Saturday, April 7, 2007
Mets On Fire: Win 4th Straight in 11-1 Rout of Braves
Friday's Peak Performers and Fabulous Flops National League After trashing the world champion St. Louis Cardinals in a 3-game set, the NY Mets sauntered into Atlanta and gave the Braves a taste of what the NL East would be like this season. Leadoff man Jose Reyes (right) rapped out a pair of triples and a single in 6 at-bats, drove in 4 runs and scored twice in support of Oliver Perez's 5-hit, 6 K, 7-inning mound work. While Reyes and the other Mets' position players were shredding 4 Atlanta pitchers for 15 hits, Perez was making short work of the Braves at the plate, allowing just one earned run on Jeff Francoeur's first homer of the season. The Mets improved to 4-0, one game ahead of the Braves. Arizona rookie Chris B. Young blasted a 3-run shot in the 6th and added another RBI on a sac fly in the 8th inning, boosting the Diamondbacks to a 7-1 decision over the Nationals at Washington. Young, starting in center field for Arizona, is batting only .176, but has produced 7 RBI on just 3 hits. Opposing pitchers may not want to face Philly's Ryan Howard, but Pat Burrell, who bats behind the 2006 NL MVP will make them pay. Burrell blasted a 3-run homer off Florida reliever Ricky Nolasco in the top of the 7th inning last night to boost the Phillies to an 8-2 win over the Marlins. Nolasco walked Howard with first base open and Shane Victorino on 2nd to face Burrell and the veteran left fielder obligingly deposited the ball in the stands behind left field. Burrell earlier scored in the 2nd and singled in another run in the third. The homer gave him 4 RBI on the night. Cubs' starter Rich Hill was perfect over 5 innings, then allowed a leadoff 6th inning solo homer to Corey Hart, but finished strong, setting down the next 6 batters in order, as Chicago won 9-3 at Milwaukee. Hill allowed only the one hit, no walks and struck out 6 as the Cubs evened their record at 2-2. After dropping 3 straight to the Mets, the St. Louis Cardinals got their first win of the season as Chris Duncan went 3-4 on a pair of doubles, a two-run homer and 3 RBI. The Cardinals handed Houston their 4th straight home loss, 4-2. Jeff Conine's 3-run blast in the 3rd broke a 1-1 tie and the Reds added single runs in the 7th and 8th innings to hand Pittsburgh their first loss of the season, by a 6-1 score. The win earned the Reds a tie with the Pirates for 1st place in the NL Central at 3-1. Colorado's Matt Holliday hit his second home run in as many days helping the Rockies to a 4-3 win at San Diego. Holliday's 2-run shot drove in Todd Helton and gave the Rockies a 4-1 cushion. Khalil Greene's 2-run shot in the 9th nearly spoiled the night for reliever Brian Fuentes, who was awarded the save despite allowing a hit and two runs in the final frame. Brad Penny allowed 10 hits but only 1 run to post a 2-1 win over host San Francisco. American League Vladimir Guerrero (right) cracked a 3-run homer off reliever Jay Witasick in the 7th inning to pace the LA Angels to a 5-3 win over AL West rival Oakland. The blast was Vlad's 3rd of the season (tying him with Cleveland's Gary Sizemore for the AL lead) and boosted his RBI total to a league-leading 9, one ahead of the A's' Mark Ellis. Robinson Tejeda threw 2-hit ball over 7 innings as the Texas Rangers beat the visiting Boston Red Sox, 2-0. Tejeda walked 3 and struck out just one, but threw only 77 pitches for his first win of 2007. The Yankees' Mike Mussina lasted only 4 innings in his 2007 debut, allowing the visiting Baltimore Orioles to ring up 6 runs on 8 hits and 3 walks. The Moose only struck out 4 batters in Baltimore's 6-4 win.