Saturday, June 18, 2011

Interleague: Gonzalez, Rockies Bomb Tigers; Hamilton Leads Rangers Past Braves

Players of the Day for Friday, June 17, 2011

American League

Josh Hamilton
Interleague play is on again, this time for an extended period. The Texas Rangers kicked things off with a trip to Atlanta for a three-game series with the Braves, taking game one by a 6-2 score.

Leading the Rangers was Josh Hamilton, who has been making up for last time after missing six weeks earlier this year. Hamilton stroked his 5th homer of the season in a 4-for-5 effort, a two-run blast that broke a 1-1 tie in the 5th inning. He drove in another run with a single in the 9th, giving him 3 RBI on the night.

Hamilton is batting .302 and has the Rangers in first place in the AL West, leading the surprising Seattle Mariners by 1/2 game.

National League

Batting leadoff,
Gonzalez has 10-
game hit streak.
It may be unusual for some fans to see Carlos Gonzalez batting leadoff for the Rockies, since the star outfielder was among the league leaders in home runs and RBI last season, but the move seems to be working.

The Rockies won their third straight to pull to within one game of .500, at 34-35, with a 13-6 pounding of the Tigers in the opener of a three game series in Colorado.

Every position player had at least one hit for the Rockies as they banged out 13 base knocks, and while Charlie Blackmon had four hits, Gonzalez had two, one of them his 10th home run of the season, a 5th inning solo shot. Gonzalez also drove in a run with a sac fly in the Rockies' six-run 2nd and two more on a double in the 3rd.

Four RBI from your leadoff spot may not be the prescription for success, but with "Car-Go" going like he is, one can't really argue with the results.

Gonzalez moved to the leadoff spot with the start of a series in San Diego, June 6. After an 0-for-4 opening performance, Gonzalez has adjusted, and is currently on a 10-game hitting streak, which has raised his batting average from .249 to .280. The Rockies are 7-4 since the move.

After taking two of three from Cleveland and reaching first place in the AL Central, the loss by the Tigers, coupled with Cleveland's 5-1 win over Pittsburgh, put the two back into a tie atop the division.

INTERLEAGUE TALLY: Following the multiple mid-May three-game series, the two leagues ended up tied with 21 wins apiece. On Friday, the American League took eight of the 14 games, and now lead the seasonal series 29-27.

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