Sunday, May 10, 2009

Longoria Rips Red Sox; Saunders Outduels Greinke; LA's Stults Blanks Giants

Players of the Day for Saturday, May 9, 2009 American League In the AL on Saturday, two players exhibited the kind of performance worthy of POTD status, so we present them both: Tampa Bay's Evan Longoria continues to prove that his outstanding rookie season of 2008 was certainly no fluke. Though the Rays are still under .500 (15-17), Longoria brought the wood with him in Tampa's 14-5 plastering at Boston. After starting the Rays' scoring with a two-run homer in the 1st inning, Longoria capped a 6-run uprising in the 5th inning, doubling home another pair and later scoring, walked and scored in the 6th and finished the scoring for the Rays with a sac fly in the 7th inning. 2-for-4, 3 runs, 5 RBI adds up to a pretty good night. Longoria's 44 RBI leads the majors and his 11 home runs leave him two behind teammate Carlos Pena's 13. Across the country in Anaheim, the Angels figured out a way to beat KC's Zack Greinke (6-1). Start with a third inning double by Gary Matthews Jr., a sacrifice bunt moves him to third and a Chone Figgins sac fly gets him home. Oh, and have your starting pitcher, Joe Saunders (5-1), toss a five-hit, complete game shutout, striking out 6 and giving up just one walk. That's what it took, because Greinke, under any other circumstances, wins the game. He went the distance, allowing just 4 hits, no walks and the one earned run. But last night, Saunders was just a little bit better, resulting in a 1-0 Angels win. National League Out in Chavez Ravine, Eric Stults (4-1) was doing his best to keep the Dodgers in first place in the NL West with a 4-hit, complete game shutout over northern rival San Francisco. Stults didn't necessarily have to be a good as he was, getting plenty of plate support in LA's 8-0 win. While Stultz's numbers aren't all that great (3.58 ERA, 1.41 WHIP), he does produce wins, having gotten a positive decision in 4 of his 6 starts this season. Saturday's win evened his lifetime record at 8-8. NOTES: The red-hot NY Mets won their 6th straight Saturday, tying for first place in the NL East with the Marlins, 1/2 game ahead of the Phillies. On the not-so-hot side of the ledger are the Pittsburgh Pirates, who have dropped seven straight, and the Seattle Mariners, who after a hot start have given up their AL West lead to the Rangers and Angels. Texas leads the division by 1/2 game over LA. The Mariners are 1 1/2 back.

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