Monday, August 11, 2008
Rangers, Padres Pound Out 20 Hits Each as Kinsler, Giles Star
Players of the Day from Sunday, August 10, 2008 American League Ian Kinsler led a 20-hit attack as Texas grounded the Orioles, 15-7, as rumors persisted that the Rangers were seeking to trade for starting pitching. Kinsler knocked 4 singles and a two-run homer, drove in 3, scored 3 times and helped turn two double plays. The leadoff batter for the Rangers, Kinsler is batting a brisk .319. The Rangers, 14 games behind the Angels in the AL West, still believe they can make the post-season with just a little more pitching. They lead the AL in almost every offensive category. Their .281 batting average, 667 runs and 641 RBI are tops in the majors. They have hit 146 home runs, second only to the White Sox (165). However, their team ERA of 5.33 is the worst in the majors. Texas is currently 6 1/2 games behind the Red Sox in the wild card race. Notes: While the Rangers search for arms, the Angels were busy completing their sweep of the Yankees with a 4-3 win. The loss pushed New York 8 1/2 behind the Rays, who won at Seattle and hold a 4 1/2 game edge over Boston. The Red Sox lost to the White Sox, who moved back into first place in the Central by 1/2 game over the Twins, losers to KC in 12 innings. The Rays don't seem to be looking over their shoulder much, and the Yankees are going to be eliminated from post-season contention if they don't get on the stick soon. The Yanks play three in Minnesota and then may be able to make a move as they host KC for 3 games, then play 3-game sets in Tornoto and Baltimore before a critical 3-game series with the Red Sox at Yankee Stadium on August 26, 27 and 28. National League San Diego hasn't made much noise this season, mired in the basment of the NL West with one of the least potent offenses in the league, but on Sunday, Brian Giles and his teammates broke out the whippin' sticks at Colorado and thumped the Rockies, 16-7, banging out 20 hits along the way. Giles led the team with a 4-for-6 effort, including two doubles and a two-run homer, 4 RBI and 4 runs scored. Even with the one-day explosion, the Padres are still third from the bottom in runs scored (459). Only the Giants and Nationals have scored fewer. The Padres' team batting average of .248 is better than only Cincinnati, Oakland and Washington. Notes: While the Padres and Rockies were carrying on, Brandon Webb and the Diamondbacks were taking care of business atop the NL West. Webb improved to 17-4, going 6 innings and allowing just the one run. The Dodgers are suffering from bullpen woes, as, for the second straight game, they were unable to close out the Giants, allowing two runs in the bottom of the 9th for a 5-4 loss. That puts them 1 1/2 behind Arizona. The Cubs and Brewers both won, so the margin there is still 4 games, but the Cardinals slipped back to 7 off the pace, losing to Chicago, 6-2. In the East, Philly won as the Marlins topped the Mets, so Philadelphia is 2 games ahead of the Mets and 2 1/2 better than Florida.