Sunday, May 6, 2007

Don't Mess with Texas: Astros' Albers Grounds Cards; Rangers' Young Drives in 5

Saturday's Peak Performers and Fabulous Flops American League Texas shortstop Michael Young (right) doubled home 2 runs in the 3rd inning, singled in another in the 6th and punched out a 2-run homer in the 8th to lead the Rangers to an 11-4 laugher over Roy Halladay and the visiting Toronto Blue Jays. Halladay, who was seeking his 100th career win, was pounded mercilessly by the Texas hitters, who roughed him up for 12 hits and 9 earned runs over 5 1/3 innings, the shortest outing for Halladay this season. It was Toronto's 5th straight loss and sent them to the LA East cellar. Young, who hit .331 in 2005 and .314 last year, has been flirting with .200 most of this season, but his 3-5 performance may be a sign of more good things to come. Chien-Ming Wang worked a perfect game into the 8th inning as the Yankees rolled to an 8-1 decision over the visiting Mariners. Wang gave up an 8th inning home run to Ben Broussard and a harmless single to Jose Guillen and finished with a 2-hitter over 8 innings with 4 Ks and no walks for his 1st win of the season
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against 2 prior losses. Other AL Scores Chicago White Sox 6 LA Angels 3 - B. Jenks, S (9) Baltimore 8 Cleveland 2 Detroit 7 Kansas City 5 - Tigers, Indians tied for AL Central lead Minnesota 2 Boston 1 - J. Santana (W, 4-2), T. Hunter, 20-gm. hit streak Tampa Bay 3 Oakland 2, 12 innings - T. Wigginton 2HR (6) National League Houston rookie Matt Albers (right) shut out the Cardinals on 3 hits over 7 1/3 innings as the Astros put St. Louis into a 13-0 black hole and last place in the NL Central. Albers, whose last outing was only 2 1/3 innings in a 11-2 home loss to Cincy, rebounded to even his record at 1-1 with his first major league win. The Astros provided the Houston native with plenty of support at the plate. Mark Loretta went 4-5; Carlos Lee plated 3 to keep him tied for the NL RBI lead at 28 and rookie center fielder Hunter Pence made his first major league home run a memorable one, knocking it out to center field with the bases full in the 8th inning. The Cardinals fell to 11-17 and are 3-7 over their last 10. The Cards are struggling in the worst ways, 4-10 at home, and 0-5 outside the division. Even Albert Pujols, who entered Saturday's game with a 12-game hitting streak, went 0-4. Barry Bonds cracked career home run #744 Saturday to help the Giants defeat the visiting (and slumping) Philadelphia Phillies (4-6 over their last 10 games), 9-4. Bond's homer was his 10th of the season, tying him with Atlanta's Chipper Jones for the NL lead. Do not adjust your set: Speaking of the slipping Phillies, any cognizant baseball fan must have had a chuckle over the FOX promo for next Saturday's featured MLB telecast - the Cubs at Philly - with the endorsement, "Ryan Howard leads the Phillies..." Apparently, both the game and the promo were set long ago and nobody at the network bothered to look at the stats. Howard, last season's NL MVP (and a formidable power hitter when he's right), is currently batting below .200, has a paltry 4 home runs and 17 RBI, and leads the Phillies with 37 whiffs. Meanwhile, the Cubs' Derrek Lee is hitting .416 and the Cubs have won 4 straight. Apparently, baseball isn't a priority at the American Idol network. J. J. Hardy busted a 3-run homer in the 8th inning to give the Milwaukee Brewers a 6-3 win over visiting Pittsburgh and remain 5 games ahead of the Cubs in the NL Central. The blast was Hardy's 8th of the season and his 4 RBI put him within 2 of the NL lead with 26. Houston's Carlos Lee and Adrian Gonzalez of San Diego lead with 28 each. The 20-10 Brewers are 16-8 within the division and 12-5 at home. Other NL Scores LA Dodgers 6 Atlanta 3 - E. Renteria, 14-gm. hit streak San Diego 7 Florida 6, 12 innings Colorado 9 Cincinnati 7 - M. Holliday, HR (5), 3 RBI (26) Chicago Cubs 5 Washington 3 - R. Hill (W, 4-1), D. Lee 13-gm. hit streak (.416) NY Mets 6 Arizona 2 - Mets, 1-gm. lead in NL East

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