It was a good day to be a Gurriel.
On Friday, Lourdes and Yulieski Gurriel accomplished something that had never been done before in the history of Major League Baseball. They became the first pair of siblings to each have multi-homer games on the same day.
Here’s how it happened.
Lourdes Gurriel absolutely pulverized a baseball in the first inning of the Blue Jays’ game against the Rays, turning around a 99.1 mph fastball from Diego Castillo and depositing it 450 feet away over the center field wall.
Yulieski Gurriel also got on the board in the first inning on Friday, and though he didn’t crush it as far as his younger brother did, his blast came in grand fashion. He went opposite-field off of Andrew Heaney to net his second grand slam of the season and give the Astros an early 4-0 edge over the Angels.
In the next at-bat for Lourdes, he smashed another ball over the wall, this time a 415-foot blast off of rookie southpaw Jalen Beeks. The younger Gurriel had also gone deep in his final at-bat during Thursday’s game, so this made three straight at-bats in which he had homered.
With all eyes on him on his next at-bat, Lourdes had to settle for a rocket of a single into center field that had an exit velocity of over 105 mph. He finished his night 3-for-4 with the pair of homers, three runs scored and two RBI.
While that’s a tremendous night, it wasn’t even the best in his own family. After blasting his grand slam in the first inning, brother Yulieski also left the yard in his second at-bat of the game, this time swatting a two-run homer off of Heaney to increase the Astros’ lead to 6-0.
Like his brother, Yulieski also tacked on a single in the game, though his also drove in another run with an RBI knock in the fifth inning. He finished his monster evening 3-for-4 as well, though his came with a pair of runs scored and a career-high seven RBI.
Both of their teammates made sure to keep them informed of what their brother was doing on Friday. In fact, Yulieski’s Astros’ teammates framed it as motivation for him, letting him know that Lourdes had hit a second home run, so he needed to do so as well.
The siblings will have a chance to reflect on this awesome moment in person on Monday, when the Astros begin a three-game set against the Blue Jays in Toronto. It will be the first time that the pair have squared off on the opposite side of the diamond.
Lourdes told reporters after the game, "I'm very happy… but I'm also curious, because it's going to be the first time that I'm going to play against him. That's never happened before. It's a little bit weird. I'll see how I'm going to feel that day."
Yulieski also spoke with reporters following his career-night, noting how proud he was of their combined accomplishment, "I'm very happy for us… I didn't know we had made a record. And he's having a great season. It was great hearing the news. Sometimes I have good games, sometimes he has a good game, and for us to have a great game together, it was really special."
The Gurriel brothers weren’t the only players making big league history on Friday though. In the National League, Cy Young Award favorite Jacob deGrom was busy adding to his resume in his start against the Nationals.
The Mets’ right-hander spun yet another gem on Friday, allowing just one run on three hits and a walk over seven stellar innings. He struck out eight in the process, en route to earning his ninth victory of the season.
It marked the 23rd straight quality start for deGrom, breaking a tie that he was in with Bob Gibson and Chris Carpenter for the most consecutive quality starts in a single season in Major League Baseball history.
He also added another start onto his record streak of consecutive starts of allowing three runs or fewer -- now at 28. He’s all but a lock to finish the season with the best ERA in all of baseball, currently sporting a 1.77 mark with only one start remaining. He’s likely to become just the sixth hurler since the turn of the century to post a sub-2.00 ERA with over 200 innings pitched in a season.
With his eight strikeouts on Friday, deGrom ran his strikeout total on the season up to 259. That’s the fifth highest total in Mets’ franchise history and only Dwight Gooden and Tom Seaver have had more.
He heads into his season-finale against the Braves on Wednesday with a 9-9 record, 1.77 ERA, 0.94 WHIP and 259/46 K/BB ratio in 209 inning across his 31 starts.
As long as he walks fewer than five batters on Wednesday, he’ll join Pedro Martinez and Christy Mathewson as the only pitchers in the last 110 years to post an ERA under 2.00 with 250 or more strikeouts and 50 or fewer walks in a season.
While some old-school voters will shy away from deGrom due to the low win total, he has unquestionably been the best pitcher in the National League (and all of baseball) this season, and he should absolutely come away from it with his first career Cy Young Award for his fantastic efforts.
After going through a brief rut where he smacked just two home runs and slashed .183/.284/.310 over a 19-game stretch from August 24 - September 13, Khris Davis is back in the swing of things.
He entered play on Friday having hit safely in each of his last four games and having blasted two homers in his last six contests.
