Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Ortiz Getting into Groove; Tejada Roughs up Padres

Players of the Day for Monday, April 21, 2008 American League Big Papi is getting himself into a groove. After a slow start, David Ortiz has begun to put some sting on the ball. On Monday, he doubled twice and drove in three runs as the Red Sox knocked off the Rangers, 8-3. To get an idea of just how poorly Ortiz started the season, consider that he was batting just .070 on April 12. Eight games later, he's upped his average to .177, still poor, but he's hit safely in seven of his last 8 games and has knocked in 11 runs in his last four.
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Notes: The Red Sox have won five straight and opened up a 2 game lead on the Baltimore Orioles, and 3 1/2 over Toronto and the Yankees. On the opposite end of the scale, the Rangers lost four straight (all to Boston) and the Royals are beginning their annual dive in the standings with a four-game losing streak. National League In five at-bats, Miguel Tejada singled twice, doubled, homered, drove in three runs, scored three times and stole a base as he and the Houston Astros drubbed the Padres, 10-3. The homer was the 4th for Tejada, a newcomer to the National League after spending all of his career with Oakland and Baltimore until this season. He doesn't seem to be affected by facing different pitchers as he's batting at a brisk .342 pace and has 16 RBI. Notes: Best in the West. The Arizona Diamondbacks are off to an exceptionally grand start. At 14-5, they're already 5 games in front and are the only team in the NL West with a winning record. That's largely the result of the D-Backs, who have run up 13 wins against just 3 losses in the division. Over in the Central, Pittsburgh is currently on a 6-game losing streak and has dropped into last place at 7-12.

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