Sunday, June 17, 2012

Jason Hammel, Ervin Santana Notch One-Hitters; Matt Holliday Leads Cardinals over Royals

Players of the Day for Saturday, June 16, 2012

American League

It may not exactly be the year of the pitcher, but with four no-hitters already this season (including two perfect games), dominance on the mound is spreading.

Jason Hammel
On Saturday, two hurlers, the Angels' Ervin Santana and Baltimore's Jason Hammel each came within a hit of record book territory with one-hit performances.

In Atlanta, Hammel set down 20 of the first 21 Braves in order, walking Dan Uggla to lead off the second, before surrendering another walk to Uggla and a scratch single to Jason Heyward with two out in the seventh.

Ervin Santana
Hammel got Eric Hinske on a routine fly ball to end the inning, and sailed through the eighth and ninth unscathed, finishing with a one-hitter, eight strikeouts and two free passes in the 5-0 Baltimore victory. His record improved to 7-2 as the O's evened their series with the Braves and play the rubber game Sunday afternoon.

Baltimore remained 1 1/2 back of the Yankees, winners of eight straight, in the AL East.

Ervin Santana took nearly the same route to a 2-0, 1-hit win as Hammel, retiring the first 20 Arizona batters, until surrendering a single toJustin Upton with twoouts in the seventh. Besides a walk to Miguel Montero in the ninth, that was the only blemish on Santana's game.

The Angels pounded outt10 hits, but only Mark Trumbo's first inning, two-run homer produced and scoring. Santana finished with one walk and five Ks, keeping LA within striking distance of AL West leader, Texas, four games out.

National League

Holliday: 4-5, 5RBI
The Cardinals and Royals each banged out 14 hits, but St. Louis prevailed in a 10-7 win, as Matt Holliday went 4-for-5 and drove in five runs.

Every hit was a run-producer for the St. Louis left fielder, socking a two-run homer (11) in the first, doubling and scoring in the second, singling in another run in the seventh and finishing with a two-run double in the eighth.

The victory kept the Cardinals tied for second in the NL Central, four games behind the Reds, winners of five in a row.

St. Louis will finish their home series with the Royals Sunday afternoon.

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