Davis got the Athletics on the board in the first inning on Friday, smacking his MLB-leading 44th home run off of Jose Berrios, giving the A’s an early 2-0 advantage.
The Athletics would lose that lead though, and faced a 6- deficit heading into the sixth inning. it was there that teammate Mark Canha swatted a two-run shot to tie the game and eventually force extra innings.
It was in that bonus baseball session that Davis struck again. After a pair of shutdown innings from other-worldly closer Blake Treinen extended the game, Davis led off the home half of the 10th inning by crushing a Matt Magill offering over the wall in right field for a walk-off blast.
"There's not a better feeling in the world” Davis noted after rounding the bases to chants of “MVP” from the hometown faithful.
Davis now leads Red Sox’ slugger J.D. Martinez by four home runs and looks poised to secure his first ever home run crown. With eight games left to play, he still has an opportunity to add to his already career-high 45 bombs.
With the dramatic victory, the Athletics were able to lower their magic number to three. While the postseason is basically a foregone conclusion, they are still battling for seeding, and Friday’s victory was critical. With the Astros also winning, the A’s remain 3 ⅓ games behind them for the top spot in the American League West.
The Yankees also were victorious on Friday, keeping the Athletics 1 ½ games behind the Bombers for the top Wild Card spot in the league and the all-important home field advantage in the one-game playoff.
American League Quick Hits: The Rangers announced the firing of manager Jeff Bannister. Bench coach Don Wakamatsu will serve as the interim manager for the remainder of the 2018 season… Victor Martinez will play in his final major league game on Saturday, wanting to finish his career in front of the home fans in Detroit. He’ll still travel with the team for their final road trip next week but will not play… Carlos Correa was held out of the Astros’ lineup on Friday and will not play for the remainder of the homestand because of nagging back soreness… Lance McCullers will be activated from the disabled list as early as Monday, where he’ll function out of the bullpen in preparation for his role in the postseason… James Paxton (illness) is expected to return to the Mariners’ rotation on Monday or Tuesday… Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported that the Orioles are not expected to bring back manager Buck Showalter for the 2019 season. The Orioles own a league-worst 44-109 record… Miguel Sano returned to Minnesota to undergo additional testing on his injured left leg. He’ll miss the entire weekend series against the Athletics and may miss the final week of the regular season as well… Eddie Rosario (quad) is not expected to return this season…Ji-Man Choi was removed from Friday's game against the Blue Jays due to left knee soreness… Reynaldo Lopez struck out eight over seven innings of one-run ball in a victory over the Cubs… Daniel Palka swatted his 27th home run in that win… Austin Meadows went 3-for-3 with three RBI and a stolen base in a lopsided victory over the Blue Jays… Mike Trout smashed his fourth homer in his last five games in a losing effort against the Astros… Gerrit Cole earned his 15th victory, striking out 12 over seven innings against the Angels… Aaron Hicks belted a two-run homer, singled, walked twice and scored four times as the Yankees beat the Orioles… Trevor Bauer allowed two hits and a walk over 1 ⅓ innings in his return from the disabled list… Sam Travis homered and drove in three runs as the Red Sox topped the Indians… Joey Gallo (toe) homered and drove in two in his return to the Rangers’ lineup on Friday… Adrian Beltre homered and plated five runs in Friday’s win over the Mariners. He passed Jim Thome and Reggie Jackson and now sits in 22nd place on the All-time RBI leaderboard.
National League Quick Hits: Major League Baseball placed Cubs’ shortstop Addison Russell on administrative leave after a domestic violence investigation re-entered the spotlight after his ex-wife posted intimate details about the alleged abuse on her blog… Lorenzo Cain was held out of the Brewers’ lineup again on Friday and hasn’t played since Tuesday after tweaking his intercostal muscle… Adam Eaton missed Friday’s game due to soreness in his left knee… Jose Peraza was scratched from the Reds’ lineup on Friday due to illness...Trevor Story (elbow) took live swings in batting practice and played catch on Thursday and Friday, but has yet to be cleared to return to the Rockies' lineup… Luis Castillo dazzled with 8 ⅓ shutout innings in a no-decision against the Marlins… Wei-Yin Chen fired seven scoreless frames on the other side of that matchup… Ian Desmond reached base three times and drove in three runs in a win over the Diamondbacks… German Marquez racked up 11 strikeouts over seven innings of two-run ball in a victory against the D’Backs… Ozzie Albies smacked a go-ahead two-run homer in the seventh inning to lead the Braves to victory over the Phillies... Hunter Renfroe swatted his 24th homer as the Padres topped the Dodgers... Carlos Martinez locked down his fourth save with a scoreless ninth inning against the Giants.