Saturday, June 11, 2011

Markakis, Arrieta Lead Orioles to 7-0 Win; Chipper Jones Has Braves on Warpath

Players of the Day for Friday, June 10, 2011

American League

Jake Arrieta
Languishing in their usual position at the bottom of the AL East division, the Baltimore Orioles are actually not that bad a team. At 30-31, they are only six games behind the front-running Red Sox, and have a better record than five other AL teams. There are signs of good things to come.

Nick Markakis
With Friday's 7-0 whitewash of the Rays, Baltimore won its fourth straight and has a chance to get to .500 with a win Saturday. The victory was nearly the exclusive product of two players. One was starter Jake Arrieta, who shut out the Rays for seven innings, allowing just two hits and three walks.

Arrieta had a no-hitter through five innings spoiled by a double and single to lead off the 6th, the only hits he allowed. An inning-ending double play got him out of the inning without a run being scored. He also struck out the side in the 3rd, even though he only had four Ks for the game. The win improved his record to 8-3, tying him with Boston's Jon Lester for the most wins in the league.

While Jake was throwing up goose eggs on Tampa, Nick Markakis was taking care of the run-producing aspect of the game with a grand slam in the 2nd and a two-run double in the 8th, driving in all but one of the Orioles' runs with two swings of the bat. Markakis, one of many players who got off to abnormally slow starts this season, is batting just .241 with five homers and 25 RBI.

National League

Chipper Jones:
Still swinging at 39
Chipper Jones is alive and well and has the Atlanta Braves challenging for the top spot in the rugged NL East.

Jones socked his 6th home run of the season to help the Atlanta Braves win their fourth straight game and remain two games behind the Phillies in the division.

He also singled twice, drove in two runs, scored three times and stole a base. Not a bad night for a 39-year-old player many expected to call it quits after last season.

Others got involved for the Braves, as they pounded out 14 hits in an 11-4 rout of the punchless Houston Astros. With three more games in Houston over the weekend, the Braves have a prime opportunity to string together more wins and maybe run down the Phillies, who have led the division almost all season.

Jones will keep swinging. One look at his career stats assures that he's a first round Hall of Famer. 442 home runs, 1525 RBI and a career .305 batting average.

JETER 3000 WATCH: After losing three straight at home to the Red Sox, the Yankees took out their frustrations on the visiting Cleveland Indians, piling up 15 hits in an 11-7 win. With everyone swing the bats, Jeter came up with just one hit in five at-bats, leaving him nine away from the 3000 club.

The Yankees have a pair of day games in the Bronx scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, both against the Indians.

No comments: