Thursday, March 15, 2012

Edwin Encarnacion Homers Twice in Blue Jay Win; Albert Pujols, Howard Kendrick Combine for 7 RBI in Angel Loss

Players of the Day for Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Grapefruit League

Edwin Encarnacion
Edwin Encarnacion hit two home runs in Toronto's 7-5 win over the NY Yankees and may have put one of New York's starters out of the rotation for a while. Encarnacion was at the plate when Yankee starter Fredddy Garcia opened the fourth inning, smacking a sharp comebacker that hit Garcia on his pitching hand. Encarnacion was credited with a single, but Garcia left the mound and the game. X-rays were negative, but, according to reports, the hand swelled up significantly.

Back at the ballpark, Encarnacion scored on JP Arencibia's two run homer and an inning later, in the fifth, he belted a three run banger, to go with the solo shot he had off Garcia in the second.

For Encarnacion, it was an excellent day at the plate; 3-for-3, two homers, four RBI and three runs. For Garcia and the Yanks, not so much.

Cactus League

The LA Angels lost another Spring exhibition game on Wednesday, losing to the White Sox, 9-7, but the XXX paying customers at Chicago's Glendale, Arizona pre-season home got a glimpse of Albert Pujols' awesome power.

Pujols: 2 HR, 4 RBI
Pujols socked a three-run homer and a solo shot in his two official at-bats, his first two of the Spring in his seventh game with the Angels. His run-producing, and that of Howie Kendrick, who went 3-for-3 with a homer, two singles and three RBI, accounted for all of the Angels' runs, but it wasn't enough as the Sox scored none runs on 10 hits and sent starter Ervin Santana to an early shower with a line drive that struck the hurler on his right shoulder in the second inning.

Kendrick: 3-3 HR 3RBI
Santana was considered day-to-day with a bruised shoulder.

Pujols, who took the free agency route from St. Louis to LA after last year's world series triumph by St. Louis, is expected to provide an extra boost at the plate for the Angels. The slugger, entering his 12th year in the bigs, may make a run at 500 homers and 500 doubles. He will open the regular season with 455 doubles and 445 home runs.

As for Kendrick, his Spring performance is in line with his usual consistent play. In 2010, he hit .285 with 18 long balls, 63 RBI and 86 runs in 140 games.

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