Tuesday, July 8, 2008
Hunter Homers Twice for Halos; Kuroda Near Perfect as Dodgers Tie D-Backs
Players of the Day from Monday, July 7, 2008 American League Throughout their lineup, the Texas Rangers have plenty of big bats, but Ervin Santana, Vladimir Guerrero and Torii Hunter put the game out of reach before most of them even made it to the plate. After 1 1/2 innings, the Angels had already put up 8 runs and Santana was on his way to his 10th win against 3 losses. Hunter singled home a run in the first, and after Guerrero smacked a two-run homer, Hunter followed with a solo shot, adding another in the 7th. Hunter finished 3-for-5, with 3 RBI and 2 runs as the Angels outlasted the Rangers, 9-6. The Angels have a 6-game lead over the A's and are 8 1/2 better than the Rangers in the AL West. Notes:Kansas City avoided being swept, winning the last of their 4-game series with Tampa Bay, 7-4, ending the Rays' 7-game winning streak. The Red Sox won, 1-0, over NY, leaving them 4 back with the Yanks 8 1/2 out. National League The LA Dodgers spent the first half of the season chasing the Arizona Diamondbacks, and on Monday night, rookie starter Hiroki Kuroda finally got them into a tie for first place in the NL West with a sparkling one-hitter as the Dodgers blanked Atlanta, 3-0. Kuroda, who has had flashes of brilliance to offset some truly ugly outings, allowed only a Mark Tiexiera double to open the 8th inning, as he struck out 6 and didn't walk a batter, using just 91 pitches for the complete game shutout. Only six Atlanta batters got the ball into the air, as Kuroda retired 15 on ground outs. Notes: The outing was the second complete game shutout in just over a month for Kuroda. On June 6, he blanked the Cubs on 4 hits. He followed that up with his shortest outing of the season, 2 1/3 innings at San Diego, in which he walked four and allowed 5 hits and six earned runs. His last outing, July 1 at Houston, he worked 7 shutout innings in a 4-1 win. Kuroda is 5-6 with a 3.39 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP.