Thursday, July 24, 2014

Mark Reynolds Leads Brewers to Sweep of Reds; A's Remain Hot as Yoenis Cespedes Homers Twice

Players of the Day for Wednesday, July 23, 2014

American League

Cespedes: 2HR, 5RBI
The Oakland A's just keep rolling along, now two games ahead of the Angels in the torrid AL West, after knocking off Houston on Wednesday, 9-7. At 62-38, the A's have the best record in the majors, followed closely by those pesky Angels (60-40).

Yoenis Cespedes, back-to-back champion in the all-star home run derby, proved why he is the reigning strongman in the big leagues, belting two shots in the win - a three-run homer in the second inning and a two-run blast in the fourth, which put the A's up 7-0, prior to their pitching staff nearly giving the game away allowing seven runs over the final five innings, including a five-run Houston eighth.

Cespedes finished 2-for-5, with five RBI. He has 16 homers and 61 RBI on the season.

Reynolds: 2HR, 3RBI
The series tied at a game apiece, the teams will settle up Thursday at 6:35 pm PDT at the Coliseum in Oakland.

National League

Mark Reynolds touched off a pair of homers and added a single in four at-bats as the Brewers dropped the Reds, 5-1, as Milwaukee swept visiting Cincinnati, three straight.

Reynolds broke open a close game in the sixth inning with a two-run job, adding a solo shot in the eighth, giving him three RBI on the night.

The win pushed their lead in the Central to 2 1/2 games over the Cardinals, losers of three straight, and Pittsburgh, who has tied St. Louis for second with two consecutive wins over the Dodgers.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Buster Posey, Brandon Crawford Lead Giants to 1st Place; Mike Moustakas Powers Royals over ChiSox

Players of the Day for Tuesday, July 22, 2014

American League
Moustakas: 2HR

Kansas City evened its series at Chicago at a game apiece, banging out 14 hits to top the White Sox, 7-1.

The two teams are struggling to remain relevant in the AL Central. For now, the Royals have the upper hand, trailing division-leading Detroit by seven games. The White Sox fell to nine games off the pace.

Third baseman Mike Moustakas did his best to hide the fact that he's batting under .200 (.198), going 3-for-5 with a pair of home runs - his 11th and 12th of the season - driving in three runs. Moustakas started the Royals' scoring with a solo shot in the second and finished it off with a two-run dinger in the eighth.

The Royals and White Sox square off Wednesday afternoon in the rubber game of the series at 2:10 pm EDT at Cellular Field in Chicago.

National League

Posey: hot bat
Crawford: 4RBI
Buster Posey is getting into a groove, and the San Francisco Giants are enjoying the top spot in the NL West because of it.

With the Dodgers were losing at Pittsburgh, 12-7, the Giants took a one-game lead in the division, taking their second straight in Philadelphia with a 9-6 victory over the Phillies in 14 innings.

Posey tied the game at 5-all with a solo homer in the ninth inning, and scored the go-ahead run after doubling with one out and coming home to score on Brandon Crawford's bases-loaded double later in the frame.

Posey was 4-for-7 with a pair of doubles, a single and the solo homer - his 12th - scoring twice and driving in a run. Posey's gone 11-for-28 with 11 RBI his last six games. He's at .286 for the season.

Crawford went 2-for-6 with four RBI, giving him 44 on the year.

The Giants will be looking for their third straight when they take on the Phillies Wednesday night at 7:00 pm EDT in the third leg of their four-game series.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Adam Jones Buries Angels in O's Win; Ian Desmond 5-for-5 for Nationals

Players of the Day for Monday, July 21, 2014

American League

Jones: 2HR, 4RBI
Adam Jones is having a solid season, belting two more homers on Monday to give the Orioles' center fielder 19 on the year, accounting for all of Baltimore's runs in their 4-2 victory over the Angels.

Jones cracked a two-run shot in the opening frame and broke a 2-2 tie with another two-run bomb in the sixth, chasing Angels' starter Matt Shoemaker, who took the loss.

The win boosted the Orioles lead to four games in the East, as the Yankees and Blue Jays each lost and remained tied for second.

Batting .300 with 19 homers and 63 RBI, Jones is among AL leaders and makes the O's a threat for October baseball.

Game two of the three-game series commences Tuesday at 10:05 pm PDT.

