Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Sabathia, A-Rod Lead Yanks to 4th Straight; Colorado Score Nine in 9th to Cut Cards, Gonzalez Stars

Players of the Day for Tuesday, July 6, 2010 American League Tuesday night in Oakland, the Yankees showed once again why they are the world champs. They have players who, like horses with back class, can rise up on occasion with big games. Two such players on the Yankee roster are C.C. Sabathia and Alex Rodriguez. After giving up a run in the first inning, C.C. Sabathia (left) allowed no more as the Yankees rode his 7 2/3 strong innings and two homers by Alex Rodriguez (right) to a 6-1 win over the Oakland A's, keeping their tight grip on first place in the AL East. Sabathia scattered 7 hits, striking out 10 and issuing 3 walks. It wasn't his best outing of the season, but he worked out of trouble almost every inning, earning his 11th win against 3 losses. It was his 7th straight win. As for A-Rod, he belted his third grand slam of the season after the bases were inadvertently loaded in the 3rd inning when Mark Teixeira was hit by a pitch and awarded first base. Rodriguez also knocked a solo shot to center in the 6th inning to give him 15 homers on the year. A-Rod's slam tied him for 2nd all-time with Manny Ramirez at 21, two behind another special Yankee player, Lou Gehrig. Rodriguez has 597 homers total, and may be at 600 before the All Star break, where he will again appear, this time as a reserve. Winning their fourth straight, the Yankees lead Tampa Bay (also on a 4-game win streak) by two games in the division. Slumping Boston is 3 1/2 back. National League It was quite the comeback in Colorado, as the Rockies rallied for nine runs in their final at-bat to stun the St. Louis Cardinals, 12-9. Chris Ianetta, who came on to pinch hit in the 7th inning, driving in a run on a fielder's choice, got the 9th off to a big start with a 3-run homer, clearing the bases. The game ended when Seth Smith cleared the fences with two aboard off reliever Ryan Franklin, who gave up both homers, only recording one out in the worst appearance of his career. In the middle of it all was left fielder Carlos Gonzalez, kind of the Alex Rios of the Rockies, having a quietly sensational season, with a .303 batting average, 15 homers and 55 RBI. Gonzalez hit a two-run homer in the 3rd inning to get the Rockies on the board, and added a double and two singles in six at-bats. His final hit of the night was a single to right, plating Dexter Fowler with Rockies' run number eight. Gonzalez came around to score the tying run on Jason Giambi's single and watched from the dug out as Smith homered to complete the most unlikely comeback of the season. Interestingly, neither Gonzalez nor Rios (.299, 14 HR, 47 RBI, 22 SB) were named to the NL All Star team as reserves by manager Charlie Manuel.

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