Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Tulowitzki Hits for Cycle; Ellis 5-for-5 in A's Win

Players of the Day for Monday, August 10, 2009 American League Neither the A's nor the O's are going anywhere after September, but the players play on, through the dog days of August which are sometimes the hardest on veteran hitters. Apparently, the time of year doesn't matter to Oakland's Mark Ellis, who, despite batting in the #8 hole for the A's, produced a 5-for-5 night at the plate and drove in 4 runs with a double and 4 singles. The A's topped the Orioles, 9-1, for their second straight win and with a win Tuesday against the Orioles, will even their mark against the AL East to 20-20, somewhat of a feat for a last-place club. Ellis, a journeyman second baseman who has played every game of his 7-year major league career with the A's, has played in only 56 games this season, but is getting into a solid groove at the dish, having raised his batting average from .205 on July 19, to his current .270. Ellis has 12 RBI so far this month. National League Taking over sole possession of second place in the NL West, 5 1/2 behind the LA Dodgers, the Colorado Rockies bludgeoned the Chicago Cubs, 11-5, as Troy Tulowitzki went 5-for-5 at the plate and hit for the cycle, driving in 7 runs and scoring twice in the process. Tulowitzki got started early, cranking out a 2-run homer in the first inning, to give Colorado a lead they would never relinquish. The Rockies' shortstop then singled home a pair of runs in the second, doubled in another in the 4th, tripled and scored in the 7th and singled in two more in the 8th. With the Giants losing to the Dodgers, 4-2, the Rockies slipped by San Fran and appear poised to make a run at the Dodgers. If they fail to catch LA., they still have good prospects of making the post season, currently leading the wild card race by one game over the Giants and 3 games over both the Cubs and Marlins. Tulowitzki upped his batting average 10 points, from .266 to .276, and improved his slugging percentage to .530, 13th in the NL. NOTES: That big lead the Phillies used to have in the NL East has pretty much disappeared, since the Marlins continue to win, posting their 4th straight W with an 8-6 victory at Houston. Meanwhile, the Cardinals seem to be putting it all together at the right time, having won four straight as well, and opening up a 3 game lead over the Cubs. The Cards got a 4-1 win over the Reds, as Kyle Lohse (5-7) rebounded from a poor prior start to go 6 innings, allowing just 4 hits and 1 run without giving up a walk. In the AL, the Yankees had their 7-game win streak snapped in a 5-4 loss to Toronto, and Boston won for the first time in 7 games, topping the Tigers, 6-5. The White Sox continue to stumble along in second place in the Central, 3 games out, failing to take advantage of Detroit's loss, dropping a 6-4 decision at Seattle. Perhaps Alex Rios, whom the Sox acquired over the waiver wire on Monday, can give Chicago a boost. The Angels won, increasing their lead in the West to 4 games over the idle Rangers.

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