Sunday, May 16, 2010

Romero, Bautista Dominate Rangers; Shane Victorino Leading Phillies

Players of the Day for Saturday, May 15, 2010 American League Having to face the Yankees, Rays and Red Sox repeatedly throughout the season, the Toronto Blue Jays seem to have figured out a way to hang in the rugged AL East: beat up on the Central and West division teams. While the Jays are just 5-7 in their own division, they are 10-4 against the Central and 7-5 against teams from the West, including their last two straight over the first place Rangers. Though the Rangers are atop their division and the Jays in 3rd in the East, Toronto has the better record - 22-16 vs. 20-17 - after beating up on Texas, 16-10, Friday, and dominating them Saturday in a 6-0 whitewash. Ricky Romero (left) did the blanking, winning for the third time in his last four starts, giving up 5 hits while fanning a career-high 12 batters. Romero dominated the top of the Texas order, allowing just 2 hits in 16 total at-bats and fanning Michael Young 3 times and all star outfielder Josh Hamilton 4 times on strikes. In just his second year in the majors, Romero is quickly becoming on of baseball's brightest young stars. After going 13-9 with Toronto in 2008, he's off to a 4-1 start this season with a 2.88 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP. He's part of the reason the jays are just 4 games behind the streaking Rays and 3 behind the 2nd place Yankees. Providing all of the offense Romero would need was Jose Bautista (right), who blasted a pair of homers and an RBI single to tally 5 RBI on the day. Bautista whacked a solo shot in the 5th to put the Jays up 2-0, singled in a run in the 6th for a 3-0 lead, and put the game away for good in the 8th with his 9th homer of the season, a 3-run bomb to left center. Bautista is off to the best start of his career in the power department, with 28 RBI. His batting average, .237, continues to rise as the Blue Jays improve on the road, where they are 13.6. National League Philadelphia continues to keep a tight hold on first place in the NL East, leading the pesky Nats by 3 games after beating up Milwaukee pitching on Saturday in a 10-6 win. The Phillies are now 8-1 against Central division teams as they seek the sweep over the Brewers on Sunday. Leading the charge for Philly was Shane Victorino, who has adjusted to batting leadoff while Jimmy Rollins nurses on the DL. Victorino singled, doubled and hit a 2-run homer in 6 at-bats, driving in four runs and scoring twice. The outing was Victorino's 3rd multi-hit game in his last four, his homer the 8th of the year and his 32 RBI not only lead the team (which is saying something, with sluggers like Chase Utley, Ryan Howard and Jayson Werth in the lineup), but it's good enough for second in the league, tied with Milwaukee's Casey McGahee, both of whom are following the Dodgers' Andre Ethier, who leads the known universe with 38.

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