Friday, April 20, 2007

Hill is King on the Mound; A-Rod is A+

Thursday's Peak Performers and Fabulous Flops American League Alex Rodriguez (right) might as well form a league of his own. He's making all the other players in the American League look bad. Rodriguez capped a 6-inning ninth inning with his 10th home run of the season, a 2-out, 3-run, walk-off blast to center field, giving the Yankees an 8-6 win over Cleveland and a sweep of the 3-game series at Yankee Stadium. The Yanks trailed 6-2 entering their last at-bat, but reliever Joe Borowski only managed to get two outs while giving up 5 hits, a walk and 6 earned runs. A-Rod notched three more RBI to boost his total to 26, tops in the majors. The Yankees are in Fenway Park this weekend for a 3-game tilt with the Red Sox. Johan Santana improved to 3-1 as the Twins almost gave this one away, winning 6-5 at Seattle. Santana pitched 7 strong innings, allowing just 1 earned run on 4 hits and a walk,while striking out 7. Pat Neshek allowed a 3-run 9th inning homer by Raul Ibanez to cut the lead to 1, but Joe Nathan came in to get the final out and his 5th save. Santana's 7 Ks gave him 32 on the season, best in the majors. Arizona's Brandon Webb leads the National League with 28. Other AL Scores Boston 5 Toronto 3 - Manny Ramirez hits 1st home run. Chi White Sox 6 Texas 4 - Sammy Sosa, 4th HR; Jim Thome, 5 BB. National League Chicago's Rich Hill (right) turned in another strong performance last night, blanking the Atlanta Braves on 4 hits and 3 walks while striking out 7 batters over 8 innings. Hill's pitching was backed by solo home runs from Michael Barrett and Aramis Ramirez, plus a run-scoring double off the bat of Mark DeRosa for the 3-0 road win. Ryan Dempster pitched a scoreless 9th for his 3rd save. Hill ran his scoreless streak to 16 innings and has allowed just one earned run in three starts this season. The only run came on a 6th inning solo homer by Milwaukee's Corey Hart. Since then, it's been all zeroes and Hill's ERA has continued to plummet to a major league-leading 0.41. Xavier Nady delivered a 2-run homer, a double and stroked a run-scoring single in the 8th inning to help the Milwaukee Brewers to a 7-5 home win over Pittsburgh and maintain a 1/2 game lead over Houston in the contentious NL Central.
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Houston's Luke Scott cracked a 7th inning solo home run and followed that up with a game-winning, bases-loaded clearing 7th inning double to lead the Astros to an 8-6 road win over Cincinnati. Carlos Beltran went 4-6, drove in 2 and scored twice in the Mets 11-3 win at Florida. The win put New York into first place in the NL East, a half game beyond the Atlanta Braves. The Mets have won 3 straight and head to Atlanta for a pivotal 3-game series on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Other NL Scores LA Dodgers 8 Colorado 1 - Jeff Kent, 3-4, 2 RBI. San Francisco 6 St. Louis 2 - Cards' 4th straight loss, last in NL Central. San Diego 11 Arizona 6 Philadelphia 4 Washington 2

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