Friday, May 21, 2010
Cruz Feasts on Orioles; Reynolds Helps Diamondbacks Sweep Giants
Players of the Day for Thursday, May 20, 2010 American League Quickly establishing a reputation as a ferocious hitter, Texas outfielder, Nelson Cruz, has been feasting upon American League pitching all season long. After belting 33 homers and driving in 76 runs in 2009, Cruz is well on his way to surpassing those figures this season. Cruz got his fill of Oriole starter Brian Matusz, dining him for a first inning, three-run homer that put Texas up early en route to a 13-7 win over Baltimore. Matusz lasted only 2 1/3 innings - allowing 8 hits and 7 earned runs - but Cruz and the Rangers were just getting started. Texas batters eventually banged out 20 hits. Cruz had four of them. After his 8th homer of the season, Cruz raked three singles, drove in another run and scored two more times. He's batting .330 and has driven in 30 runs. The Rangers 4th straight win kept them in first place in the AL West, four games better than the A's and 4 1/2 ahead of the Angels. Baltimore remains mired in last place in the AL East, with the worst record in the majors, at 13-29. National League Mark Reynolds keyed a 5-run Arizona 5th inning with his 11th homer of the season, a two-run blast, that chased Giants' starter, Tim Lincecum, in the Diamondbacks' 8-7 win over San Francisco. Those runs proved to be not enough, as the Giants rallied back for five of their own in the top of the sixth, putting them ahead, 7-5. Arizona responded, tying the game when Reynolds doubled in a run and came home on Chris Young's double. Reynolds was again at the plate with runners on first and third in the bottom of the 8th, when Giants' reliever Jeremy Affeldt uncorked a wild pitch, sending Conor Jackson home with what proved to be the winning run. Even though Reynolds is batting just .221, he's tied for second in the league in home runs and his 33 RBI are enough for third place in that category. The win was Arizona's second straight over the Giants, but the D-Backs remain in last place in the NL West, 6 1/2 games behind the Padres.