Thursday, May 8, 2008

Votto's 3 HRs Powers Reds; Twins' Gomez Hits for Cycle

Players of the Day from Wednesday, May 7, 2008 American League Carlos Gomez knew right away it was going to be a good night. The Twins' leadoff hitter homered off Chicago starter Mark Buehrle to open the game, then stroked an RBI triple in the 5th and doubled home a run in the 6th. His single in to lead off the ninth inning completed one of baseball's rarities - hitting for the cycle. Gomez scored twice and drove in three runs as the Twins humbled the White Sox, 13-1 Wednesday night. Gomez was acquired by the Twins from the Mets in the off-season, as part of the deal that sent Johan Santana to New York. Getting most of the starts in center field, Gomez is batting .282 with 19 runs scored and 11 RBI. The home run last night was only his second of the season. Notes: The Twins continue to lead the Central, though now it's Cleveland in second place, 1 1/2 back. Minnesota is the only team in the division with a winning record (17-15). National League Cincinnati is struggling already, but on Wednesday, rookie first basemanJoey Votto provided some hope for the future, blasting three home runs in the Reds' 9-0 win over the Chicago Cubs. Votto, who played in 24 games last season for the Reds, hit solo shots in the 2nd and 5th innings, and followed up with a thundering 2-run blast in the 6th. The homers came off of three different Chicago pitchers and gave Votto seven for the year. The other reason for Reds' optimism was on the mound, in the form of rookie starter Edinson Volquez, who worked seven shutout innings, allowing 4 hits and 6 walks while striking out 10. The 10 Ks matched a season high for Volquez, who improved to 5-1 with a 1.06 ERA. Notes: Rumors surrounding Ken Griffey Jr. being traded to Seattle continue to circulate, especially after USA Today's story on Wednesday quoted Griffey as saying he would be happy to return to his first major league team. Junior is sitting just three homers shy of the 600 mark, so the Reds are reluctant to ship him off just now, but there's no doubt he'd like to play on a contending team, having never been to a World Series. The Mariners, however, have fallen 7 1/2 games off the pace in the AL West, which is almost as badly as the Reds are doing, 8 behind St. Louis in the NL Central.

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