Sunday, June 25, 2017

Oakland's Matt Olson Belts 2 HR, A's Down ChiSox, 10-2; Trea Turner, Michael Taylor Lead Nats' 18-3 Rout Of Reds

Players of the Day for Saturday, June 25, 2017

American League

Olson: 2HR, 4RBI
With a record of 33-42, and already 17 1/2 games behind division-leading Houston in the AL West, the Oakland A's may be thinking about the future, as in, next season.

One of their top prospects is 23-year-old right fielder, Matt Olson, who seemed to be rounding into major league form this season season with AAA Nashville in the Pacific Coast League.

In 58 games with the Sounds, Olson is batting .271 with 17 home runs and 43 RBI and has been up and down with the A's a few times this season.

In Chicago to play the White Sox, rookie Olson had a breakout game, socking his first two home runs, accounting for four RBI. Olson started and finished the scoring for the A's in their 10-2 romp, hitting his first two-run homer in the opening frame, then finishing off the Sox with another two-run blast in the seventh.

The win was only Oakland's 11th, against 25 road losses and dropped the White Sox to 15-14 at home. Oakland will be seeking the sweep of the three-game series on Sunday, when the teams meet at Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago, 2:10 pm ET.

Turner: 5-for-5, 4R, 2RBI
National League

What happens when the Washington Nationals run into a team with a weak and/or depleted pitching staff.

Maybe Washington's 18-3 win at Cincinnati can provide a suitable explanation.

The Nationals teed off on Reds' starter, Homer Bailey, who was making his first major league start of the year after Tommy John surgery in May 2015 and was limited to eight starts in 2016. Bailey lasted just 1 2/3 innings, giving up six hits, three walks and eight runs, all earned.
Taylor: 4-5, 2HR, 3RBI

Neither were the visiting Nationals particularly kind to the Cincinnati relief staff. They pounded three relievers for 13 more hits and 10 more runs in the blowout.

The Reds have the worst ERA in the NL, at the astonishing level of 5.27.

At the top of Washington's batting order, Trea Turner lashed five singles in five at-bats, scoring four times and driving in a pair, while #8 hitter, Michael Taylor, delivered the bigger blows, going 4-for-5 with a double and two home runs, driving in three, also scoring four times.

The win kept the Nationals nine games ahead of the rapidly-improving Atlanta Braves, winners of four straight and eight of their last 10.

Washington will be seeking a sweep of the the three-game series at Great American Ball Park on Sunday, 1:35 pm ET.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Evan Longoria, Logan Morrison Power Rays Past O's; Justin Turner 3-for-5 In Dodger Win Over Rockies

Longoria: 4 RBI
Players of the Day for Friday, June 23, 2017

American League

Persistence is a word best describing the Tampa Bay Rays. While the Red Sox and Yankees battle for the lead in the AL East, Tampa Bay has managed to claw their way to within 2 1/2 games of the division co-leaders.

While the Rays' record of 40-36 is not outstanding, the AL East is highly competitive, so 90 wins could take the division. Tampa took another step in that direction Friday night, working 176 pitches from Baltimore hurlers into a 15-5 victory at Tropicana Park.

Morrison: 22 HR, 54 RBI
The Rays only had 11 hits overall, but took advantage of eight walks and two Oriole errors. Evan Longoria was 1-for-3 and drove in four runs, singling in two in the first, knocking a sac fly in the second and drawing a bases-loaded walk in the fourth.

Logan Morrison homered (22), tripled, scored three times and drove in three runs as the Rays piled on the Baltimore pitching staff, the worst in the majors, with a cumulative 5.20 ERA. Starter Ubaldo Jimenez was touched up for nine earned runs on seven hits and four walks in 2 1/3 innings.

Morrison's 54 RBI ranks third in the AL; he's second in homers behind New York's Aaron Judge (25).

The win was the third straight for the Rays, Tampa will be looking to send Baltimore to its fourth straight loss when the teams meet for game two of the three-game series, Saturday, 4:10 pm ET.

National League

Turner: .392 BA
Justin Turner keeps getting his reps and the LA Dodgers keep churning out wins.

Turner was 3-for-5 (two singles and a double), raising his batting average to .392, driving in a run and scoring one in support of Alex Wood, who allowed one run on three hits over six innings for his eighth win without a loss as the Dodgers won their eighth straight in a 6-1 win over Colorado.

Turner's impressive average won't show up atop the NL leader board because he's shy of the needed plate appearances for qualification. He needs 233 (3.1 per team game) and currently has 215. He keeps getting closer every day.

