Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Carlos Zambrano Tosses 3-Hit Shutout; Rookie Brandon Snyder Drives in Six in Ranger Rout

Players of the Day for Monday, May 7, 2012

American League

One thing the Texas Rangers always seem to have in ample supply are players with extreme offensive skills, so it came as no big surprise when rookie third baseman Brandon Snyder broke out the wood against the Baltimore Orioles in the opener of the four-game series at Camden Yards.

Snyder: HR, 6 RBI
Snyder, who gets limited playing time, since third base is normally the province of Adrian Beltre, took advantage of Beltre being the DH for a night, going 3-for-5 with a three-run homer and a pair of run-producing singles as the Rangers bombed Baltimore, 14-3.

Snyder got the Rangers started, driving in a pair of runs in the second inning, added the three-run blast in the sixth and contributed another RBI single and scored as the Rangers piled on seven runs in the top of the ninth.

Having been to the plate just 14 times this season prior to Monday's game, upped his average to .421 against the team that traded him to the Rangers after last season.

The Rangers lead the AL West by four games over the A's; Baltimore's loss dropped them into a tie for first place in the East, with Tampa Bay.

National League

Despite a new stadium and a number of high-profile, off-season acquisitions, the Miami Marlins haven't exactly started off like a house afire, but the rest of the NL East has somewhat let them into the race; the Marlins are 3 1/2 games back of the division-leading Nationals.

Zambrano: 3-hit SO
One of those acquisitions was the feisty Carlos Zambrano, longtime Cubs starter and frequent headline-grabber. The kind of guy who needs to keep his emotions under control, Zambrano can be very effective, such as he was Monday night, holding the punchless Houston Astros to three hits in a 4-0 Miami road win.

Aided by three double plays, no Houston player reached second base, despite Zambrano plunking a couple of Astro batters and issuing one walk. Zambrano (1-2, 1.98 ERA) fanned a season-high nine, hurling his 10th career complete game and fifth shutout.

If Zambrano can stay healthy and away from confrontations with teammates, coaches and fans, he could be a key to the Marlins' success as the season progresses, though they'll have to pick it up against teams in their division. The Marlins are just 1-7 against NL East foes.

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