Sunday, May 24, 2009
Lohse Delivers for Cards; Cruz on a Tear in Texas
Players of the Day for Saturday, May 23, 2009 American League The Texas Rangers have one of the most potent lineups in the majors, but one player who doesn't get much mention is emerging star Nelson Cruz, whose two homers and four RBI led the way to a 7-3 Rangers victory at Houston. Cruz smashed a three-run shot in the 4th inning to give the Rangers the lead, then he and teammate Hank Blaylock hit back-to-back solo homers to complete the scoring in the 6th. Cruz has had limited opportunities the past three seasons, but is playing full time this year and has responded with a .285 batting average, 11 homers and 30 RBI. His contributions are one reason the Rangers lead the Angels in the AL West by 3 games. National League The resurgent St. Louis Cardinals won their fifth straight game on Saturday, tying Milwaukee for the NL Central lead at 26-17. Kyle Lohse (4-3) delivered another strong mound performance, limiting the Royals to 4 hits, no walks and no runs over 8 innings, while striking out 6 for a 5-0 St. Louis win. Lohse's mound mastery was another in a string of outstanding work by the Cardinal starting five, who have allowed a combined 1 earned run during the five-game win streak. Each starter has earned a win as they swept the Cubs and now have taken two straight from the Royals. Lohse, who went 15-6 for St. Louis last season, is off to a solid start, joining Chris Carpenter, Todd Wellemeyer, Adam Wainwright and Jose Pineiro as the starting five.