LA's home win increased their lead over the Rockies and Diamondbacks (6-1 losers to the Phillies) to 2 1/2 games. LA has the best home record in the majors, at 30-10.

Game two of the showdown series in LA is set for Saturday night, 7:10 pm ET.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Robinson Cano's 6 RBI Tame Tigers, Mariners Win, 9-6; Paul Goldschmidt Drives Home 4, Arizona Downs Rockies, 10-3

Players of the Day for Thursday, June 22, 2017

American League

Cano: 2HR, Slam, 6 RBI
With the Astros blowing away the opposition in the race to the AL West title - Houston won its 50th game Thursday, a 12-9 win at Oakland - there's growing attention to the wild card race. Essentially, any team with a .500 record, or close to that, is in the hunt, and that list includes the Seattle Mariners.

Seattle - 23-14 at home - stuck its head above breakeven with a 9-6 win over visiting Detroit. As the Astros are 12 1/2 ahead of the second place Mariners, the wild card has some appeal. At 38-37, Seattle is fourth, behind Boston, Tampa Bay, and Minnesota.

Robinson Cano was primarily responsible for Seattle's victory, socking a pair of home runs - numbers 12 and 13 - with six RBI. Cano belted a two-run shot in the third inning, putting Seattle up by a 5-1 score, but the Tigers clawed their way back, scoring a pair of runs in the fifth, cutting the Mariner lead to 5-3.

Cano put any thoughts of a comeback to rest in the seventh, when he slugged a grand slam, clearing the wall in right field. The Tigers scored three more, but Cabo's blasts were too much to overcome, sending Detroit to its sixth consecutive loss. The sweet-swinging second baseman - a career .306 hitter - is batting .284 with 48 RBI.

Seattle swept the four games from the Tigers and have won five straight as they prepare for a three-game visit from the Astros starting Friday at 10:10 pm ET.

National League

64 RBI leads NL
In the dogfight that is the NL West, Arizona took it to the home-standing Rockies for the second straight time, taking the series at Coors Field, two games to one with a 10-3 pasting of Colorado.

Paul Goldschmidt went 3-for-5 with a pair of singles and his 17th home run, driving in four runs to take over the NL RBI lead with 64, displacing teammate Jake Lamb (61). Goldschmidt's 18th homer put the Diamondbacks up by a 9-1 tally in the fourth inning. The game was out of hand early as Arizona swamped the Rockies with a run in the second and four runs in the second and third innings.

A lock for his fifth straight appearance in the all star game, Goldschmidt is having an MVP season, batting .335 (4th in the NL). His home run total is tied with four other players, eighth overall.

The win was Arizona's 12th in their last 14 and tied them with the Rockies for second place in the division. The Dodgers lead by 1 1/2 after completing a four-game sweep of the Mets with a 6-3 win.

Arizona should have every opportunity to continue their red hot play. The team heads home Friday for a 10-game home stand, playing four with the Phillies, followed by three with St. Louis and three with Colorado before heading to LA for three games against the Dodgers, starting July 4.

The Rockies open a three-game series against the Dodgers in Los Angles Friday night, 7:10 pm PT.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Salvador Perez Grand Slam Propels Royals Past Red Sox; Brandon Drury's 6 RBI Lead Arizona's 16-5 Romp At Colorado

Players of the Day for Wednesday, June 21, 2017

American League

Perez: Grand Slam
Boston's hold on first place in the AL East didn't last very long. In fact, it was just one day.

When the Red Sox topped Kansas City, 8-3, on Tuesday, the Yankees were losing their seventh straight, in an 8-3 loss to the Angels. That put Boston in first place by 1/2 game. Wednesday night's results were the opposite, with the Yankees ending their skein with an 8-4 win over LA, while Boston was losing to the Royals, 6-4, giving the Yankees a 12 game edge.

What turned out to be the biggest issue for the Red Sox in their road loss to KC was the inability to successfully retire Royals' catcher Salvador Perez.

Perez was 3-for-3, but really didn't do much damage until the eighth inning. In the second, he singled, moving Eric Hosmer to third, but was thrown out at second base on a double play as Hosmer scored. Perez walked and was left stranded at first in the fourth inning, and singled again in the seventh, eventually advancing to third, but the Royals ended the inning with the bases loaded, failing to cut into a 4-2 Boston lead.

