Friday, April 8, 2011

Jones Homers as Orioles Lead AL East; Valdez Goes 4-for-4 as Phillies Crush Mets, 11-0

Players of the Day for Thursday, April 7, 2011

American League

Adam Jones
Anybody thinking that Buck Showalter's Baltimore Orioles have been just lucky to start their season off with a 5-1 record, maybe better take a good look up and down their lineup.

During the off-season, the O's made a couple of valuable additions, in the form of Vladimir Guerrero from Texas and Mark Reynolds, who came over from Arizona. These quality players make up part of what's quickly becoming a modern day Murderer's Row.

Face it. Any team that has an Adam Jones batting sixth (followed by Reynolds and then, Matt Weiters) has to be pretty good, and Jones made his case for moving up a spot or two perfectly well with a 2-for-3 effort, which included a two-run homer off Detroit starter Brad Penny, that chased him from the mound and jump-started a 9-5 Baltimore win.

Jones' first homer of the season broke open a 2-2 tie, and the O's piled on Tiger relievers in the next frame, scoring 5 runs in the 7th inning. Jones contributed a sac fly, giving him three RBI for the game.

The Orioles sit comfortably in first place in the AL East, with the Yankees and Blue Jays a game back. Tampa Bay, last season's division champion, and Boston, are both 0-6.

National League
Wilson Valdez

No Chase Utley? No problem for the Phillies. Just put Roy Halladay on the mound and Wilson Valdez at second base.

Halladay tossed seven scoreless innings and Valdez pounded Mets' pitching as the Phillies romped, 11-0.

Normally a shortstop, Valdez has been filling in nicely in the field for the injured Utley, but let his bat do the talking on Thursday, going 4-for-4 with a pair of singles and a pair of doubles, three RBI and three runs. Every hitter in the Phillies' starting lineup - including Halladay - had at least one hit, as the Phils improved their lead in the NL East to 2 games over the Marlins and Mets.

Valdez has been tearing it up for Philly, knocking the rawhide around at a .429 clip after six games.

No comments: