Saturday, April 10, 2010
Cruz a Force for Rangers; De La Rosa 1-Hits Padres
Players of the Day for Friday, April 9, 2010 American League At 2-2, the Texas Rangers aren't exactly where they'd like to be, especially since the team in front of them in the AL West is the 4-1 Oakland A's, and not the Angels, who have started off 2010 with a 1-4 record. Texas has been trying to run down the Angels in the division for the past three years, to no avail, but they've got all the players in place to make a serious run at the division crown this season. One of those players is outfielder Nelson Cruz, who, after 3 years in the bigs, finally got a chance to play full time last season and produced 33 homers and 76 RBI. This season, he's off to a great start, batting .500 after gathering three hits in the Rangers' 6-2 win over Seattle. Cruz singled twice and hit his third homer of the season in the 4th inning - a solo shot which tied the game at one. His single in the 6th inning drove in another run, for a 3-for-4, 2-RBI, 2-run night at the plate.
Everybody in the NL West is chasing the 4-0 San Francisco Giants, but the Rockies got an exceptional outing from their #4 starter on Friday night as Jorge De La Rosa blanked the Padres on one hit over seven powerful innings.
De La Rosa, who walked just one batter and hit another, set down the first eight Padres in order and allowed the only runner to get past first base in the 4th inning when he plunked Kyle Blanks, gave up his only hit to Chase Headley, sending Blanks to third. He finished strong, however, retiring Scott Hairston to end the inning and then proceeded to mow down the next nine batters he faced before being lifted for a reliever to open the 8th.
The 7-0 win evened the Rockies' record at 2-2. Clint Barmes cracked a 3-run homer in the 8th inning for Colorado.
NOTES: It didn't take long for each team in the majors to lose at least one game, except for the San Francisco Giants, who are 4-0 out of the gate after Aaron Rowand knocked home Jose Uribe with the game-winner in San Francicsco's home opener against Atlanta, 5-4 in 13 innings.
Widely believed to have the best pitching staff in the majors, the Giants have allowed a cumulative 10 runs over 40 innings thus far in the season, for a sparking 2.25 ERA.