Thursday, July 31, 2014

Cleveland's Cory Kluber Goes Distance in 2-0 Tribe Win; Jedd Gyorko Powers Padres to 12-1 Victory over Cardinals

Players of the Day for Wednesday, July 30, 2014

American League

Kluber: 3-hitter
Keeping hopes alive in Cleveland, the Indians got to within one game of .500 (53-54), as Cory Kluber out-dueled Seattle's Felix Hernandez in a 2-0 Tribe victory.

Kluber hurled his second complete game of the season and first shutout of his major league career, which officially began in 2012, when he was 2-5 as a starter for the Indians. Kluber was 11-5 in 2013.

Allowing just three hits, Kluber twirled a gem, fanning eight without issuing a walk. He needed only 85 pitches to go the distance for his 11th win against six losses. 69 of his pitches went for strikes and he was consistently ahead of batters, throwing first-pitch strikes to 22 of the 28 batters he faced. Cleveland turned two double plays behind him, as Kluber faced just one batter over the minimum.

Yan Gomes drove in the only runs of the game with a double in the fifth inning.

The Indians will look to take two of three from the visiting Mariners when the teams meet for the rubber game of the series at 7:05 pm EDT at Progressive Field.

National League

Jedd Gyorko
It's a typical season in San Diego, with the Padres languishing well off the pace in the division, currently 12 1/2 games behind the Dodgers and little hope for the remainder of the schedule.

However, the Padres are staring at an unusual circumstance after trashing the Cardinals, 12-1, in game two of their three-game series. Another win would give them a sweep of the perennially-contentious Cards.

After taking game one by a 3-1 score, Wednesday's contest became a farce, when the Padres plated eight runs in the seventh inning, aided by Jedd Gyorko's bases-loaded triple, which, after a solo homer in the third inning, gave him four RBI on the night. The second-year player out of the University of West Virginia added a single for three hits in five at bats with a pair of runs.

Gyorko, a regular at second base, knocked 23 homers as a rookie last season for the Padres, but has spent a good portion of this season in the minors. In 59 games with San Diego in 2014, he's batting just .181, with six homers and 29 RBI.

The Pardes will be seeking the sweep on Thursday afternoon. Game time is 12:40 PDT at Petco Park.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Texas Loses to Yankees, 12-11, Despite JC Arencibia's 7 RBI; Matt kemp Homers Twice in Dodger Win over Braves

Arencibia: 7 RBI
Players of the Day for Tuesday, July 29, 2014

American League

Doing just about everything he could to secure a win for the Texas Rangers, JP Arencibia went 4-for-5 with two doubles, two homers - a solo blast and a grand slam - drive in seven runs and scored twice, but his outstanding effort was not enough to prevent the Rangers from losing the middle game of their three-game home set with the Yankees, 12-11.

Texas took a 4-1 lead into the sixth inning, but, after the Yankees plated seven batsmen in the top of the inning, the Rangers played catch-up the rest of the way. Despite scoring four runs in the seventh, another run in the eighth, two in the bottom of the ninth, and out-hitting the Yankees, 15-12, the Rangers could not produce even the tying run, relegating them to the basement of the AL West, 25 1/2 games out.

Winning kept the Yankees in the hunt in the East, 4 1/2 games behind the Orioles. Toronto is in second place in the division, 2 1/2 out.
Matt Kemp

The rubber game of the series gets underway at 8:05 pm EDT in Texas.

National League

Winners of four straight, the LA Dodgers have wrested control of the NL West.

Opening a three-game series in Atlanta Tuesday, Matt Kemp belted a pair of two-run homers for an 8-4 LA victory, giving the Dodgers a 2-1 lead in the second and sealing the win with his seventh-inning shot, which made the score 7-4.

Kemp added a single to go 3-for-4, upping his average to .282. The homers were his ninth and 10th; his RBI total stands at nine.

The win gave the Dodgers more breathing room in the division, as the Giants lost their sixth straight, falling to Pittsburgh, 3-1, and three games off the pace.

Game two of the series is slated for 7:10 pm PDT at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Vance Worley's CG Powers Pirates over Giants, 5-0; Melky Cabrera Stars as Blue Jays Club Red Sox

Players of the Day for Monday, July 28, 2014

American League

Cabrera: 2HR 5RBI
R.A. Dickey (9-10) held the Red Sox to one run on three hits over seven innings while his Toronto teammates piled on Boston starter, Clay Buchholz and reliever Felix Doubront for a 14-1 Blue Jay win.

The main protagonist for Toronto was Melky Cabrera, who got the Jays started early, with a two-run homer in the first inning, then followed up with a three-run blast in the 6th off Doubront, amidst of a nine-run outburst which saw 14 Toronto players parade to the plate.

Cabrera also walked in the seventh and came around to score Toronto's final run eventually on a wild pitch, finishing his night at 2.for-5 with five RBI and three runs. He's batting .313 (7th in AL) with 14 homers and 58 RBI.

Toronto's win got them to within 2 1/2 games of the idle Orioles in the AL East. Last place Boston fell 11 games off the pace.

