Shannon Drayer points out on Twitter that Paul Konerko made it nine in a row tonight. He’s taken Mariners pitching deep that last nine times he’s faced the team in home games at U.S. Cellular.
The streak dates back to April of last year. The Mariners and White Sox played seven times in Chicago last year and Konerko homered in all seven games. Now he’s started this year 2-for-2 with homers the last two days.
Of course, it’s a pretty exclusive set of conditions, but it’s still a very notable streak, especially considering that no major leaguer has ever homered in more than eight games in a row. Only Dale Long (PIT, 1956), Don Mattingly (NYY, 1987) and Ken Griffey Jr. (SEA, 1993) have ever made it that far.
Also interesting is that Konerko has done nothing else at all during the streak. Tonight’s game is just in the third inning as of this writing, so we’ll ignore it for now. But in the first eight games, he had a total of 10 hits and nine RBI. Tonight’s homer, just like all of the others, was a solo shot.
Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen gave up three runs in the top of the ninth inning during Sunday’s game against the Braves, blowing his first save since August 26 last season. He had converted 34 consecutive saves.
Jansen yielded back-to-back singles to lead off the ninth inning, staked to a 4-1 lead. After getting two outs, Matt Adams hit a three-run home run down the right field line to knot the game at four apiece.
After Sunday’s lackluster performance, Jansen is now 24-for-25 in save chances this season with a 1.49 ERA and a 62/2 K/BB ratio in 42 1/3 innings.
Orioles closer Zach Britton finished Sunday’s 9-7 victory over the Astros with a scoreless ninth inning, earning his sixth save of the season. He has now earned the save in 55 consecutive opportunities dating back to September 2015, setting a new American League record. Tom Gordon previously held the record with 54 consecutive saves. Eric Gagne holds the major league record at 84.
Britton’s last blown save came on September 20, 2015, then converted two more saves before the end of the regular season. He went 47-for-47 in save chances last season and is six-for-six so far this year.
Along with his six saves, Britton has a 2.65 ERA and a 13/8 K/BB ratio in 17 innings this season. The lefty came off the disabled list earlier this month after missing two months with a strained left forearm.