Monday, May 19, 2008

Ortiz Smacks a Pair; Big Unit On Track

Players of the Day from Sunday, May 18, 2008 American League Don't look now, but Big Papi, David Ortiz is getting into his mid-season groove. Boston's RBI guy knocked two balls out of the park and doubled in five at-bats on Sunday to lead the Red Sox to an 11-7 win and a three-game sweep of Milwaukee, with a 4-RBI game. Ortiz, who has not gotten off to a great start, has been ramping it up of late. The two Sunday homers gives him 10 on the season, to go with 37 RBI and a .250 batting average. In the sweep of the Brewers, Ortiz went 5-for-10 with three dingers and 8 RBI. Notes: Chicago has won five straight and leads the Central division by 1 1/3 over Cleveland, with surprising KC another 1/2 back. The Royals have won 6 of their last 7 and are just a game under .500 (21-22). National League Randy Johnson only started 10 games in 2007, but this season he's returned to solid form, posting his 4th win against just one loss on Sunday in Arizona's 4-0 win over the struggling Tigers.
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Johnson allowed six hits and no earned runs, walked one and struck out five over seven innings for the W. With 288 wins under his belt, Johnson should - if he stays healthy - come close to winning his 300th later this season. He's already had 7 starts, and should get about 25 more. While his ERA (4.42) and WHIP (1.40) are up this year, his last outing was his best and may indicate that he's ready to go on a roll. Johnson turns 45 on September 10. Win #300 would be a nifty birthday gift. Notes: While everyone's waiting for Junior to smack #600, the Reds have won six in a row and departed last place in the NL Central. Milwaukee has lost five straight and is a game behind the Reds, 7 back of division-leader Chicago. Griffey, however, has been mired in a homerless slump, stuck at #597 since April 23, 20 long games ago. Assuredly, fans are getting a little antsy in anticipation of the milestone.

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