Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Griffey Mashes #600; Navarro a Sweet Find for the Rays

Players of the Day from Monday, June 9, 2008 American League Ken Griffey Jr. became the 6th player in major league history to hit 600 home runs, launching a first-inning blast off Marlins' starter Mark Hendrickson into the right field stands. Jerry Hairston was on third when Griffey hit the historic homer, giving the Reds a 2-0 lead and starting a 9-4 rout of Florida by the Reds.
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The home run was Griffey's only hit of the night. He finished 1-for-4 with 2 RBI. It was just his 7th home run of the season and his 28th and 29th RBI. Griffey joins Sammy Sosa, Willie Mays, Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron and Barry Bonds as the only players to reach the 600 HR plateau. Notes: Cincy split the 4-game series with the Marlins by find themselves in last place in the NL Central, 9 1/2 games behind the Cubs. With #600 out of the way, could Griffey be headed for a trade? Seattle has been mentioned, though other teams which might be looking for an extra left-handed DH or outfielder include Cleveland, Toronto and Baltimore. While Griffey would likely want to be traded to a contender, that may not happen. He and his swing would be a nice fit for the compact dimensions of Camden Yards. The O's could definitely use a boost, but do they have what the Reds need - young, starting pitching? Daniel Cabrera or Garrett Olson come to mind. The Blue Jays have even more to spare. Stay tuned. National League Just what do the Rays have in young catcher Dioner Navarro? It's somewhat early to say, but Navarro, a solid plate presence with occasional power is batting .347 through 42 games as Tampa Bay's #1 backstop.
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In the opener of their three-game series with the Angels, Navarro led the charge to a 13-4 Rays romp with a single, a pair of doubles and his third homer of the season in 5 at-bats, driving in four runs and scoring three times. Whatever the Rays see in Navarro, it's definitely working for them. Notes: Despite their loss on Monday, the Angels still hold a 4-game lead on the A's in the West, with Texas 7 back. The Mariners have dropped out of it completely, 15 1/2 games off the pace. Meanwhile, the White Sox won their seventh straight, sending the 2nd place Twins to their 5th straight loss, 7-5, and opening up the largest lead in the majors, 6 1/2 games. The Sox have built their lead by beating up on divisional opponents, posting a 21-8 mark in that regard.

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