Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Santana, Wright Lead Mets to 1st Place; Kearns, Tribe Hammer Halos

Players of the Day for Tuesday, April 27, 2010 American League Austin Kearns has been kicking around the majors since 2002, mostly to little fanfare, and over the past two years was barely able to get into half the games for the Washington Nationals. During the off-season, Kearns connected in Cleveland, making the roster as an extra outfielder on a team that's in the midst of a multi-year rebuilding effort. Proving himself still a capable hitter during Spring training, Kearns has worked his way into the starting lineup of late and has been putting it together pretty nicely, pumping up his batting average to a team-high .386. He's still about 15 plate appearances short of qualifying for the league leaders, but he'd be second in the AL right now if he did. Apparently, Kearns likes playing on the West coast, as he went 3-for-4 with a homer and a steal against the Angels on Monday, and followed that up with a 3-for-6 effort and 5 RBI as the Indians roughed up the Halos, 9-2 on Tuesday. Kearns was the proverbial one-man gang, doubling in a run in the 3rd, hitting a solo homer in the 5th and delivering the big blow in the 8th: a bases loaded double which plated three more runs. Cleveland's win helped the Indians escape from last place. They are 9-11, a game ahead of the Royals and the White Sox, both of which lost on Tuesday. National League "Amazing" is a word often associated with the NY Mets, and many a die-hard fan was amazed last night as the Mets dumped the LA Dodgers twice to took over first place in the NL East, winning their sixth straight while the Phillies have been stumbling, posting a 3-7 record and losing their last 3 straight. Johan Santana (left) was the story of the first game, 4-0, win, allowing just 3 hits and 3 walks while punching out 6 on strikes over 6 solid innings of work. Santana left with a 2-0 lead, but his teammates slated the lead away with a pair of runs in the 7th. He improved to 3-1, with a 2.12 ERA. The nightcap belonged to third baseman David Wright (right), going 3-for-3 at the plate, with a pair of singles, a triple and 4 RBI, leading to a runaway, 10-5 win for the New Yorkers. Wright's RBI single in the 5th broke a 3-3 tie and was his 1000th hit as a major leaguer, all with the Mets. An inning later, his bases-loaded triple put the game away for good, making the score 10-3 at the time. The 12-9 Mets lead Philly by 1/2 game with Florida and Washington both lurking, one game back.

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