Saturday, April 7, 2012

Carlos Pena Wrecks Yankees in 7-6 Win; Chad Billingsley Dominates Padres

Players of the Day for Friday, April 6, 2012

American League

Carlos Pena
Carlos Pena finished what he started in Tampa Bay, that being demonizing Yankee pitchers in a 7-6 opening day win for the Rays.

Banished to the Cubs and the National League after hitting just .198 in 2010, Pena returned to Tampa Bay with a renewed attitude and a fresh start at first base. It didn't take long for his presence to be felt at the plate, as he belted a first inning grand slam off Yankee starter CC Sabathia for a quick 4-0 Tampa Bay lead.
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The Yankees bounced back and led 6-4 after their at-bat in the top of the third. Tampa responded with a run in the bottom of the inning and the score remained the same until the bottom of the ninth, when the Rays scored a pair of runs off Yankee closer Mariano Rivera, the final one the game-winner, as Pena stroked a single to center and Ben Zobrist trotted home for the 7-6 decision.

Pena finished his day 3-for-5 with five RBI.

Rivera lasted only 1/3 of an inning, allowing two runs on three hits and two walks, both intentional.

The Yanks will try to make amends Saturday night, when the Rays host them again at 7:10 pm EDT.

National League

The LA Dodgers have gotten off on the right foot for their new owners with a 2-0 record as they backed the brilliant pitching of Chad Billingley with two runs in each of the first, third and fifth innings for a 6-0 win at San Diego.

LA topped the Padres, 5-3, in both teams' season opener Thursday.
Chad Billingsley

Billingsley was, for the most part, untouchable, surrendering just three hits to the Padres while striking out 11 with one walk over 8 1/3 scoreless innings.

The 6'1" righty threw 70 of 108 pitches for strikes and was lifted with one out in the 9th after a dominant performance. Reliever Jamey Wright came on to get the final two outs.

Andre Ethier drove in four runs, doubling home a pair in the first inning and tripling home two more in the fifth.

NOTABLE: Albert Pujols was hitless (0-3) in his first game as an LA Angel, but Jered Weaver was in fine form, hurling eight scoreless innings on four hits while fanning 10 in LA's 5-0 win.

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