Saturday, April 16, 2011

Francoeur Keeps Royals in First Place; Rolling Rockies Rack Up 7th Straight

Players of the Day for Friday, April 15, 2011

American League

Jeff Francoeur
Right now, the AL Central is completely upside down from the way the division finished in 2010. The Minnesota Twins are in last place, five games out, the Tigers 2 1/2 back and the White Sox trail Kansas City and Cleveland by two games.

Kansas City and Cleveland? Yes, that's right. The two teams that finished at the bottom last season are on top this time. The Indians topped the Orioles, 8-2, and Kansas City slipped by Seattle, 6-5, to keep the two teams knotted with identical 9-4 records.

The Royals were led by off-season acquisition Jeff Francoeur, who singled home a run in the first inning, then homered - with Billy Butler aboard - in the 3rd, and later singled and scored another run in the 5th.

It was a very productive night for the transferee, who went from the Mets to Texas in September and wound up on the Royal roster this season. He went 3-for-4 with 3 RBI and scored twice. The utility outfielder is batting .327 with 11 RBI.

National League

Jhoulys Chacin
At 11-2, the Colorado Rockies are off o the best start in franchise history and hold a 4-game lead over the rest of the NL West.

On Friday, they won their 7th in a row, getting a six-hit shutout from Jhoulys Chacin, who improved to 3-0 as the Rockies topped the Cubs, 5-0.

For Chacin, who became a starter just last season, posting a 9-11 record, it was his first complete game and initial shutout of his brief career, scattering six hits while fanning seven and walking two.

It was also the first complete game shutout at Coors Field since July of 2008. The Rockies are 4-1 at home and an astounding 7-1 on the road. Chacin has a 1.64 ERA in 22 innings.

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