Rays rookie Jeremy Hellickson did something only two other pitchers since 1920 have done

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There’s an interesting note on the Baseball-Reference.com blog about Jeremy Hellickson, who tossed seven shutout innings last night against the Tigers. Hellickson also threw seven innings of two-run ball versus the Twins in his debut last week.
So what’s the interesting note? Well, in both starts he allowed three hits and that makes him just the third pitcher since 1920 to throw seven or more innings while allowing three or fewer hits in each of his first two big-league starts.
The previous two were 20-year-old Oakland A’s right-hander Mike Norris in 1975 and 18-year-old Kansas City A’s right-hander Lew Krausse in 1961.
All of which sounds really impressive until you consider that Norris and Krausse combined to win just 126 games (with 150 losses). So far Hellickson is 2-0 with a 1.29 ERA and 13/2 K/BB ratio.

Astros’ bullpen throws combined one-hitter for MLB-best 30th win

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The Astros’ bullpen did yeoman’s work in place of the injured Dallas Keuchel on Monday against the Tigers. Keuchel is temporarily sidelined with a pinched nerve in his neck.

Brad Peacock made the spot start, limiting the Tigers to one hit and two walks with eight strikeouts over 4 1/3 innings. Chris Devenski took over with one out in the fifth, finishing out that inning as well as the sixth and seventh, facing the minimum. Will Harris pitched a perfect eighth and Ken Giles closed out the 1-0 victory in the ninth. Devenski, Harris, and Giles each had two strikeouts.

The Astros scored their only run in the bottom of the first inning as George Springer drew a leadoff walk, then scored on Jose Altuve‘s one-out double. Tigers starter Brad Fulmer pitched well enough to win on most days, giving up the lone run in seven frames.

After Monday’s win, the Astros became the first team to reach 30 wins, sitting on a 30-15 record. With a +55 run differential, even their expected record matches up with their actual record.

Brandon Phillips hit his 200th career home run

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Braves second baseman Brandon Phillips became the 337th player in baseball history to hit 200 career home runs, driving a solo home run to left-center field during Monday night’s home game against the Pirates. Phillips is the 14th second baseman (who played a min. of 75 percent of his career games at the position) to rack up at least 200 career home runs.

Phillips, 35, entered Monday’s action batting .290/.345/.405 with two home runs and 12 RBI in 142 plate appearances. If he’s anything, he’s consistent, as he finished with an adjusted OPS between 90-99 (100 is average) every year between 2012-16 and it was sitting at 97 coming into Monday.