National League

Desmond: 5-for-5
With Atlanta losing 3-1 in 10 innings to Miami, Washington took a tenuous one-game lead in the NL East Monday with a 7-3 win at Colorado, losers of six striaght and dead last, 15 games out in the NL West.

While the Nats cranked out a cumulative 13 hits, much of the damage at the plate was done by Ian Desmond, who went 5-for-5 with four singles and a two-run homer, giving him 62 RBI on the season.

Desmond also scored three times in his five at-bats.

The Nationals will try to send the Rockies to their seventh straight defeat when game two of the three-game series begins Tuesday at 8:40 pm EDT.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Neil Walker Homers as Pirates Sweep Rockies; Houston's Matt Dominguez Powers Astros

Players of the Day for Sunday, July 20, 2014

Matt Dominguez
American League

No matter which division or league the Houston Astros find themselves in, the result is usually the same: an under-.500 squad with hopes for "next season."

It's the same story for this year's version of the Astros, to a degree. At 41-58 they're a solid 20 1/2 games behind the A's in the West, but, they're still the best major league team in Texas, as the Rangers have managed to fall into last place, at 39-59, in the same division.

What has some Houstonians hopeful is the emergence of 24-year-old third baseman Matt Dominguez, who is following up a successful 2013 campaign with a solid season thus far in 2014 with 12 homes and 43 RBI.

In Sunday's 11-7 victory over the White Sox, Dominguez collected three hits in five at-bats, including a run-scoring single in the third inning, a two-run homer in the fifth and a double in the seventh which brought in another run, giving him four RBI for the game.

The White Sox took two of three in the weekend series, and remain home to start a three-game set with the Royals on Monday. After a day off Monday, the Astros head to Oakland for three.
Neil Walker

National League

Pittsburgh completed its sweep of the visiting Rockies Sunday afternoon with a 5-3 win, moving the Pirates to within 1 1/2 games of the NL Central co-leaders, St. Louis and Milwaukee.

After giving up three runs in the first two frames, Pirate starter Jeff Locke locked down the Rockies for the remainder of his six innings, then turned the ball over the Pittsburgh's capable bullpen, which blanked Colorado through the seventh, eighth and ninth.

Meanwhile, the Pirate bats got busy, scoring a pair of runs in the bottom of the second, a solo score in the sixth and two more in the seventh, the final score coming off the bat of Neil Walker, his 14th, a solo shot off reliever Matt Belisle. Walker ended up 3-for-4 with a pair of runs scored and the lone RBI, his 45th on the year.

The Pirates remain home to host the Dodgers, while the Rockies go back to Denver for a series with the Nats. Both series begin Monday and will last three games.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Paul Goldschmidt, Adam Jones Homers Lead D'Backs, Orioles to Victories

Players of the Day for Saturday, July 19, 2014

American League

Jones 2-5, 5 RBI
Oakland took the first game of their three-game set in Baltimore by a 5-4 tally Friday night, but it didn't take long for the Orioles to impress upon the AL West leaders that they weren't going to take it lying down.

Adam Jones cracked a three-run homer off A's starter, Jason Hammel, and J.J. Hardy followed with a solo shot for a 4-0 lead in an eventual, 8-4, Baltimore victory.

Jones added a two run single in the fourth, driving home Nick Markakis and Steve Pearce. Markakis had four hits on the night, Pearce went 3-for-4, while Jones was 2-for-5 with five RBI, two stolen bases and two runs. His homer was his 17th of the season.

The rubber game of the series is scheduled for 4:05 pm ET Sunday at Camden Yards in Baltimore.

National League

Paul Goldschmidt
After winning the series opener, 5-4, on Friday, the Arizona Diamondbacks out-slugged the visiting Chicago Cubs, 9-3, Saturday, led by all-star first baseman, Paul Goldschmidt.

Chicago had a 3-1 lead after four innings, but from the fifth on, it was literally, all Arizona. Miguel Montero doubled in three runs in the fifth and then Goldschmidt took over, doubling in a run in the sixth and belting his 18th homer in the eight to drive in another pair of runs.

Goldschmidt finished 3-for-3, with three runs and three RBI. His 65 RBI on the season have him tied with Miami's Giancarlo Stanton for the RBI lead in the NL.

Arizona will be looking for the sweep on Sunday. Game time is 4:10 pm ET.