Friday, April 23, 2010
Pena Delivers in Rays 10-1 Triumph; Brewers Hammer Pirates, 20-0
Players of the Day for Thursday, April 22, 2010 American League Look who's in first place in the AL East. No, it's not the Yankees or the Red Sox. It's the Tampa Bay Rays, who did a serious number on the Chicago White Sox Thursday night, knocking them off in a 10-1 road win. The 12-4 Rays not only have the best record in the majors (1/2 game better than the Yanks, who lost at Oakland, 4-2), but they've done much of their work on the road, putting up a 9-1 record to start off the season. What may have been most satisfying for the Rays in their romp past the home Sox was how they manhandled starter Jake Peavy, who put up a string of 7s - 7 hits, 7 earned runs, 7 walks - in 4 1/3 innings. Carlos Pena got things started for the Rays in the 3rd when Peavy set him up with the bases loaded, courtesy of two walks and a single. Pena took a free pass for his initial RBI, and added three more in the 8th when he cracked a bases-loaded double. Pena also singled and scored in the 5th. That's why Pena is tied for second in the league with 17 RBI. He delivers in clutch situations. National League It's official! The Pittsburgh Pirates have no pitching, as was amply proven by the Milwaukee Brewers, who pounded the swashbucklers, 20-0. Milwaukee - 2nd in the NL Central, 2 games behind St. Louis - hammered out 25 hits, 12 of them for extra bases, including 4 home runs - yes, Prince Fielder hit his first of the season. All of the starting position players had at least two hits except for 3rd baseman Casey McGahee. Jim Edmonds had 4, including his first homer of the season - a three-run shot, but Ryan Braun topped the charts with a single, double, his own three-run homer, 5 RBI and 3 runs in 4 at-bats. Braun was at his productive best, boosting his batting average to a hitter-friendly .417. The Brewers have won four straight, including a three game sweep of the Pirates, and return home for a three-game weekend series with the struggling Cubs, losers of 5 of their last 6. Milwaukee's win broke a tie in the division between themselves and the Pirates, both of which entered the game at 7-7. Pittsburgh dropped a game behind the Brewers and may be headed back where they seem to be most comfortable, in the basement of the NL Central.