Thursday, April 14, 2011

Berkman Slam Dumps D-Backs, 15-5; Rodriguez, Rivera Key Yankee Surge to 1st

Players of the Day for Wednesday, April 13, 2011

American League

Alex Rodriguez
It didn't take long for the Yankees to figure out that they needed to do something about the upstart Orioles, which took off with an early lead in the AL East.

With a 7-4 win at Yankee Stadium, the Yanks have caught the O's in the standings, with both teams holding a 6-4 record, tied for first place in the division.

Mariano Rivera
After the Orioles failed to score in the first, despite getting Brian Roberts over to third base with one out, the Bombers responded with a three-run blast off the bat of Alex Rodriguez, building the lead after that until they led 7-0, before Baltimore finally got to starter A.J. Burnett for four run in the 7th. Rodriguez added a single later to complete a 2-for-3 night.

A-Rod's homer was his fourth of the season, Burnett won his third game without a loss and Mariano Rivera picked up his fifth save of the season with a perfect ninth inning. The Yankee closer has allowed just 2 hits in 5 1/3 innings, and has not allowed a run.

National League

The St. Louis Cardinals scored in each of the first five innings, cruising to a 15-5 slaughter at Arizona.

Lance Berkman
After Colby Rasmus scored the first run of the game on a wild pitch, Lance Berkman grounded out, but brought home Albert Pujols with the second run.

In the next inning, Berkman would have a better at-bat, smacking a grand slam homer to key a six-run inning. The shot was Berkman's only hit in five at-bats, but he did drive in five runs, increasing his total to 11 on the year.

By the time Arizona got on the board with a pair of runs in the 4th inning, the Cardinals had already plated a dozen and the contest was essentially no contest.

St. Louis has gotten off to a slow start, at 5-7, and their star, Pujols, who scored three times and drove in a pair of runs, has hit just one home run thus far, though nobody believes the Cardinal slugger will struggle for long.

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