Saturday, April 21, 2007

A-Rod Blasts a Pair; Pierre Swipes Two

Friday's Peak Performers and Fabulous Flops American League It's becoming something of a worn out record, butAlex Rodriguez (right) continues to have a month of April like none ever seen. Last night in Boston, A-Rod homered twice off Red Sox starter Curt Schilling - a solo shot in the 4th and a 3-run blast in the 5th - to pad his major league-leading totals to 12 HR and 30 RBI. Rodriguez' heroics were not enough, however, as the Sox punished relievers Mike Myers, Luis Vizcaino and Mariano Rivera for five runs in the bottom of the eighth and held on to win, 7-6. Rivera was touched up badly, especially on Coco Crisp's two-run triple to tie the game and Alex Cora's single which plated Crisp with the game-winner. It was Rivera's 2nd blown save this week. As for Mr. Rodriguez, he's drawn within 2 home runs and 5 RBI of the all-time marks for April and has 9 games left in the month, 5 of them against Boston. The Red Sox head down to New York for a three-game set next weekend. A-Rod's next home run will tie him with Ken Griffey, Jr. for the most hit in April by an AL player. He needs 2 to tie Albert Pujols 14, set last season, for most in either league. If he stays really hot, A-Rod has a shot at Rudy York's AL record of 18 in any month, set in August 1937 or the major league record of 20 held by Sammy Sosa from June of 1998. The RBI record of 35 in April set by Juan Gonzalez in 1998, seems all but certain, though the record for any single month is probably a bit too much to ask, even of Rodriguez. According to Baseball Almanac, Sam Thompson of Philadelphia (NL) set the all-time mark with 61 ribbies in August, 1894 and the AL record is held by Joltin' Joe DiMaggio, who had 53 in August, 1939. A-Rod is almost certain to add another Yankees' name to some records list... his own. Rookie Travis Buck drove in 5 runs with a bases-loaded double and two-run home run in 3 at-bats to help the Oakland A's wallop Texas, 16-4 in Arlington. Leadoff man Shannon Stewart had 2 hits in 4 at-bats, one a 3-run homer. He tallied 4 RBI and scored twice. The A's have won 4 straight and lead the AL West by 2 games. Sidney Ponson isn't likely to remain in the Twins rotation with many more outings like last night's in Kansas City. The big man lasted only 4 1/3 innings, allowing 10 hits and 6 earned runs en route to an 11-7 beating by the 5-11 Royals. If Ponson - who's now sporting an ERA of 9.39 - can't get by these guys, what good is he? Other AL Scores Chicago White Sox 5 Detroit 4 - B. Jenks, save (5) Baltimore 5 Toronto 4 - M. Mora, 2-run HR (4) Cleveland 4 Tampa Bay 3 - T. Hafner, GW single 9th. LA Angels 8 Seattle 4 - V. Guerrero, 3-5, HR (4) National League Bradon Looper turned in a solid outing, allowing just one run on 5 hits in a 2-1 win over the Cubs, stopping St. Louis' losing streak at 4. LA center fielder Juan Pierre (right) swiped two more bases, went 3-4 and scored 3 runs in the Dodgers' 10-2 home win over Pittsburgh. Pierre has 7 steals, one behind NL leader Jose Reyes of the Mets. The 12-5 Dodgers lead the NL West by 2 games. The Atlanta Braves took a slim 1/2 game lead in the NL East as Tim Hudson shut out the Mets over 8 innings on 5 hits and 2 walks. The New Yorkers scored 3 in the ninth, but it wasn't close to being enough as the Braves won the first game of the series, 7-3, at Shea. Hudson improved to 3-0 on the season, lowering his ERA to 0.62. San Diego got great starting pitching from Chris Young and Adrian Gonzalez drove in 4 runs and scored 2, including his 4th homer, a 3-run shot, as the visiting Padres toppled the Rockies, 11-1. Young (2-1) went 7 innings, allowing just 4 hits and the only run of the game in the 2nd inning, while striking out 7. Other NL Scores Washington 6 Florida 5, 14 innings - Marlins, 6th straight loss Cincinnati 2 Philadelphia 1, 10 innings - K Loshe, 7 IP, 0 ER. San Francisco 4 Arizona 2 Houston 6 Milwaukee 5 - P. Fielder, 3-run walk-off HR (2)

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