Dustin Pedroia falls one hit short of rarely challenged record

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Welcome to The Walk Off, the nightly MLB recap from Big League Stew. Here we’ll look at the top performers of the night, show you a must-see highlight and rundown the scoreboard. First, we start with a game you need to know about.

Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia got hot in a hurry this weekend and nearly tied a major-league record that hasn’t been equaled in 64 years.

Beginning with his 3-for-4 game on Thursday night, Pedroia started a run of 11 straight hits in 11 straight at-bats. That’s one hit short of the MLB record held by Johnny Kling (1902), Pinky Higgins (1938) and Walt Dropo (1952). There was also a walk in there in Friday’s game, but that didn’t impact the streak because a walk is not an official at-bat.

It started with hits in each of his final three at-bats on Thursday. It continued with a 4-for-4 performance on Friday. And it neared history after Pedroia started 4-for-4 again on Saturday. All he needed was one more hit to join very exclusive company, but he grounded into a 4-6-3 double play in his final at-bat.

Dustin Pedroia of the Red Sox collected 11 straight hits, nearly tying an MLB record. (AP)
Dustin Pedroia of the Red Sox collected 11 straight hits, nearly tying an MLB record. (AP)

As it is, 11 for his last 12 doesn’t sound too bad either. In fact, he raised his batting average from .306 to .320 in a span of three days, which obviously doesn’t happen often when players are 500 at-bats deep into a season.

The Red Sox would hold on to win the game 8-3, with Pedroia’s four hits atop the order leading the way. Mookie Betts, who was 5-for-5 with five RBIs on Friday, stayed hot by hitting his 29th home run. Xander Bogaerts went 2-for-4 with a home run as the Red Sox continued cooling off the previously red-hot Royals.

TOP PERFORMERS

Asdrubal Cabrera: The Mets are heating up at the expense of the rival Phillies, and it’s Cabrera leading the way. The veteran shortstop delivered his third home run in two games to pace the Mets 12-1 victory. Cabrera has 16 homers on the season. He was joined by Yoenis Cespedes, Neil Walker and Kelly Johnson, who walloped a pinch-hit grand slam. Meanwhile, Noah Syndergaard coasted to his 12th win, allowing one run on two hits over seven innings.

Scott Schebler: The Reds rookie outfielder hit two home runs and drove in five on Saturday… in the first two innings. He would quiet down from there, adding just another single. The Reds did not, however, defeating the Diamondbacks 13-0. That included a two-run homer from Joey Votto, a three-hit game from Brandon Phillips and an 0-for-5 from starting pitcher Anthony Desclafani. OK, so the latter wasn’t so great offensively, but he did fire a complete game shutout.

Charlie Blackmon: The Rockies center fielder won NL Player of the Week honors two weeks ago after hitting eight home runs in seven games. A toe injury slowed him down immediately after, but he was able to mostly jog on Saturday, hitting two more home runs in a 9-4, 11-inning win. Blackmon started the game’s scoring with a solo homer in the third. He then hit a go-ahead two-run blast in the 11th to give him 23 on the season. His previous season-high was 19 in 2014.

Mike Foltynewicz: The Braves played the ultimate spoilers on Saturday, handing the Giants their MLB-leading 26th loss since the All-Star break. Foltynewicz was a key part of that. The emerging right-hander tossed 7 2/3 innings of one-run ball as the Braves prevailed 3-1. The Braves offense was provided by Matt Kemp, who connected for a three-run homer.

MUST-SEE HIGHLIGHT

The Houston Astros won Friday’s game in a dramatic fashion, getting back-to-back home runs from Carlos Correa and Evan Gattis in the ninth inning. On Saturday, they mixed in some defense to defeat the Rays by a more convincing 6-2 final. That included this diving play from center fielder Jake Marisnick.

REST OF SCOREBOARD

Yankees 13 Orioles 5: The Gary Sanchez show rolls on. The Yankees rookie made history, becoming the first major-leaguer to hit 11 home runs in his first 23 games.

Dodgers 3, Cubs 2: Rookie left-hander Julio Urias won his fifth straight decision by tossing six innings of one-run ball. It was a far cry from his first start against Chicago when he allowed six runs over five innings at Wrigley Field.

Blue Jays 8, Twins 7: Minnesota managed to blow a five-run lead, with the kicker coming on Melvin Upton Jr.’s go-ahead Little League home run in the eighth inning.

Angels 3, Tigers 2: It was a bullpen game for the Angels, with usual starter Jhoulys Chacin stepping up to pitch four scoreless innings of relief to earn his fifth win.

Pirates 9, Brewers 6: Cursed no more? The Pirates have won the first three games of this weekend series in Milwaukee. They entered with a 17-64 record at Miller Park dating back to 2007.

Padres 1, Marlins 0: Miami was stifled by the quartet of Clayton Richard, Jose Dominguez, Brad Hand and Kevin Quackenbush. That’s a rough night for a postseason contender.

White Sox 9, Mariners 3: Chicago got home runs from Jose Abreu, Avasail Garcia, Alex Avila and Tyler Saladino as they played spoiler to Seattle.

A’s 3, Cardinals 2: Oakland squeezed out two runs in the eighth on a fielder’s choice and a sacrifice fly. Relievers Daniel Coulombe, Liam Hendriks and Ryan Madson held St. Louis hitless with six strikeouts over the final three frames.

Rangers 7, Indians 0: There was no coming back from Mitch Moreland’s first-inning grand slam. Texas starter A.J. Griffin and three relievers combined on a seven-hit shutout.

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Mark Townsend is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at bigleaguestew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!