Sitting at the Indians-Reds game last night with TD, I had planned to just spend a quiet inning away from my friends. Then, suddenly, Michael Brantley had a two-out RBI hit. And then Yan Gomes. And Ryan Raburn. And the beat continued to the top of the lineup.
All in all, I was away from my friends for nearly 45 minutes as the Indians demoralized Homer Bailey and the Reds for seven runs in the bottom of the fourth inning. When the rally was finally over against reliever Alfredo Simon, Cleveland had plated six consecutive two-out RBI hits.
So I was curious. After looking at Baseball-Reference’s Play Index search of all of the 7,830 two-out RBI hits since 2012, I was able to find out the historical rarity of last night’s feat.
Cleveland’s six two-out RBI hits in one inning 1 are the most by any team in the last two seasons. Here is the list:
6 – Cleveland, 5/30/13, b4 vs. Cincinnati (7 total RBI)
5 – LA Angels, 8/23/12, t3 at Boston Red Sox (6 total RBI)
5 – St. Louis, 7/21/12, b7 vs. Chicago Cubs (8 total RBI)
4 – (27 occurrences, most recently on 5/25/13 by both San Diego and Atlanta)
3 – (132 occurrences, most recently on 5/25/13 by Boston and 5/24/13 by Houston)
On the season, the Tribe now has a .939 OPS with runners in scoring position and two outs, by far the best in baseball (MLB average is .711). Oddly enough, Terry Francona’s Boston Red Sox ranked 1st (2009), 1st (2010) and 3rd (2011) in this category in his last three seasons with the team.
[Related: Indians 7, Reds 1: We Did It, You Guys. The Ohio Cup is OURS!]
I can’t necessarily tell if these other streaks were consecutive hits or not. Hence, the definition is simply “two-out RBI hits in one inning” as that is all I can concretely verify en masse.