Sunday, April 27, 2008

Norton Leads Mariners over A's; Kemp's Flies Plate Five in First

Players of the Day from Saturday, April 26, 2008 American League Journeyman Greg Norton hasn't seen a lot of playing time since coming over to Seattle from Tampa Bay in the off-season, but he made the most of it on Saturday, with a pair of singles and a double in four at-bats to help Seattle to a 5-3 win over Oakland. Norton knocked in three and also scored a run as the Mariners picked up ground on AL West co-leaders Los Angeles and Oakland. The Mariners are 3 games back. Notes: I'll have my AL East scrambled, please. Tampa Bay has won five straight and was the only winner on Saturday in the AL East, as the Rays took their second straight from the Red Sox, by a 2-1 tally. The Orioles lost, keeping them tied with the Sox, who have dropped four straight. The Yankees have lost 3 in a row and Toronto is in the cellar having lost six straight. National League Matt Kemp didn't have a great game, more a spectacular first inning for himself and his Dodger teammates as Los Angeles knocked out Colorado, 11-3 mostly on the strength of a 10-run first inning. Down 2-0, when LA came up in the bottom of the first, Kemp got the party started with a sac fly to center which plated Juan Pierre. Five runs and eight hitters later, Kemp came up again, this time with the bases loaded, and again lofted a fly ball to center, though this one came down past the wall for a grand slam, giving Kemp five RBI in the inning. Without another hit, he ended his day 1-for-4. The win moved the Dodgers into sole possession of second place in the NL West, 6 games behind Arizona. Notes: The longest steaks in the NL are both in Pennsylvania, where the Phillies have won 3 straight and the Pirates have lost 3 in a row. Cubs' pitcher Carlos Zambrano is on a roll, picking up his 4th win against 1 loss as he blanked the Washington Nationals on 5 hits over seven innings in Chicago's 7-0 win. In his last three starts (all wins), Zambrano has gone 7 innings each time and has allowed just 3 earned runs.

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