In regular-season action since 1916, just one major league team had matched the feat the Red Sox accomplished today.
Aided by a whopping 15 bases on balls, the Red Sox routed the Pirates 16-6 on Thursday without ever collecting an extra-base hit. The amassed 14 hits, all of them singles. Top prospect Jackie Bradley Jr. went 3-for-5. and Brock Holt and Juan Carlos Linares both delivered two hits. The walks were more plentiful; utilityman Drew Sutton drew four, while David Ross and Lule Overbay collected two apiece.
The only major league team known to have done the same was the Royals on Aug. 6, 1979. They beat the Blue Jays 16-12 on 17 singles and seven walks. Pete LaCock had four hits in that one, while George Brett had two hits and four RBI. Rookie Dave Stieb was the loser for the Jays, giving up six runs in six innings.
After the Royals, the last team to score at least 11 runs in a game with no extra-base hits was the 1993 Tigers. They beat the Blue Jays 12-1 on 15 singles and six walks on June 12. Four teams since 2000 have scored 10 runs without an extra-base hit, the last being the Phillies. They beat the Cardinals 10-2 on 11 singles, nine walks and two HBPs on June 21, 2011.
According to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Cardinals are keeping an eye on outfield prospect Luis Robert. The 19-year-old left his native Cuba last November and is expected to command interest from multiple MLB teams as he approaches free agency. Goold adds that the Cardinals sent scouts to evaluate Robert’s workouts in the Dominican Republic as recently as last week.
There’s still a good chance that the club won’t get a shot at signing him; as Craig mentioned last month, it seems likely that Major League Baseball won’t declare Robert a free agent until after June 15. By July 2, the new Collective Bargaining Agreement’s policies on international bonuses will go into effect, handcuffing teams with the maximum penalty for bonuses to a $300,000 signing figure for any available international prospect. It’s designed to effectively take away those teams’ abilities to sign additional international talent, and the Cardinals have already spent a reported $9.35 million in bonuses on Venezuelan outfielder Victor Garcia, Cuban outfielders Jonatan Machado and Randy Arozarena and Cuban right-hander Johan Oviedo.
Until the cutoff in mid-June, the Cardinals are likely to continue actively scouting other international talent, including Robert. MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez quotes an anonymous National League scouting director who describes Robert as the No. 2 talent behind Japanese wunderkind Shohei Otani. The 19-year-old hit .286/.319/.397 with a .716 OPS during a 16-game run in the Canadian-American League in 2016, following up an impressive three-year tenure with the Ciego de Avila in the Cuban National Series from 2013-2015.
ESPN’s Jesse Rogers reported over the weekend that the Cubs and reliever Pedro Strop agreed to a contract extension. He’ll remain with the Cubs through 2018 and the new deal includes a club option for the 2019 season as well. Per Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune, Strop will earn $5.85 million in 2018 and the club option is worth $6.25 million with a $500,000 buyout. The two sides already avoided arbitration earlier this month, agreeing on a $5.5 million salary for the 2017 season.
Strop, 31, has been a very reliable reliever for the Cubs over the last three years. He has a combined 2.65 ERA with 212 strikeouts and 69 walks over 176 1/3 innings in that span of time.
The Cubs replaced Aroldis Chapman with Wade Davis, so Strop and Hector Rondon will be bridging the gap to Davis this coming season.
Strop joined the Cubs along with Jake Arrieta in the July 2013 trade that sent Steve Clevenger and Scott Feldman to the Orioles. That trade panned out well for the Cubs.