Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Two for Alou; Royal Slide Reaches 6

Tuesday's Peak Performers and Fabulous Flops American League The Kansas City Royals took a 6-5 lead in the 6th inning at Detroit, but they scored no more and the Tigers rallied with single runs in the 7th and 8th to win 7-6 and extend KC's losing streak to six games. Placido Polanco singled, tripled and homered in 5 at-bats, scoring 3 times and driving in a pair of runs, including the game winner in the 8th inning. Torii Hunter smacked a fifth inning grand slam off Seattle starter Jeff Weaver en route to an 11-2 win for the visiting Twins. Hunter added a double in a 2-4 performance while catcher Joe Mauer belted out 3 doubles, scored twice and drove in 3 runs in 4 at-bats. Ramon Ortiz allowed the Mariners' only 2 runs of the game, working 7 innings for his 3rd win with no losses. Weaver, who lasted only 2 innings in his first start of the season, managed to hang in for 6 innings, though the results were hardly encouraging. While Weaver actually cut his ERA nearly in half, from 30.50 to 15.75, he was touched by the Twins for 10 hits and 7 runs, all earned. Hard to believe this is the same guy who pitched 8 innings in the championship-clinching 5th game of the World Series last season, but it is. Weaver was traded by the Cardinals to the Mariners in the off-season. Message to Jeff: less surfing, dude; more pitching. National League Moises Alou backed Tom Glavine's 6 strong innings with a pair of home runs, pacing the Mets to an 8-1 pasting of the Phillies. Alou's dingers were his first in a Mets uniform and came with one on in the 2nd and the bases empty in the 6th. Glavine, meanwhile, scattered 6 hits and 1 earned run, improving to 3-1 on the year. Jose Reyes boosted his league lead in stolen bases to 8 with a pair of thefts. Ryan Freel went 4-5, scored 3 times and drove in a run as the Reds took back first place from the visiting Milwaukee Brewers, 11-5. Alex Rodriguez continued to scorch opposing pitchers last night with a 2-run homer and an RBI single to lead the Yankees to a 10-3 win over the visiting Indians. The Bombers blew up Cleveland starter Jake Westbrook (0-2), roughing him up for 8 hits and 8 earned runs in just 1 2/3rd innings, including 3 home runs.
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Rodriguez leads the majors with 8 home runs and 21 RBI and has a 17-game hitting streak extending back to last season. He is batting .375 over 12 games this season. A-Rod, if he keeps up his torrid pace, will soon be closing in on some April records. Ken Griffey, Jr. hit 13 homers in April of 1997 for Seattle; Albert Pujols set the major league mark last season when he knocked out 14 in April for St. Louis. Juan Gonzalez of the Texas Rangers holds the somewhat unassailable early-season RBI record, having driven in 35 in April, 1998.

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