Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Pudge Fattens Up on Royals; Penny Turns Up Another Win

Monday's Peak Performers and Fabulous Flops American League Detroit's Ivan (Pudge) Rodriguez crashed a 1st inning grand slam and added a 2-run double in the 2nd as the Tigers sent the visiting KC Royals to their 5th straight loss, 12-5. Rodriguez and Carlos Guillen did the bulk of the damage. Pudge totaled 6 RBI while Guillen drove in 4 with a solo homer in the 4th and a bases-loaded double in the 8th inning. The woeful Royals have the worst record in the majors at 3-10 and are near the bottom of the American League in most team batting and pitching stats. National League Cliff Floyd didn't even expect to play, but when Alfonso Soriano injured himself in the fifth inning, Floyd answered the call with an RBI single and a 3-run home run which helped the Cubs defeat visiting San Diego, 12-4. Floyd is likely to get more playing time with Soriano on the shelf, at least for now. The extent of his injury - originally diagnosed as a strained hamstring - is not yet known and the star center fielder has not been placed on the DL. After 6 innings, the Milwaukee Brewers were up 4-3 at Cincinnati, but center fielder Bill Hall put the game away in the top of the 7th
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with a grand slam, his 2nd homer of the season. The 10-6 win launched the Brewers into 1st place in the NL Central at 7-5, 1/2 game ahead of the Reds. Following a couple of shaky outings against San Diego and Colorado, in which he gave up 13 hits and 10 earned runs in 11 innings combined, Barry Zito shook off the past and got his first win for the Giants, shutting out the Rockies over 6 innings on 3 hits and 3 walks. Zito improved to 1-2 as the visiting Giants beat up on 4 Colorado pitchers, winning 8-0. Shortstop Omar Vizquel stroked 4 singles, drove in a pair and scored twice in 4 at-bats. The Dodgers' Brad Penny might become known as "bad Penny" to NL West opponents because he just keeps showing up and beating them. Penny turned in his third straight strong performance last night in Arizona, allowing just 1 earned run on 5 hits and 3 walks over 7 innings. Penny, 3-0, has already beaten the Giants and Rockies, and just needs a win against the Padres to give him wins over all division opponents. The lonely run scored by the D=Backs in the sixth inning was only the second against Penny in 20.1 innings pitched. His ERA is 0.89 and hasn't given up a home run. He's tied with Florida's Dontrelle Willis for the NL lead with 3 wins.

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