Sunday, April 10, 2011

Beltre Blasts Orioles; Broxton, Kuroda Lead Dodgers to Pair of Wins

Players of the Day for Saturday, April 9, 2011

American League

Adrian Beltre
It's probably too early to be thinking about possible playoff match-ups, but, since it's still only April, the weekend series between the Orioles and Rangers at Camden yards qualifies - for now - as a pairing of the top teams from the AL East and West and the result so far is a draw.

After a rain-out Friday forced a Saturday double-dip, the Orioles took the opener by a 5-0 score behind the 4-hit pitching by Baltimore's Zach Britton, who blanked the Rangers for 7 2/3 innings. It was the first loss of the season by Texas, following a 6-0 start.

Taking an 0-for-4 collar in the first game, newly-acquired Texas 3rd baseman Adrian Beltre was batting just .148, but he and the Rangers would get their revenge in the nightcap,

Beltre, who socked 28 homers and drove in 102 runs in Boston last season, went 3-for-5, with a single, double, home run, three RBI and three runs as the Rangers
blasted the Orioles, 13-1.

Beltre doubled his hit total for the season, to six, and was at .182 with 7 RBI after the onslaught. The two teams conclude their series at 1:35 on Sunday.

National League

Hiroki Kuroda
Jonathan Broxton
2010 was a disappointing year for the Dodgers, watching their arch-rivals, the San francisco Giants, win the NL West and the World Series, so they're determined not to repeat the woes of last season, with a new manager, Don Mattingly, and a new attitude.

They're off to a 5-3 start, 1/2 game behind the Rockies, after they beat the Padres twice on Saturday, winning the resumption of Friday's suspended game, 4-2, in 11 innings and then winning again, 4-0, on the strength of Hiroki Kuroda's 8 2/3 innings of shutout ball.

Jonathan Broxton had the unique pleasure of getting two saves in one day, working a scoreless 11th inning in the suspended game and getting the final out in the regular contest after Kuroda left with runners on first and second.

Broxton issued a walk to load the bases, but then got Cameron Maybin to ground into a game-ending fielder's choice. Broxton also allowed a hit and a walk in the single inning save in the suspended game.

Kuroda, who walked two and fanned four, was nearly unhittable early, taking a one-hitter through six innings, but struggled through the latter stages, allowing six hits overall.

In two starts, both wins, Kuroda has a 1.72 ERA and a 0.89 WHIP.

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