Sunday, May 31, 2009
Howard Slam Sets Team Mark; Kinsler a Leadoff Leader
Players of the Day for Saturday, May 30, 2009 American League Ian Kinsler singled in a pair of runs in the 5th inning and doubled home two more in the 7th as part of a 17-hit assault in the Rangers' 14-1 trouncing of Oakland. Kinsler's 4 RBI gave him 39 on the season, the best for a leadoff batter in either league. Texas, meanwhile, is mauling the AL West, upping its lead to 5 1/2 games as the Angels lost to Seattle, 4-3, in 10 innings on Saturday. Kinsler, whose batting average is down to a pedestrian 281, has improved his slugging percentage (.561) with 13 homers and 12 doubles among his 55 hits. National League Ryan Howard set a team mark as the Phillies vaulted back into first place in the NL East - 1/2 game over the Mets - topping Washington, 9-6. Howard smacked the eighth grand slam of his career, one better than Phillie legend Mike Schmidt, in the third inning, after delivering a solo shot in the second. The two homers were #s 13 and 14 on the season and the five RBI gave Howard 39. NOTES: Baltimore's Luke Scott continued banging away, homering for the 4th straight game in Baltimore's 6-3 loss to Detroit. The loss snapped a Baltimore five-game win streak, though Scott - who earned back-to-back POTD honors on Thursday and Friday - continued his hitting streak to 7 games. --- The LA Dodgers may be dominating the weakest division in baseball, the NL West, where only LA, at 34-17 (best in the majors), has a record above .500. The Giants are in second place, 9 1/2 games back, at 24-24. The Dodgers have feasted upon their divisional opponents, posting a 23-8 record against NL West teams. They are 8-3 against the NL East, but only 2-4 vs. the NL Central.