The first two months of the 2012 season were demonstrably unkind to Blue Jays outfielder Colby Rasmus, Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins and Royals outfielder Alex Gordon. Between the first game of the season through the conclusion of May, this trio combined for a .237 batting average and a .365 slugging percentage. But June has produced an entirely different story, one that these three ballplayers must want to keep writing.
In June, Rollins leads the Majors in both extra-base hits and total bases. Rasmus is tied for the fourth-most homers and owns the third-most total bases. Gordon is tied for the second-most doubles, the seventh-most hits and the third-most walks. Combined, the three of them have posted a .335 batting average and a .605 slugging percentage in the June chapter of the 2012 season.
Rollins went 2-for-5 with a homer and double on Monday. He has hit home runs in four of his past five games, and has 17 extra-base hits in the month of June.
Rollins has 83 career games in which he has batted leadoff and collected at least two extra-base hits. His 83 are the fifth most since 1918. Rickey Henderson had 96, Johnny Damon has 91, Craig Biggio had 85 and Pete Rose had 84.
The Blue Jays defeated the Red Sox, 9-6, getting home runs from Jose Bautista (his 24th), J.P. Arencibia (his 10th) and Rasmus (his 14th). After hitting three home runs through his first 45 games of the season, Rasmus has hit 11 in his past 27 games. Over that stretch, he is batting .333 with a .675 slugging percentage and a 1.051 OPS.
Gordon went 3-for-4 with his 22nd double of the season. Gordon, who owns a .349/.451/.535 line in June, has 67 doubles since the start of the 2011 season. This total that is tied for the fourth most in the Majors.
Hochevar allowed seven hits in his second career shutout, and the Royals defeated the Rays, 8-0. With eight strikeouts and one walk, his line produced a game score of 80.
Hochevar has three starts this season which have produced a score of at least 70 -- the most on the Royals. He also leads the team with four starts which have produced a score of 30 or less.
Cobb went the distance in the Rays' 8-0 loss to the Royals. He allowed 13 hits to go along with the eight runs.
The 13 hits are the most allowed in a complete game since Roy Halladay gave up 13 on June 30, 2010. The eight runs are the most in a complete game since Randy Johnson allowed that many on July 5, 1998. Cobb is the first pitcher since Pat Hentgen in 1996 to go the distance in a game where his team was shut out by a score of at least 8-0.
Ortiz hit two home runs, giving him 20 for the season. It was the 37th multihomer game for Ortiz as a member of the Red Sox, tying him with Ted Williams for the most in franchise history.
Ortiz has hit at least 20 home runs in 11 straight seasons, including all 10 of his years with the Red Sox. His 10 seasons with 20-plus homers for Boston are the fourth most in team history. He's still behind Williams with 16, and Dwight Evans and Jim Rice, who both had 11.
Latos set a career high with 13 strikeouts in a four-hit, complete-game win over the Brewers. Latos' 13 strikeouts are the most for a Reds pitcher since Edinson Volquez fanned 13 in a loss on Sept. 3, 2008.
Latos is the first Reds pitcher to collect as many as 13 strikeouts in a win since Ron Villone threw a two-hitter with 16 K's on Sept. 29, 2000.
Down 6-1 after seven innings, the Cardinals scored one in the eighth four in the ninth and two in the 10th and defeated the Marlins, 8-7. The five-run comeback is the largest of the season for St. Louis, which leads the National League in runs scored.
In the Tigers' 8-2 win over the Rangers, Cabrera collected two doubles and drove in three runs. He now has 368 two-base hits and 1,043 RBIs for his career.
Cabrera's doubles total stands as the third highest in history for any player through his age-29 season. Ducky Medwick had 416 and Albert Pujols had 387. Cabrera's RBI total is the 11th highest for any player through his age-29 season, with Medwick (1,047) next in line.
Rauch was charged with four runs (none earned) on zero hits and one walk in one-third of an inning pitched. Rauch is the only pitcher in the live-ball era to have an outing with no hits, no more than one walk, and at least four runs allowed.
Liriano allowed one run with four hits and two walks in seven innings. He picked up the win as the Twins defeated the White Sox, 4-1.
Liriano began the season with a 9.45 ERA and 19 walks in 26 2/3 innings in six starts before being moved to the bullpen. Since being reinstalled in the rotation, Liriano has made six starts, owns a 2.41 ERA, and has issued 14 walks in 37 1/3 innings.
Revere went 4-for-5, giving the Twins outfielder his second four-hit game in his past four contests. Revere has 34 hits in June, which ties him with the Angels' Mike Trout for the most in the Majors.
Milone threw seven scoreless innings and combined with two relievers on a seven-hit shutout, as Oakland defeated Seattle, 1-0.
It is the third time this season Milone has finished a start with at least seven scoreless innings. That is the most for an Athletics left-hander at this point in a season (74 team games) since Barry Zito had three in 2006.
The 1-0 win by the Athletics was the club's eighth team shutout of the season, the most for the franchise through 74 games since 1990.
Cano doubled, homered and drove in three runs in New York's 7-1 victory over Cleveland. Over his past 20 games, Cano has 13 extra-base hits and a slash line of .352/.439/.803 in 71 at-bats.
Since his first season in 2005, Cano's 497 extra-base hits are the most for any second baseman, with Chase Utley (441) owning the second most. The 497 are the seventh most for any player at any position.
Zito (seven innings, three hits) and two relievers combined on a five-hit shutout, as the Giants beat the Dodgers, 8-0, to move within two games of Los Angeles for the lead in the NL West. Since May 24, San Francisco has made up five games in the standings and owns a 3.73 team ERA over the stretch.
Roger Schlueter is senior researcher for MLB Productions. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.