After three consecutive walks to open the bottom of the eighth, Perez came to the plate with the bases full. Perez made a huge impact, launching his 15th home run of the season, a 412-foot left field grand slam that put the Royals ahead for good, 6-4.

The leading vote-getter at catcher in the American League all star balloting, Perez will likely be the starter. He has more than a 400,000 vote lead over Houston's Brian McCann and the Yankees' Gary Sanchez and will be making his fifth straight all star appearance when the two leagues meet July 11 at Marlins Park in Miami.

Kansas City's win kept them in third place, 3 1/2 behind the Indians in the AL Central. Minnesota is second, 1 1/2 back. The Royals took the series, two games to one. Since their 10-20 start, the Royals have gone 25-16 and will have a chance to reach .500 when they host Toronto Friday at 8:15 pm ET in the opener of a three game series.

Boston heads home for a seven game home stand, beginning Friday against the Angels.

National League

Drury: 4-for-6, 6 RBI
The Dodgers won their sixth straight game to take over first place in the torrid NL West as Arizona did the LA boys a favor, ending Colorado's six-game win streak in a 16-5 rout.

Coupled with LA's 8-2 win over the Mets, LA has a 1/2 game lead over Colorado. Arizona is 1 1/2 back.

What made the difference for the Diamondbacks in the second game of the three-game series in Denver was, significantly, Colorado's pitching. Arizona hammered four Rockies' hurlers for 20 hits, a relentless attack spearheaded by second baseman Brandon Drury who was 4-for-6 and drove in six runs.

After Mark Reynolds gave the Rockies a 1-0 lead in the second, the Diamondbacks responded, putting up a 10-spot in the fourth inning. Drury got the scoring started with a two-run double and ended the inning's tally with an RBI single. 14 players went to the plate in the frame, which included nine hits (three doubles) and a pair of walks.

Drury was far from done. however, singling home a run in the sixth and two more in the ninth.

In his third year with Arizona, Drury is on pace for a solid season, batting .304 with eight homers and 36 RBI.

Arizona and Colorado meet in the rubber game of the three-game series, Thursday, 3:10 pm ET. Later, the Dodgers will be going for a sweep of the Mets in their four-game series. Game time is 10:10 pm ET.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Corey Seager Blasts 3 HRs As Dodgers Bury Mets, 12-0; Manny Machado Homers Twice As O's Drop Tribe

Players of the Day for Tuesday, June 20, 2017

American League

Don't count the Baltimore Orioles out just yet. There's still plenty of games to be played, the Yankees have surrendered first place to the Red Sox by losing seven straight, and the O's have one of the most potent lineups in either league, as evidenced by the eruption off Manny Machado's bat in Baltimore's 6-5 victory over Cleveland.

Machado: 2 HR, 4 RBI
Like the Orioles - 13-25 since May 9 - Machado himself has been in something of a funk, batting just .227, including Tuesday's 4-for-4 effort. His solo homer in the first inning was his 14th and his 15th - a three-run shot - tied the game at 5-5 in the sixth. Machado also scored what turned out to be the game-winner in the seventh, doubling to lead off the inning and scoring on Adam Jones' double down the first base line.

His four RBI gave him 34 on the season, so, if the all star third baseman gets on a roll, he can challenge last season's 37 home runs and 96 RBI.

Tying the series at a game apiece, the Indians saw their lead in the AL Central chopped to 1 1/2 over Minnesota, while the Orioles find themselves at .500 (35-35), 4 1/2 back of Boston in the East.

Game three of the four-game, Camden Yards series is scheduled for Wednesday, at 7:05 pm ET.

Seager: 3 HR, 6 RBI
National League

Another day, another Dodger hero.

While Cody Bellinger hit his league-leading 22nd home run, Corey Seager smacked three out of the park as the Dodgers won their fifth straight, whipping the Mets, 12-0.

Seager socked a two-run homer in the first inning, a solo shot in the fourth, and a three-run belt in the sixth as the Dodgers completely outclassed the fading Mets. For good measure, the LA shortstop added his 19th double, going 4-for-5 with six RBI.

Seager is batting .293 with 12 homers and 38 RBI. The Dodgers are 27-10 at home.

The win didn't matter in the standings for the Dodgers as the first place Rockies won their sixth straight, a 4-3 win at Arizona. The good news for LA is that they are only 1/2 game behind Colorado in the NL West, with the Diamondbacks now two games off the pace.

Leading the series at Dodger Stadium two games to none, Los Angeles will try to extend their winning streak to six on Wednesday, when they host the Mets in game three at 7:00 pm PT.