Sunday, August 5, 2007

Bonds 755; Rodriguez 500

A couple of noteworthy milestones to report - in a season full of them - from Saturday's games around the league. In the afternoon on the East coast, Alex Rodriguez (right) became the youngest player in major league history to reach the 500 home run mark. With Derek Jeter and Bobby Abreu aboard, A-Rod crashed #500 (and #36 on the season) off Kansas City starter, Kyle Davies, in the first inning at Yankee Stadium. Rodriguez, who had been mired in a 3-27 slump after hitting #499 at Kansas City on July 25, added a pair of singles later in the game. He leads the majors with 108 RBI and is approaching another monumental milestone - 1500 RBI. He currently has 1455. Later, out on the West coast, the most controversial issue in the sporting world finally reached some level of resolution as Barry Bonds (left) blasted his 755th home run - an opposite field shot into the left-center field stands of San Diego's Petco Park - tying Hank Aaron for the career mark. Bonds homered to lead off the 2nd second inning and walked three times following the feat. He is not expected to play in Sunday's game, preferring to attempt breaking the record at home in San Francisco. The Giants begin a seven game homestand against two of the worst teams in the National League - Washington and Pittsburgh - beginning Monday. The Nationals play four, followed by a 3-game set with the Pirates on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Fan reaction to Bonds has been, to say the least, mixed, amid allegations that Bonds used performance-enhancing drugs to in order to reach the pinnacle of sports record history. Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig, who was in attendance at the game, said either he or a representative would attend the Giants' next few games "out of respect for the tradition of the game, the magnitude of the record and the fact that all citizens in this country are innocent until proven guilty." That last bit speaks volumes about the controversy and cynicism surrounding Bonds and the record. American League Kansas City 8 NY Yankees 16 -With Alex Rodriguez leading the way, the Bronx Bombers lived up to their name with another pulverizing performance on Saturday. The Yanks hammered out 21 hits, included 9 for extra bases. The Yankees' recent run-scoring barrage has resulted in 5 wins over their last six games, scoring 66 runs overall. Combined with the spotty play of the other wild card contenders, New York has clawed to within 1 1/2 of the wild card leader, currently Detroit, and 1 game back of Seattle. Texas 5 Toronto 9 - Frank Thomas smacked two homers and drove in four runs to lead the Blue Jays over sinking Texas. Cleveland 2 Minnesota 3 - The Twins picked up a game on LA Central leader Cleveland and are 5 1/2 back. Other AL Scores LA Angels 1 Oakland 2 Chi White Sox 7 Detroit 5 - Tigers lose 4th straight, 10 of last 12 Baltimore 2 Tampa Bay 9 Boston 4 Seattle 3 National League NY Mets 2 Chi Cubs 6 - Ted Lilly (12-5) stymied the Mets over 7 2/3rds, allowing 2 earned on 7 hits while striking out 8. The Cubs scored all six of their runs in the third inning off John Maine, who lasted on 2 2/3, his shortest outing of the year. In the silver lining department, Moises Alou hit a pair of solo home runs and has hit safely in 5 straight games. Alou, who had been sidelined since May 12, came off the DL July 27. Colorado 4 Atlanta 6 - In a critical series for both clubs, the Braves continued their desperate chase of the Mets in the NL East, drawing to within 4 1/2 of the division leaders. Garrett Atkins provided all of Colorado's offense with a grand slam in the 8th off Braves' reliever Octavio Dotel. The Rockies are also 4 1/2 back - in the NL West - but are in 4th place, looking up at the Dodgers, Padres and Diamondbacks. Philadelphia 5 Milwaukee 6 - both teams feasted on some so-so pitching, as the two teams played a little home run derby. Ryan Howard hit his 30th and teammates Greg Dobbs and Pat Burrell also went deep. Rookie Ryan Braun hit his 19th, but Prince Fielder (right) had the last laugh, blasting his 32nd - a two run shot in the bottom of the 8th - which provided the winning margin as the Brewers retained their 1-game lead in NL Central over the Cubs. Arizona 8 LA Dodgers 7 - Jose Valverde picked up his 33rd save with another perfect ninth inning after the D-Backs nearly gave up an 8-2 lead. Arizona continues to lead the division by 1 1/2 over the Padres, and has taken two straight from LA, dropping them 3 games off the pace. Other NL Scores Houston 5 Florida 6, 12 innings St. Louis 1 Washington 12 - Nationals 5-game win streak; Cards, 4-game losing streak Cincinnati 9 Pittsburgh 8, 10 innings - A. Dunn, GW 2-run HR (30) San Francisco 2 San Diego 3, 12 innings

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