight innings, one run) picked up the win (the 246th of his career, tying him with Amos Rusie and Joe McGinnity for 49th all-time) and Mariano Rivera (one inning, one run) recorded his Major League record 609th save, as the Yankees notched their first win of the season. The scenario marked the 69th time that Rivera saved a win for Pettitte -- the most for any pitching combo in history.
• Cliff Lee (eight innings, two hits) and Jonathan Papelbon combined for a two-hit shutout as the Phillies defeated the Braves, 2-0. In helping the club claim their first victory of the season, Lee fanned eight with no walks -- the 18th time since the beginning of the 2008 season that he had at least eight K's and no bases on balls. Those 18 are the most in the Majors, with Justin Verlander and Roy Halladay each having 15 over this span.
Roger Schlueter is senior researcher for MLB Productions. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.