Monday, April 16, 2007

Pujols knocks out a pair; Sabathia honors Robinson

Sunday's Peak Performers and Fabulous Flops American League Oakland's Marco Scutaro, with one swat of the bat, raised his batting average from .050 to .095, and turned what looked like a sure loss into a happy home win for the A's over the Yankees. Scutaro stepped to the plate with 2 outs in the bottom of the ninth inning, two men aboard and hard-throwing Mariano Rivera on the mound and delivered a 3-run homer to left, changing a 4-2 deficit to a 5-4 win and a 2-1 advantage over the Yankees in their 3-game weekend series. In the game, Alex Rodriguez boosted his major league-leading RBI total to 18 with a sac fly in the 8th. He was 2-3 at the plate, with a single, double and run scored. The Cleveland Indians may have the best mix of pitching and hitting in the American League. Yesterday it was mostly about the pitching as their 2-1 win over the White Sox gave them a 2-1 advantage in their home-opening series. C. C. Sabathia (right) pitched 8 solid innings, allowing just one earned run on 5 hits and 3 walks while striking out 10. Fittingly, Sabathia was wearing Jackie Robinson's #42 and did him proud, earning his 3rd win without a loss. The Texas Rangers are probably happy to be leaving Seattle after dropping the final two games of their 3-game series with the Mariners. Yesterday's 14-7 pounding was Seattle's high run total for the season as the first three hitters in the lineup, Ichiro Suzuki, Adrian Beltre and Jose Vidro each homered and piled up big numbers, shooing the Rangers out of town. Ichiro went 4-5 with a solo homer, a stolen base, scored 3 times and drove in 2. Beltre was 2-4 with a 3-run homer, 4 RBI and 3 runs. Vidro went 3-5, hit 2 home runs, drove in 4 runs and scored 3 times. National League Albert Pujols (right) jolted two out of the yard in St. Louis, pacing the Cardinals to a 10-2 rout of Milwaukee. Pujols, who finished with 5 RBI, knocked a 3-run shot in the 1st inning, drove in another with a bases-loaded ground out in the 6th and blasted a solo shot out to left in the 8th. Kyle Loshe, who spent part of last season in the minors, went 8 innings for the Cincinnati Reds yesterday, overpowering the Cubs at Wrigley Field on 4 hits and a walk, while ringing up 12 Ks in a 1-0 win. It was Loshe's first win of the season after going 2-5 with Minnesota and 2-3 with the Reds in 2006. On the day commemorating Jackie Robinson, the LA Dodgers - all wearing #42 in Jackie's honor - steamrolled the visiting San Diego Padres, 9-3, rapping 13 hits and stealing 5 bases. Right fielder Andre Ethier provided the power blasts with a 2-run double in the 3rd inning and a 2-run homer in the 8th. Ethier went 3-5, drove in 4 and scored 2.

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