Monday, April 12, 2010
Cantu, Willingham, Rosales Power Wins
Players of the Day for Sunday, April 11, 2010 American League Leading 3-1 through 6 innings, Joe Saunders and his LA Angel teammates were cruising along, seeking a win over the upstart Oakland A's, who have taken the AL West lead hostage in the opening week of the season. The Angels have won the division three years running, and were eager to resume their rightful place atop the standings. This was the third game of the series, and But then came the 7th inning and a little-known utility infielder named Adam Rosales, who had already made his mark, hitting a solo homer in his first at-bat of the game - and the season - in the 2nd inning. By the time Rosales came to the plate in the 7th, Saunders would be headed for the showers, allowing three straight hits without getting an out. Kevin Jepsen relieved the starter and got one out before Rosales came up and singled home two more runs, putting the A's ahead, 4-3. From there, the A's would tack on 5 more runs, including a walk to Rosales that forced in one run. For his first appearance this season, Rosales made the most of it, going 2-for-3 with a home run and 4 RBI, one which stemmed from the bonus base on balls. With the 9-4 win, the A's remained in first place with a 5-2 record. The Angels dropped to last, along with the Mariners, at 2-5.
Normally, choosing a Player of the Day isn't a very complicated matter... and then there are days like Sunday. Albert Pujols shows off on national TV with a pair of homers and a single, 4 RBI in 5 at-bats, but, the Cardinals lose to Milwaukee, 8-7.
Earlier in the day, Roy Halladay pitches his first complete game win as a National Leaguer, allowing 7 hits while fanning 8 as the Phillies slip by Roy Oswalt and the winless Astros, 2-1. The only run of the game is unearned, and it's Halladay's errant throw to first which causes it. Uh-uh.
Out in Arizona, the Diamondbacks score 13 runs in the 4th inning en route to a 15-6 win over the Pirates. Catcher Chris Snyder hits a two-run homer and a bases-loaded double, drives in 5, scores twice, but, it was, after all, a rout over one of the worst teams in the league.
Pablo Sandoval goes 3-for-4 with a triple and a homer, drives in 2 runs, scores three as the Giants improve to 5-1 with a 6-3 win over Atlanta. Now, we're getting somewhere.
In the end, it turned out to be a tie. Florida's Jorge Cantu (left), who belted a 3-run homer in the 4th inning, and capped off his night with a 7th inning two-run double which turned a 5-4 Dodger lead into a 6-5 Marlins win. Cantu was 2-for-4 with 5 RBI, including the game-winner.
We also tip our cap to Washington's Josh Willingham (right), who drove in all five runs in the Nationals' 5-2 win over the Mets. Willingham launched a grand slam in the 1st inning and doubled home another run in the 4th. Washington's pitching staff made his runs hold up. The Nationals - and this may be the last time this season this statement is valid - are one of 5 NL teams with winning road records.