Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Nelson Cruz Delivers for Rangers in 14th; Mark Reynolds Knocks Around Mets Pitching

Players of the Day for Monday, July 19, 2010 American League For 14 innings, the Tigers and Rangers - two teams with distinct possibilities for post-season play - battled over the first game of their three-game series in Detroit. 32 hits, 12 walks and five errors all culminated in one blast off the bat of Nelson Cruz, who delivered a two-run homer - his 12th of the year - in the top of the 14th, for an 8-6 Texas victory. Cruz had put the Rangers up 6-5 in the 7th inning with an RBI single, only to have the Tigers tie the game back up in the bottom of the 8th. He finished 3-for-6 with 4 RBI and also stole his 11th base of the season. The two contenders used a total of 13 pitchers in the marathon event, seven by the Rangers and six for the Tigers. The late-night finish put the Rangers five games ahead of the idle LA Angels in the AL West, while the Tigers dropped to 2 1/2 behind the sprinting White Sox, who hammered Seattle, 8-1. Minnesota fell to red-hot Cleveland (5 straight wins), 10-4, remaining tied with the Tigers in second place in the Central division. National League Poor Arizona. While the other four teams in the NL West are all above .500, the Diamondbacks have struggled down in last place, 20 games behind the division-leading Padres. Still, a few Arizona players are having excellent years, like Mark Reynolds. In Arizona's 13-2 defeat of the visiting Mets, the third baseman singled, tripled and homered, driving in four runs and scoring three times, as the Diamondbacks collected 18 hits off Mets' starter, Mike Pelfrey and four relievers. While the win did nothing for Arizona's prospects, the loss vy the Mets dropped them another 1/2 game behind idle NL East leader, Atlanta, now 5 1/2 clear of the second place New Yorkers, with Philadelphia another 1/2 game behind. In a development worth watching, Reynolds may become a prime trade candidate, especially in the case of the Reds, who might lose Scott Rolen shortly to the DL, as he took a cortisone shot in his right hamstring before the Monday's 7-2 win over the Nationals. The Reds' brain trust will decide within a few of days whether to put him on the 15-day DL or allow the All Star to play through whatever pain he might be suffering.

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