Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Ryan Sweeney 5 RBI Dumps Rangers; Ryan Braun Powers Brewers Past Dodgers

Players of the Day for Tuesday, May 4, 2010 American League Life in the AL West is confusing, for now. The only team with a record above .500 is the Texas Rangers, though they are just 14-13 after dropping a 7-6 decision to the A's Tuesday in Oakland. The A's are hot on their heels, just 1/2 game back, at 14-14. The two teams play the rubber game of their three-game series on Wednesday. Tuesday's fracas was as close as the final score indicates, as the A's tried their best to give away an early 5-0 lead when the Rangers scored 4 runs in the third inning. Oakland responded with 2 more in the 4th to complete their scoring, and the bullpen managed to hold the Rangers to just 2 more runs for the duration. Keying the Oakland offense was Ryan Sweeney, who drove in 5 of the 7 A's runs with a two-run homer in the 1st, a two-run single in the 2nd and another run-scoring single in the 4th. Sweeney finished 3-for-4, bumping his average to .303. The homer was his first of the season, not unusual for him, as he's hit only 13 in 1047 major league at-bats. Sweeney does have 16 RBI thus far, putting him on pace for 90 or more, depending on how many games he plays. National League At 18-9, the St. Louis Cardinals have not only the best record in the NL Central division, but the best in the league. Their hot start has afforded them a 5-game lead on Cincinnati and Chicago (both 13-14). Another game and a half back are the Milwaukee Brewers, who took the first of their three-game series in LA with an 11-6 win over the Dodgers. The win was just the third for the Brewers in their last 8 outings, keyed by an 8-run 2nd inning. Ryan Braun provided the key bases-loaded double that plated 3 runs, then scored when Prince Fielder socked his third homer of the season. That caused LA starter Clayton Kershaw to be relieved of his duty, allowing 7 runs on 5 hits in just 1 1/3 innings. Braun tripled and scored again in the 4th, and reached on a fielder's choice in the 8th before scoring for the third time. Both times, Braun was driven home by Casey McGehee, who is having an awesome start to his first full season as the Brewers' full-time 3rd baseman (.304, 5, 21). Braun leads the Brewers with 23 RBI and a .356 batting average. The Brewers improved to 11-15.

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