In 2002, it all got started by an unlikely source named David Eckstein. On April 28 of that season, the Angels shortstop hit the first of the season's eight walk-off grand slams. About three weeks later, Jason Giambi hit an ultimate grand slam (a game-ender with his team down by three in its last at-bat). Eight days later, Jose Vidro sent Expos fans happy with a game-ending slam. Gregg Zaun had the lone walk-off grand slam in June, and then a 15-day span in mid to late July saw a total of three hit, by Cleveland's Bill Selby (off Mariano Rivera), the Rangers' Alex Rodriguez and the Indians' Jim Thome. Joe Crede -- the third baseman for the White Sox -- then made it eight walk-off grand slams when he connected for one on Aug. 27.
Over the past 50 years, no season has seen more game-ending slams than 2002, but then again, even the 2002 season didn't see two occur on the same day.
The Marlins scored six runs in the bottom of the ninth, capped by Giancarlo Stanton's walk-off grand slam, and defeated the Mets, 8-4. Stanton's game-ending slam was the first for the franchise since June 11, 2008, when Dan Uggla hit one against the Phillies. The only other walk-off slam in Marlins history came on Sept. 16, 1997, off the bat of Bobby Bonilla. The last time the Mets lost on a game-ending slam was on June 2, 2010, when the Padres' Adrian Gonzalez hit one.
The Reds defeated the Nationals, 9-6, on Joey Votto's third home run of the game, a walk-off grand slam in the bottom of the ninth.
o Votto is the only player in the live-ball era to finish a three-homer (or four-homer) game with a game-ending slam.
o This contest represented the second three-homer game for Votto, making him the fifth player in franchise history to have more than one. Johnny Bench had three, and Gus Bell, Eric Davis and Aaron Boone each had two.
o Votto also doubled in the game, making him the first Reds player since Jeffrey Hammonds on May 19, 1999, to have four extra-base hits in a game. The four, which tied a franchise record, had been previously accomplished 14 times since 1918, with Paul O'Neill doing it twice.
With the game-ending slams by Stanton and Votto, MLB saw its first multi-walk-off grand slam day since April 10, 1998, when Boston's Mo Vaughn and San Diego's Steve Finley each connected for a game-ending home run with the bases loaded. Before that occurrence, June 11, 1980, (Tony Armas and Mike Jorgensen) was the last date on which it happened.
Seattle's Kevin Millwood fanned six in a three-hit, seven-inning start that yielded his first victory of the season. With the six punchouts, Millwood became the 66th pitcher and the 44th right-hander to reach 2,000 K's for a career. Millwood, with 2,004 strikeouts, is the fourth active pitcher to pass the milestone, joining southpaws Jamie Moyer (2,429), Andy Pettitte (2,253) and CC Sabathia (2,070).
Derek Jeter went 1-for-4, broke out of a tie with Tony Gwynn and fell into a tie with Robin Yount on the all-time hits list, with 3,142 knocks. Jeter and Yount are tied for 16th or 17th on the all-time list, depending on which source is used for Cap Anson's career total. By matching Yount, Jeter also tied the Hall of Famer for the sixth most hits all-time for any player through his age-38 season.
Driving in at a fast pace
o The nine extra-base hits through his first 10 games ties Middlebrooks with Alvin Davis, Mark Quinn, Andruw Jones and Chris Dickerson for the most by any player since 1918. The previous high mark for any Red Sox player was eight, by Sam Horn and Daniel Nava.
o Middlebrooks' four homers through his first 10 games tied him with Billy Conigliaro for the second most for any Red Sox player since 1918. Horn had five.
Jimmy Rollins hit his 38th career leadoff home run to move to within six of tying Brady Anderson for the fourth most in history. It was the first leadoff homer of the season for Rollins.
Houston's Wandy Rodriguez allowed one run to Pittsburgh on three hits in eight innings, but was not part of the decision, as the Pirates won on a Josh Harrison walk-off single in the 12th inning. Since 2005, Rodriguez has 13 no-decisions in starts which have seen him finish with no more than one run allowed in at least seven innings. Those 13 tie him with Jake Peavy for the fifth most in baseball over that span. Felix Hernandez has 17, and Dan Haren, Cliff Lee and Carlos Zambrano each have 14.
The Giants' Melky Cabrera went 4-for-5, giving him 17 multihit games this season, which ties Cabrera with Jeter for the most in the Majors. Since the beginning of the 2011 season, Cabrera's 78 multihit games are tied with Adrian Gonzalez for the most in the Majors.
Carlos Beltran hit his 13th home run of the season. All-time, Beltran's 13 through his team's first 34 games ties him with Jose Cruz, Jr. (2000) and Lance Berkman ('02) for the second most for any switch-hitter through that many team games. Mickey Mantle had 16 in 1956.
Justin Verlander allowed two hits in seven innings and picked up his fourth victory of the season. Since his American League Rookie of the Year Award season in 2006, Verlander -- who has thrown two no-hitters -- has 12 starts in which he has thrown at least seven innings and allowed no more than two hits by the end of his day. Those 12 tie him with Jon Lester for the most in baseball since '06. Chris Young and Matt Cain are tied for the third most, with 11.
Although he didn't homer, Josh Hamilton did drive in three runs to give him 44 for the season.
Roger Schlueter is senior researcher for MLB Productions. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.