Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Ryan Sweeney Helps A's to 6th Straight; Seth Smith Powers Rockies to 4-3 Win

Players of the Day for Tuesday, June 21, 2011

American League

The hottest team in the American League right now is Minnesota, who won their eighth straight by blasting the Giants, 9-2, but right next to them on the heat map are the Oakland A's, who took their sixth straight with a 6-2 win in New York over the up-and-down Mets.

Among the reasons for the A's recent success is Ryan Sweeney, who probably isn't getting all the playing time he deserves. Sweeney went 4-for-5 and drove in only one run, but he was right in the middle of the A's big innings, leading to their victory.

Sweeney's key RBI single in the 3rd put the A's up 4-0, and another single, in the 5th, set the stage for two more Oakland runs, effectively putting the game out of reach, at 6-1.

Batting .291, Sweeney has been used primarily in right field and he has had some key pinch-hits. While his stats aren't anything close to mind-boggling, he's only had 117 at-bats this season.

The A's, in last place in the AL West but only 5 1/2 games back, hope to keep their win streak running in New York on Wednesday and Thursday.

National League

Seth Smith crunched a pair of home runs to lead the Colorado Rockies to a second straight one-run win at Cleveland, 4-3, Tuesday night.

Smith hit his seventh home run in the 6th inning, putting the Rockies up, 3-0, but the Indians battled back to tie the game heading into the 9th. His second homer of the contest turned out to be the game-winner, as Smith led off the inning with a solo bomb to right-center off Cleveland closer, Chris Perez.

Huston Street slammed the door shut on the Indians in the bottom of the frame, earning his NL-leading 22nd save.

Batting .316, Smith has been a large part of the Rockies' winning four of their last five. In the four wins, he's gone 8-for-18, including his 3-for-4 effort on Tuesday. The Rockies remain in the hunt for the NL West title, trailing Arizona by 2 1/2 games and just two back of second place San Francisco.

INTERLEAGUE TALLY: The National Leaguers made a bit of a comeback on Tuesday, winning nine of the 13 games played. Those wins cut the AL lead to 58-49.

No comments: