Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Rodriguez ties April HR mark; Rollins is Rollin'

Rodriguez ties April HR mark; Rollins is Rollin' Monday's Peak Performers and Fabulous Flops American League With two more home runs last night, Alex Rodriguez set a new AL mark for April long balls (passing Ken Griffey Jr.) and tied the major league mark of 14 set last year by St. Louis' Albert Pujols. Rodriguez also closed to within 1 of the major league record for April RBI with his 32nd, 33rd and 34th and he still has 6 games left to play. Going 4-5, A-Rod raised his MLB-leading batting average to an even .400 and scored 4 times. Despite A-Rod's hot hitting, the Yankees lost their 4th straight game, 10-8 at Tampa Bay as high-priced import Kei Igawa lasted only 4 1/3 innings, giving up 7 runs on 8 hits and 3 walks, including a pair of Devil Ray home runs. In 4 starts, Igawa has pitched a total of 20 2/3 innings, given up 5 homers, 9 walks, 18 earned runs and is carrying an ERA of 7.84. Nick Swisher homered twice, drove in 3 runs and scored 2 in 5 at-bats to lead Oakland back into 1st place in the AL West with a 6-5 win at Baltimore. Toronto 2nd baseman Aaron Hill singled,
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homered and doubled twice in 5 at-bats, driving in 2 runs and scoring 3 times in the Blue Jays' 7-4 win at Boston. Hill was joined in the Toronto hit parade by center fielder Vernon Wells who doubled, tripled, stole a base and scored 3 times in 4 at-bats. Despite the loss, the Red Sox maintained their 1 1/2 game advantage over Baltimore in the AL East. Paul Konerko went 3-4, pounding out a pair of 2-run homers, singling and driving in another run with a sac fly in Chicago's 7-4 win at Kansas City. Konerko's 5 RBI were enough to help Mark Buehrle gain his second win in his first start after last week's no-hitter. Other AL Scores Detroit 9 LA Angels 5 - C. Granderson, HR (3), SB (2) Seattle 5 Texas 4 - I. Suzuki, 2B, 3B, 3 RBI Cleveland 7 Minnesota 3, 12 innings - T. Hafner, 4-4 National League Jimmy Rollins (right) nearly hit for the cycle, going 4-5 with a solo home run, triple and a pair of singles. Rollins scored 4 times and drove in a couple of runs in Philadelphia's 11-4 thumping of the visiting Houston Astros. Rollins, batting in the leadoff spot, leads the NL with 7 home runs, has 14 RBI, a .313 bating average. His 19 runs scored is 3rd best in the National League. John Maine improved to 3-0, allowing just one earned run on 7 hits and 2 walks while striking out 5 in the Mets' 6-1 win over visiting Colorado. Maine, who pitched 7 2/3 innings, lowered his ERA to 1.71. Jose Valentin hit a 3-run homer, Carlos Delgado hit his first of the year - a 2-run shot - and Jose Reyes increased his major-league leading stolen base total to 12 with a pair of thefts. Prince Fielder hit his 3rd and 4th home runs of the season, the latter a solo shot game-winner in the 12th inning, sending the visiting Brewers to their 3rd straight win and 1st place in the NL Central with a 5-4 win over the Cubs. Fielder has 2 RBI and scored twice in the win. Despite the best efforts of Atlanta's Jeff Francoeur, who went 4-5 with a pair of singles, a double, a solo home run and 4 RBI, Dontrelle Willis became the first National League pitcher to reach 4 wins as Florida survived at home, 8-7. Willis may not be the sharpest 4-game winner with an ERA of 5.28, but his teammates have given him plenty of support, scoring 36 runs (9 per game) in his 4 wins. Willis has given up at least 7 hits in each outing this season.

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