Saturday, August 13, 2011

Ervin Santana Sets Down Blue Jays; Uggla Homers Twice, Streak at 32 Games

Players of the Day for Friday, August 12, 2011

American League

At the start of the season, the AL West looked every bit like it would turn into a showdown between the Angels and Rangers, and so far, that prognostication has proven true. All season long, one of those two teams has held first place, but lately it's been the Rangers, clinging to a 2 game lead over the hot-pursuing Angels.

The teams opened weekend series on Friday, with Texas pounding Oakland, 9-1, and the Angels taking on the Blue Jays in Toronto.

Santana: 4th CG
With the teams literally a continent apart, LA took care of business with a 5-1 victory, punctuated by a another high-quality performance from LA starter Ervin Santana, who went the distance, allowing seven hits and two walks while fanning six.

Santana, who threw a no-hitter at Cleveland on July 27 and has won his last five starts, didn't allow a runner past second base until there was one out in the 9th inning, when Eric Thames took him out of the park for Toronto's only run.

Santana's 4th complete game of the season improved his record to 9-8, somewhat short in the win category for a pitcher carrying a 3.10 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP, but the Angels will take it, keeping pace with the Rangers all the while.

National League

Dan Uggla raised his batting average to .229 as the Braves won their fifth straight, a 10-4 victory over the Chicago Cubs.

Uggla: 32 Straight
What's remarkable about Uggla's batting average is that he's hit safely in 32 straight games - surpassing the Atlanta record of 31 held by Rico Carty since 1970 - raising his average 56 points since he started the streak on July 5th, when he was batting a miserable .173.

In Friday's game, Uggla had it going on against Cubs' starter Carlos Zambrano, socking a pair of solo homers - one in the 2nd inning and one in the 5th - between them being plunked by Zambrano in the bottom of the 3rd, an incident that would eventually lead to Zambrano being tossed with one out in the 5th, after missing Chipper Jones with two straight inside pitches.

Uggla also singled later in the game, going 3-for-3 with three runs and two RBI. His pair of homers put him among the league leaders, with 26.

The Braves pounded five home runs off Zambrano, who was not to be found following the game, reportedly having cleaned out his locker and departed the stadium by the time the Braves had completed their romp.

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