Texas Rangers starting pitcher Justin Grimm has been voted American League Rookie of the Month for April. This marks the second consecutive April that a Ranger has garnered top rookie honors after teammate Yu Darvish won in April 2012. Grimm compiled a 2-0 record with a 1.59 ERA, 15 strikeouts and four walks in 17.0 innings over three starts. Justin was tied for first among A.L. rookie hurlers in wins and was fourth in innings pitched. Opponents batted just .239 against him.
Atlanta Braves catcher Evan Gattis has been voted the National League Rookie of the Month for the month of April. In 21 April contests, Gattis led Major League rookies with six home runs, 16 RBI, a .566 slugging percentage and 43 total bases while hitting .250 (19-for-76). The 26-year-old, who was selected by the Braves in the 23rd round of the 2010 First-Year Player Draft, ranked third among qualifying N.L. rookies in hitting, was tied for second with nine runs scored and was fourth in hits. Gattis led all rookies with a club-high five game-winning RBI in his first month in the Majors
And neither of them woulda likely seen the light of day if it weren’t for injuries. So, thanks Matt Harrison and Brian McCann!
Lost in the nifty base running by Dustin Pedroia that won Sunday’s game against the Rays, the Red Sox set a new major league record by striking out 11 batters in a row, per Peter Abraham of The Boston Globe. Starter Eduardo Rodriguez struck out the final seven Rays he faced and reliever Heath Hembree struck out five Rays in a row after that. Tom Seaver had the previous consecutive strikeout streak of 10, set on April 22, 1970 against the Padres.
The Red Sox also set a team record with 23 strikeouts in total: 13 by Rodriguez, five by Hembree, one by Matt Barnes, and four by Joe Kelly. Per Abraham, that’s the most strikeouts in a 10-inning game since at least 1913 and the most in a game of any length since 2004.
For Rodriguez, Sunday marked the first double-digit strikeout game of his career. He has pitched quite well since returning to the rotation at the start of the second half. Over 13 starts, the lefty has a 3.10 ERA with a 70/23 K/BB ratio in 72 2/3 innings.
Dodgers second baseman Charlie Culberson delivered a walk-off solo home run in the bottom of the 10th inning, clinching the NL West for the Dodgers on Sunday afternoon. What a way to celebrate Vin Scully’s final home game behind the microphone.
The Dodgers were trailing 2-1 in the seventh inning, but shortstop Corey Seager tripled in a run to tie the game. Rockies outfielder David Dahl untied the game in the top of the ninth with a two-out solo home run off of Kenley Jansen. But Seager once again rose to the occasion, blasting a game-tying solo shot in the bottom half of the ninth against Adam Ottavino. That would set the stage for Culberson in the next frame.
Culberson, a former Rockie, came into the afternoon with a .591 OPS and zero home runs in 53 plate appearances. He finished the afternoon 3-for-5 with the homer.
It’s the fourth consecutive season in which the Dodgers have won the NL West. The Cubs have clinched the best record, which means they’ll play the winner of the Wild Card game. The Dodgers will play the Nationals in the NLDS. The Nationals have a 1.5-game lead over the Dodgers for home-field advantage, so both teams are still playing for something of importance in the regular season’s final week.