July 16, 2011

Q: Most RBI In A Game With Only One Hit?

After Ben Zobrist walked with the bases loaded in the third inning of the Rays' 9-6 win last night, his line in the box score read: 1 2 1 5.

That's 1 at-bat, 2 runs scored, 1 hit, and 5 runs batted in. After I posted that in the game thread, Jere said Ben Petrick of the Rockies was one of two players with no hits and four RBI in a game. I went over to BRef to do some searching.

Since the start of the 1919 season, 68 players have had at least three RBI in a game and no hits, including Bobby Doerr of the 1947 Red Sox. Only two of those 68 players had four RBI:

Bob O'Farrell, Cubs, August 19, 1923
No play-by-play available; 0-for-5, with a walk and a run scored
Ben Petrick, Rockies, September 20, 2000
2nd inning: Groundout to SS, RBI
4th inning: Sacrifice fly to CF, RBI
6th inning: Groundout to SS
8th inning: Groundout to 2B, RBI
9th inning: Bases-loaded BB, RBI
While wondering if Zobrist would get another RBI in the game without a hit (he didn't), I searched for players who had one hit and at least six RBI. That has happened only six times -- not surprisingly, the hit in each case was a home run -- and three of the six players were Red Sox!
Ellis Kinder, August 6, 1950 (G1): Home run (likely a grand slam); also pitched a complete game 9-6 victory.

Eddie Bressoud, August 22, 1963: Grand slam and two sacrifice flies.

Rico Petrocelli, June 21, 1972: Grand slam and two run-scoring groundouts; another run scored when Petrocelli reached on an error, but there was no RBI credited.
What about the most RBI with only two hits? Six players have had eight RBI on only two hits, but only three of them hit two grand slams (one of those three was Fernando Tatis, who hit his two grand slams in the same inning!).

Lou Gehrig is the only man to have two hits and eight RBI in a game, but only one home run. And Jim Gentile is the only player in history to have two hits and nine RBI in a game.

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