Monday, July 5, 2010

Hunter Dynamic in Angels Win; Stubbs, Janish Punish Cubs

Players of the Day for Sunday, July 4, 2010 American League Selecting the Royals at Angels as ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball presentation seemed a bit odd, unless you are a network executive looking to pump up the ratings for the All Star game and the Home Run Derby which precedes it. ESPN execs got a little more than they bargained for, as Torii Hunter provided one of the best performances in a single game this season. As expected, the Angels clobbered the Royals, 11-0, as Joel Pineiro blanked them for the first seven innings, while Hunter smoked them with a three-run homer in the 3rd, a two-run job in the 7th, and capped it off with a two-run single in the 8th inning. Hunter finished the game 3-for-4, with three runs scored and seven RBI. The homers were Hunter's 13th and 14th, helping to up his RBI total to 60, along with a solid .294 average. Coupled with the Rangers' loss to the White Sox, the win drew the Angels back to within 3 1/2 games of Texas in the AL West. National League Wrapping up a four-game series with the Cubs, the Cincinnati Reds played most of the game without star first baseman Joey Votto, who was ejected in the first inning for arguing balls and strikes. No problem. The Reds banged out 16 hits, 7 of them homers in the 14-3 romp Paul Janish (left) was inserted in place of Votto and played third base, with Miguel Cairo moving over from third to first. Janish only went 4-for-4 with three singles and a two-run homer, driving in three runs and scoring three times. Janish wasn't alone in his plate exploits. Of the seven bombs belted by the Reds, three of them came off the bat of Drew Stubbs (right), who, for some reason is batting 8th. Stubbs belted a pair of solo shots - one in the 3rd and one in the 9th - sandwiching a 7th-inning, three-run blast in between. Stubbs was 3-for-5, with five RBI and three runs scored. Just imagine what the NL Central leaders would have done with Votto in the lineup. Taking three of four in the series, the Reds outscored the Cubs 30-8, and lead the Cardinals in the NL Central by 1 1/2 games.

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