Game two of the series starts at 7:10 pm EDT at Fenway Park.

National League

Worley: 4-hit SO
Sending the Giants to their fifth straight loss, Vance Worley twirled a complete game shutout in a 5-0 Pirates win to open a three-game series in San Francisco.

Worley (4-1) needed just 100 pitches to complete the 4-hitter, getting help from his infield, which turned two double plays. He faced 29 batters, just two over the minimum, throwing 71 strikes, fanning three and issuing one walk.

Called up from Indianapolis of the AAA International League earlier this year, Worley has been a welcome addition to the rotation. In seven starts and one relief appearance he's compiled a 2.54 ERA. The win was his first major league shutout and second complete game. He had a complete game win in 2011 when he went 11-3 with the Phillies.

The Pirates gained to within two games of Milwaukee in the Central, as the Brewers fell, 2-1, to Tampa Bay. The Giants dropped to two games behind idle LA in the West.

Game two of the series is Tuesday, at 7:15 PDT.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Josh Harrison Leads Pirates with Four Hits; Carlos Sanata Keeps Cleveland Hopes Alive

Players of the Day for Sunday, July 27, 2013

American League

Santana: 2HR
Losers of three straight to the Royals and in danger of falling out of third place in the AL Central, the Cleveland Indians muscled up and avoided the sweep with a 10-3 victory Sunday in Kansas City.

Led by Carlos Santana, the Indians hammered out 15 hits against five Royals' pitchers. Santana continued to swing the bat at a orrid pace, belting a pair of home runs and driving in four. He added a single to go 3-for-3, extending his hitting streak to seven games.

Over that span, Santana has been on fire, going 15-for-27, with six homers and 10 RBI.

With the Tigers losing Sunday to the Angles, 2-1, the Indians find themselves 6 1/2 games back of the division leaders, with KC anchored in between, five out.

Josh Harrison
National League

Highlighting a 16-hit barrage, Pittsburgh's Josh Harrison banged out four hits in six at-bats, including a solo home run, a double and a pair of singles, dring in two and scoring twice.

Batting in his customary leadoff position, Harrison tormented Colorado pitchers, stealing a pair of bases in the 7-5 Pirate win.

The victory kept the Pirates from being swept in the three-game series at Colorado and kept them in third place in the NC Central, three games behind division-leading Milwaukee, 2-0 losers to the Mets.

St. Louis won, 1-0, over the Cubs, as Adam Wianwright became the major league's first 13-game winner. The Cardinals are a solid second in the division, two games behind the Brewers.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Chris Sale Dominates Twins in 7-0 ChiSox Win; Clayton Kershaw's 2-Hitter Puts Dodgers in First Place

Players of the Day for Saturday, July 26, 2014

American League

Chris Sale of the White Sox is having himself a spectacular season as a starter for Chicago.

Chris Sale: 10-1
On Saturday, Sale fanned 12 while hurling eight scoreless innings as the White Sox downed the Twins, 7-0.

A 6'6" lanky lefty, Sale allowed five hits and two walks, but struck out a batter in every inning, including a stretch from the fifth through seventh innings in which he fanned six of seven batters he faced, getting five of them swinging. He also struck out leadoff hitter, Danny Santana, three times and whiffed three other Minnesota victims twice each.

Daniel Webb pitched the ninth in the non-save situation, preserving the win and the blanking.

It was Sale's 10th win against just one loss. He threw 112 pitches, 79 of them for strikes. Sale's 1.88 ERA leads the American League, as does his 0.86 WHIP. He has 120 strikeouts in 16 starts, but trails many of the leaders in that department due to the fact that he missed over a month between mid-April and mid-May.

The fourth-place Sox currently trail the Tigers by eight games in the AL Central, but have taken three straight at Target field and will be looking for a four-game sweep of the Twins when the two teams wrap up the series at 2:10 pm EDT on Sunday.

National League

Kershaw: 12-2
It was a day of pitching superlatives, but none were better than LA's Clayton Kershaw, whose two-hit, complete game shutout gave the Dodgers a half game lead in the NL West over the Giants in a 5-0 victory against their in-state rivals.

Gregor Blanco singled off Kershaw with one out in the opening frame, but the Giants didn't get another hit until Mike Morse singled with two down in the seventh. Kershaw struck out seven and issued just two walks, throwing 78 of 113 pitches for strikes and getting ahead of 21 of the 30 batters he faced, with first pitch strikes.

Improving to 12-2, Kershaw leads the National League with a 1.76 ERA, and is tied with the Cardinals' Adam Wainwright with 12 wins, despite having started four fewer times than his St. Louis rival.

He and the Giants' Madison Bumgarner are tied for fifth in strikeouts with 141, but Kershaw is closing in on league-leader, Stephen Strasberg, who has 163.

The Dodgers, who have taken the first two games of the series in San Francisco, will be looking for the sweep when the series concludes Sunday night at 8:00 pm EDT. The game will be telecast nationally by ESPN.