Monday, April 9, 2012

Ruben Tejada Goes 4-for-5 as Mets Sweep Braves; Miguel Cabrera Helps Tigers Sweep Red Sox with Homer, 5 RBI

Players of the Day for Sunday, April 8, 2012

American League

With Prince Fielder hitting behind him in the Tiger batting order, Miguel Cabrera is seeing more good pitches and he's certainly taking advantage of his opportunities.

Cabrera: 3-5 HR 5RBI
So far this season, Cabrera is batting .455 with three homers and eight RBI, tied for the HR lead and tops in the ribbie department.

In Sunday's 13-12, 11-inning win over the Red Sox, which completed the series sweep for Detroit, Cabrera was at his best, going 3-for-5 with a handful of highlights. After singling home the Tigers' first run in the opening frame, he hit a sac fly for another RBI. After grounding into a double play in the fourth - which netted another Detroit run - Cabrera launched home run #3 of the season, a three-run belt that tied the game at 10.

Not quite finished, after Boston scored two runs in the top of the 11th, Cabrera's one-out single got things started for the Tigers in the bottom frame. After moving to second on Prince Fielder's single and to third on a wild pitch, Cabrera scored on Delmon Young's sac fly before Alex Avila ended it with a two-run walk-off homer to right field.

Detroit improved to 3-0 on the season with the win and sent Boston to the AL East basement, along with the Yankees, who were swept by Tampa Bay. It was only the second time in MLB history that Boston and New York have opened the season 0-3, the other time occurring in 1966.

National League

Ruben Tejada
The Mets are all alone in first place in the NL East, after taking three straight from Atlanta over the weekend, coupled with Washington's 4-3 loss Sunday at Chicago.

After beating the Braves, 7-4, on Sunday, the Mets have a 1-game lead over the Nationals. Instrumental to the Mets' win over the Braves Sunday was the performance of shortstop Ruben Tejada, who went 4-for-5 from the leadoff spot with two singles, two doubles, a pair of RBI and two runs scored.

A forgotten man in the Mets' shuffled season of 2011, Tejada was an effective fill-in for the oft-injured Jose Reyes (now in Miami) batting .294 in 96 games, but also spending 54 games with AAA Buffalo as the Mets juggled their roster to deal with injuries.

Tejada was useful last season, playing both short and second, and, following the departure of Reyes, will be welcome relief atop the lineup if he continues to produce.

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