Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Cleveland to Play Home Set in Milwaukee; Marlins' Cabrera at .500

Monday's Peak Performers and Fabulous Flops American League Alex Rodriguez continued his single-handed attack on AL pitchers with his 5th home run last night, but Bobby Abreu stole some of his thunder with a 2-run shot of his own and a pair of run scoring singles in the Yankees' 8-2 win at Minnesota. Abreu finished the night 3 for 5, with 4 RBI and 3 runs scored. He's batting .348 in his first full season with New York. Toronto's A. J. Burnett bounced back from a horrid first outing (2 innings, 5 hits, 4 walks, 6 earned runs on April 4 at Detroit) with a solid 6 2/3 innings against Kansas City. Burnett allowed the visiting Royals just 1 earned run on 3 hits and 3 walks, while striking out 5. The Blue Jays' bats provided more than enough offense for the 9-1 win. Jim Thome (right) crashed a solo homer in the 4th inning and drove in another run in the 8th with a single to right, providing all the offense starter Jose Contreras would need in the 4-1 White Sox win at Oakland. Thome added another single to go 3-4, while Contreras scattered 4 hits and 4 walks for 1 earned run over 6 innings, evening his record at 1-1. The Cleveland Indians had their games against Seattle canceled for the 4th straight day Monday after freak, heavy snow has kept the Indians and Mariners inside since Cleveland's home opener was cut short Friday night. The Indians were leading 4-0 with 2 outs in the 5th inning, but the game was called and the players haven't seen the field since. In an unprecedented move, MLB has ordered their series against the LA Angels, which was scheduled to start Tuesday in Cleveland, moved to Milwaukee's Miller Field which has a retractable roof and is in good playing shape. With the Brewers on the road until April 18, the Indians can call Milwaukee home, though officials feel that the team should be able to play their 3-game series with the White Sox - which is supposed to begin Friday - at Jacobs Field in Cleveland. As of yesterday, there was still about a foot of snow on the ground in Cleveland and another storm threatening a rain/snow mix tonight. The four games with Seattle have not yet been rescheduled. National League San Diego's Chris Young outdueled San Francisco's Matt Cain for the 1-0 Padres' home win. Young allowed just 5 hits and 2 walks while striking out 5. Cain gave up just 1 hit, but the Padres pushed across the only run of the game in the bottom of the 7th with pinch hitter Geoff Blum's sac fly plating shortstop Kahlil Greene. Braden Looper, who began his major league career with the Cardinals in 1998, but spent the next 8 seasons working out of the bullpen, has become a key in St. Louis' rotation, hurling a dandy 2-hitter at the Pirates last night in chilly Pittsburgh. Looper was re-acquired by the Cards in 2006 and used exclusively in relief, but got his first win in just his second start in 2007, going 7 innings without allowing a run in the 3-0 St. Louis win. The NY Mets welcomed the Phillies into Shea Stadium for a three-game set with an 11-5 thrashing, turning a 5-4 deficit around by scoring 7 runs in the 8th inning. Carlos Delgado (right) led the assault, going 3 for 3 with a pair of RBI while scoring twice. The 5-2 Mets have shown a propensity for scoring runs in bunches. Last night marked the third time they've put up 10 or more runs. The Houston Astros are never going to be confused with a power ball club, but through 7 games they're averaging only 2.71 runs per game. One reason the Astros aren't scoring has to be the failure of first baseman and cleanup hitter Lance Berkman to produce. Berkman drove in just his 3rd run of the season in last night's 5-3 loss at Chicago. He's gone 4-24 (.167) with 8 Ks to start the season. Berkman is a career .303 hitter, so he's either going to get it going soon or the Astros are really going to struggle. Florida's Miguel Cabrera may be the best 3rd baseman in the majors. Cabrera led the Marlins to a 5-3 home win over Milwaukee last night with a sac fly and a 2-run homer (his 3rd of the season) and kept his batting average at .500. If the season were to end today (actually, there's about 155 games left on most schedules), Cabrera would win the NL Triple Crown. His 11 RBI are second in the majors to A-Rod's 13. The Arizona Diamondbacks improved to 6-2 and 1st place in the NL West with a 3-2 home win over Cincinnati. As has been the case in 4 of those wins, closer Jose Valverde finished up in the ninth, though this one wasn't pretty, giving up a walk and a hit in the one inning of work. Valverde has allowed just 1 earned run in 4.2 innings this season.

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