Thursday, April 28, 2011

Stubbs, Votto Star for Reds in 7-6 Win; Justin Smoak Socks Detroit

Players of the Day for Wednesday, April 27, 2011

American League

Justin Smoak
After losing the opener of their three-game home series with Seattle, 7-3, the Detroit Tigers brought out their ace, Justin Verlander, for game two, but another the hard-throwing righty was no match for Seattle's Justin Smoak, who smoked a Verlander first inning offering into the stands in left center to give the Seahawks a 3-0 lead before most fans had even settled into their seats.

Working with the lead, Seattle's Erik Bedard cruised to his first win in nearly two years, allowing a solitary run over seven solid innings. Bedard's last win was June 7, 2009.

Verlander departed after six innings, but the Tiger bullpen fell apart in the ninth, allowing Seattle six more runs. Smoak was in the middle of that rally with a two run single, and later scored Seattle's final run in the 10-1 victory. Smoak finished 2-for-5 with five RBI and two runs.

Seattle remains in last place in the AL West, but will still be looking for the road sweep on Thursday.

Smoak, who was traded from Texas to Seattle last season as part of the deal that sent Cliff Lee to the Rangers, had a promising rookie year, hitting 14 home runs and driving in 48 runs in 100 games. This season, he's batting .302 with 4 bombs and 14 ribbies.

National League

Drew Stubbs
Drew Stubbs' 10-inning homer to dead center field gave the Cincinnati Reds a 7-6, 10th-inning win over the Brewers, but they wouldn't have made it to the extra frame were it not for Joey Votto.

Joey Votto
Votto hit is fifth home run of the season in the first inning, a three-run blast off Yovani Gallardo, the Brewers' starter. He also singled in the sixth inning for his fourth RBI of the game, but Milwaukee tied the game at six with two runs in the bottom of the inning.

The teams went scoreless for the next three innings, until Stubbs hit his game winner, a mammoth shot that left the Reds 1/2 game behind St. Louis in the NL Central and the Brewers another 1/2 game behind them. Stubbs, batting leadoff, went 2-for-5 with the lone RBI, but scored three times.

To say that the division is tight would be a sublime understatement. All six teams are within four games of each other.

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