Sunday, August 8, 2010
Arencibia Smacks Two Homers in MLB Debut; Tim Hudson Shuts Down Giants
Players of the Day for Saturday, August 7, 2010 American League Normally, the Tampa Bay Rays rely on solid starting pitching to keep games close, but they're not having much success with the normal script against the homer-happy Toronto Blue Jays. After losing the first of their three-game series, 2-1, on Friday, the Jays got back to slugging their way to wins on Saturday in a 17-11 mash-fest which saw a total of eight Blue Jay round-trippers, six of them hit off Tampa starter James Shields, who lasted just four innings. Toronto banged out 20 hits total and scored at least one run in each of the first seven innings. Jose Bautista hit his 34th of the season to lead the majors, Aaron Hill blasted two, driving in four runs, but the show belonged to rookie catcher, J.P. Arencibia, who, playing in his first major league game, went 4-for-5 with a pair of homers, a single and a double, three RBI and three runs. Arencibia homered in his first at-bat in the second inning, doubled in the 3rd, singled and scored in the 5th, and capped off his debut with a solo homer in the 6th. The rookie was called up from AAA Las Vegas on Wednesday. Toronto may not make the post-season, but they're having a blast leading the majors with 175 home runs. Their second straight win over the Rays, dropped Tampa Bay 1 1/2 games behind the Yankees in the AL East. Toronto is 10 1/2 back. National League The Braves continue to hold onto first place in the NL East through a combination of good pitching, timely hitting and general scrappiness. Since it's manager Bobby Cox's final year, the players have a commitment to give him 100% effort and make the 2010 season a memorable one. Exemplifying the Atlanta attitude is pitcher Tim Hudson, who is having his best season since coming over to the Braves from Oakland in 2005. Hudson shut out the Giants over 8 innings Saturday on 3 hits and a walk, striking out 6, in a 3-0 win, allowing the Braves to double their precarious lead over the Phillies in the division to two games. Improving to 13-5 for the season, Hudson's ERA dipped to 2.24 and his WHIP is a very solid 1.10. Billy Wagner came on in the 9th and struck out the side for his 27th save.