Monday, April 30, 2012

Wilson Betemit's Walk-Off Homer Keeps Orioles Tied for First; Joey Votto Powers Reds Past Astros

Players of the Day for Sunday, April 29, 2012

American League

Oakland's Bartolo Colon was cruising along, pitching into the ninth inning with a 2-0 lead over the home-standing Baltimore Orioles in the rubber game of their three-game series.

After a leadoff single to J.J. Hardy, Colon struck out Nick Markakis and appeared on his way to a complete game and his fourth win of the season.

Wilson Betemit
The Orioles, though, had other ideas. Adam Jones chopped a grounder between the mound and third, which Colon fielded, whirled and threw into right field, allowing Hardy and Jones to reach second and third. All of a sudden, the 2-0 lead wasn't so safe.

In came Grant Balfour to quell the uprising, but the O's were having none of it, as Matt Wieters tied the game, banging a double off the wall in left-center. After intentionally walking Chris Davis, Wilson Betemit - 0-for-3 on the afternoon - had his turn at the plate with the winning run in scoring position in the form of Endy Chavez, inserted to run for the slow-footed Wieters.

Betemit took a Balfour offering over the wall in right field, a three-run, walk off homer for a 5-2 win that kept the Orioles tied for first place in the AL East with the Rays, after Tampa Bay knocked off Texas by the same score, Sunday night.

The smash was Betemit's third of the season, but easily his most memorable. The Orioles open a three game series with the Yankees in New York on Monday.

National League

Joey Votto
Joey Votto hasn't gotten off to a very good start, but his Reds were still in second place in the NL Central entering Sunday's rubber game with the visiting Astros. In the division, nly the Cardinals had a record over .500, and they'd built a four game lead on the rest of their rivals.

With St. Louis falling to the Brewers, 3-2, Cincinnati managed to pick up a game and get to 11-11 after Votto drove in four runs in the Reds' 6-5 win over the Astros.

Votto socked a two-run homer - his second of the season - in the fourth inning and drove home two more with a double in the seventh which tied the score at 5-all. Jay Bruce's solo shot - his 7th - in the 8th provided the winning margin.

The Reds have the day off Monday before starting a three-game series with the Cubs which will finish their home-stand. After that, they head to Pittsburgh and Milwaukee for six games on the road.

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