Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Jose Bautista Belts MLB-Leading 26th; Aramis Ramirez Homers Three Times for Cubs

Players of the Day for Tuesday, July 20, 2010 American League Before the Kansas City Royals even had a chance, the Toronto Blue Jays had already put up a couple of runs, courtesy of Jose Bautista's two-run poke in the 1st, his major league-leading 26th of the year. Toronto added two more runs in each of the next two innings, making the score 6-0, as they cruised their way to a 13-1 triumph at Kansas City. Bautista singled in one of the runs in the 2nd, then plated two more and scored in the 8th with a double, finishing a 3-for-6. 5 RBI night, including the home run and two runs scored. Already well over his career best in the long ball department (previous best was 16 in 2006), Bautista's 5 RBI pushed him beyond his highest season total of 63 in 2007. The only thing not well above normal is his batting average, down at .241, just two points higher than his career mark of .239. The Jays picked up a game on the Yankees, who were losing to the Angels, 10-2, but are still well back, 11 1/2 games off the pace. National League On Tuesday, Cubs' manager Lou Piniella announced that this season would be his last, and maybe that inspired his squad to give a little extra effort. All of the position player had at least one hit in their 13-6 conquest at Houston, but Aramis Ramirez really put on quite a show, belting three home runs - a solo shot in the 4th and 3-run blasts in the 5th and 8th innings. The three drives accounted for 7 RBI. Ramirez struck out in his other two at-bats, but the Cubs mangled the Houston staff, one of the worst in the NL, with a 4.56 ERA, though Milwaukee, Pittsburgh and Arizona are worse, at 4.83, 5.07 and 5.33, respectively. Having missed some time with injuries, Ramirez is still putting up respectable numbers, with 15 homers and 47 RBI in just 68 games. The Cubs are still keeping hope alive for their long-suffering fans and Sweet Lou, though they still trail the Cardinals by 10 1/2 games in the NL Central. They are tied with the Brewers, in third place, with the second place Reds just a 1/2 game behind St. Louis.

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