Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Austin Jackson Getting into the Swing; Miguel Cairo Drops Cubs with Slam

Players of the Day for Tuesday, June 7, 2011

American League

Austin Jackson
As a rookie last season, Austin Jackson was the toast of the town, batting .293 with 103 runs and 27 steals, batting in the leadoff spot and playing center field for the Detroit Tigers. He finished 24 points behind Texas closer Neftali Feliz in the AL Rookie of the Year voting and looked forward to his second season with Detroit.

The months of April and May were a cruel reminder to Jackson that he still needed to work and improve. He entered June batting a sloppy .225, but so far, the warmer weather seems to have heated up his bat as well. Riding a five-game hitting streak Jackson has gone 11-for-26 (.423) through the first week of June, and had his third three-hit night in his last four games Tuesday in an 8-1 thrashing of the Rangers, in which Detroit banged out 20 hits.

Jackson, who is usually scoring runs, was driving them in on this night. With three singles in six at-bats, Jackson drove in two runs in the 4th inning and scored and plated another in the 9th.

The Tigers took their second straight from the Rangers and will be looking to sweep the Rangers in Texas Wednesday night. They trail the Indians by 1 1/2 games in the AL Central. The Rangers, despite losing two straight, are still 2 1/2 better than second place Seattle, which has also lost two straight. The division as a whole is slumping. The Angels have dropped four straight and the A's are riding an eight-game skein.

National League

Miguel Cairo
Edinson Volquez improved to 4-2 and Miguel Cairo ended all speculation as to the outcome of the game with a grand slam homer in the 7th inning as the Reds dropped the Cubs by an 8-2 score for the second consecutive night.

Playing third base for a dinged-up Scott Rolen, who's been out three games with strep throat, Cairo doubled the Reds' 4-1 lead with just his second home run of the season. He's also filled in at other infield positions and has performed admirably in his part-time role, putting up a .290 batting average.

It was Cairo's second career grand slam. The win kept the Reds 5 games behind St. Louis in the NL Central. They are separated by the Brewers, 2 1/2 out.

Jeter 3000 Watch: Derek Jeter got to within a dozen hits of becoming the first NY Yankee to garner 3000 hits in a career, singling twice in five at-bats in a 6-4 loss to the Red Sox.

Jeter, who will turn 37 on June 26 should be celebrating in style by then. At his current pace of 62 hits in 56 games, he figures to achieve the magic mark either at home against the Rangers on June 14-16, or during interleague play at Chicago, June 17-19.

The grand slam,

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