Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Abreu Shines in Leadoff Role; Schumaker Slams on Reds
Players of the Day for Monday, August 9, 2010 American League While it appears that the LA Angels aren't going to win their 4th straight AL West title, it doesn't mean that the players stop playing. After falling below .500 - a rare sight for the Angels so late in a season - manager Mike Scioscia juggled his lineup, putting Bobby Abreu in the leadoff spot. Abreu responded with hits in his first three at-bats in the Angels' 6-4 win at Kansas City. Leading off the game by ripping a single to right, Abreu came around to score the Angels' first run, then followed up with a two-run double in the second inning and a two-run homer in the 4th, going 3-for-5 with 4 RBI and two runs. The win got the Angels back to even, at 57-57, though they still trail the Texas Rangers by 8 1/2 games and are 1/2 game behind the A's. National League Not known for his power, Cardinals' second baseman Skip Schumaker delivered what may be the biggest blow of the season as the Reds and Cardinals met in the first of three games which may decide the outcome of the NL Central division. Schumaker arrived to the plate with the bases chock full of Cardinals in the 4th inning. With two runs already in, and Cincinnati still scoreless, the Cards were looking for more and got plenty when Schumaker launched his 4th homer of the season, a grand slam that put the Cardinals up 6-0 and essentially won the game. Albert Pujols drove in the final run of the inning and the last of the game for the Cardinals as they cruised, behind the pitching of Chris Carpenter (13-3) to a 7-3 win, pulling themselves to within one game of the division-leading Reds. Schumaker also singled, to go 2-for-4 on the night. The series resumes Tuesday in Cincinnati, where another Cardinal win would get the Cardinals back into first place by mere percentage points. Wednesday's series finale will be critical for the Reds as they send Brendan Arroyo to the mound against the Cardinals' most consistent pitcher this season, Adam Wainwright.