Sunday, April 8, 2007

A-Rod Slams O's; Oswalt Goes Distance for 1st Astros Win

Saturday's Peak Performers and Fabulous Flops American League Alex Rodriguez (right) homered twice, the second a grand slam with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, to propel the NY Yankees to a 10-7 win over the Baltimore Orioles at Yankees Stadium. A-Rod's stat line for the game is the most impressive thus far this season. 4 at-bats, 3 hits, 4 runs, 6 RBI. In the same game, O's third baseman Melvin Mora put up some pretty good numbers of his own with a double and home run in 5 at-bats, 5 RBI and a run scored. Curtis Granderson's 5th inning solo home run proved to be the game-winner as Detroit outlasted Kansas City, 6-5. Granderson went 2-3, drove in a pair of runs and scored twice for the Tigers, who earned their first road win. Javier Vasquez threw 6 2/3 innings of 1-hit shutout ball, sending the visiting Twins to their first loss, 3-0. Vasquez struck out 5 (including the side, in order in the 5th inning) and walked 4. Frank Thomas hit his first home run in a Toronto uniform, a 2nd inning grand slam off Tampa Bay's Toma Okha, who gave up 6 hits, 3 walks and 5 earned runs in 4 1/3 innings. The Blue Jays won the game 8-5 in Tampa. Sammy Sosa hit his first homer of the season and first as a Texas Ranger as the Rangers beat the visiting Red Sox for the second straight day, 8-4. Sosa's 2-run blast came off Boston's J.C. Romero, who had a rough outing, allowing 5 hits, 3 earned runs while not recording an out. Sosa was 2-5, with 2 RBI and scored twice. John Lackey looked to be in midseason form, helping the LA Angels to their 5th win in six games with a 7 inning quality start and his second win of the season. Lackey outdueled Danny Haren (0-2), allowing just 1 run on 7 hits, no walks and 6 Ks. Haren pitched well enough to win, but the A's literally threw the game away in the 6th inning, when shortstop Marco Scutaro threw wildly to first, allowing Garrett Anderson to score the winning run from 2nd base. National League Adam Dunn (right) had an interesting day helping the Reds take over sole possession of first place in the NL Central (4-1) with a 7-5 win over visiting Pittsburgh. Dunn belted his his third homer of the season in the first inning - a two run shot - and after that the Pirate pitchers walked him three times, so Dunn responded by stealing second twice and scoring a couple more times. Noted more for his power stroke than his speed, Dunn has now stolen 9 consecutive bases without being thrown out. He stole 7 in 7 tries in 2006. After a rough outing in his first start, Derek Lowe held the Giants to 1 run on 4 hits over 7 innings in the Dodgers' 4-1 win at San Francisco. Lowe walked 2 and struck out 1 - opposing pitcher Russ Ortiz - evening his record at 1-1. Florida's Josh Willingham nearly hit for the cycle in the Marlins 8-4 win over the visiting Phillies, but he couldn't get the easiest part - a single. Willingham homered in the 2nd, tripled in the 3rd and doubled in the 5th inning, drove in 4 runs and scored one. He struck out swinging in the 7th, his final at-bat. Dontrelle Willis struck out 9 en route to his 2nd win. Houston finally got their first win of 2007, thanks to the complete game thrown by ace Roy Oswalt, who allowed just 1 earned run on 5 hits a walk and 4 Ks. The Astros beat St. Louis 5-1, dropping the visiting Cardinals into a tie for last place with themselves. Both the Astros and Cardinals are 1-4.

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