Monday, June 11, 2012

Mark Trumbo Homers Twice, Drives in Six; Andrew McCutchen Puts Pirates in Tie for First with Reds

Players of the Day for Sunday, June 10, 2012

American League

It was a wild one in Colorado Sunday afternoon as the Angels swept their three-game set at Coors Field, knocking off the Rockies, 10-8.

Trumbo: 2HR 6RBI
Driving in six runs with a pair of three-run homers was Mark Trumbo, who has emerged as a great "protection" batter in the four-hole behind Albert Pujols.

Trumbo smacked his first home run in the opening inning, after Torii Hunter had driven in the first Angel run with a scratch single. The Rockies scored a run in the bottom half, LA added two more in the second, but, Colorado tacked on a five-spot in the bottom half of the second to tie the game at six-all.

In the fourth, Trumbo broke the tie with his second bomb to deep left, his 14th of the season, giving the Angels a three-run cushion. The Rockies were only able to get to within two runs, twice, scoring single runs in both the fourth and ninth. LA added one more run in the eighth, when Howie Kendrick drove in Albert Pujols, who scored three times in the game.

The win kept the Angels three behind Texas - 5-0 winners at San Francisco - in the AL West. The Rockies have now lost five straight and are 14 games behind the Dodgers in the NL West.

National League

Andrew McCutchen
The feel good story of the year in the National League might be the re-emergence of the Dodgers under new ownership or the all-around excellence on display in the nation's capitol by the NL East's first place Nationals.

But, it just could be a story of how the Pittsburgh Pirates are overcoming two decades of mediocrity to challenge for the NL Central crown.

The Pirates completed a three-game sweep of Kansas City, as A.J. Burnett gave up two runs over 7 1/3 innings to improve to 6-2, and Andrew McCutchen drove in all of Pittsburgh's runs for a 3-2 victory, the fourth straight for the Bucs.

Coupled with Cincinnati's 7-6 heartbreaker to Detroit on Sunday night's ESPN game, the win earned Pittsburgh a tie with the Reds for first place in the division, with St. Louis two games out.

McCutchen doubled home a run in the first inning and smashed a two-run homer (his 11th) in the third to provide all the run support Burnett and three Pittsburgh relievers would need. He added his 11th steal of the season, swiping third base off KC starter Bruce Chen and has 36 RBI on the year. Now in his fourth season with the Pirates, McCutchen is emerging as a star, almost exactly on pace to become a 30-30 man in steals and homers. Off to a solid start, his .325 batting average is 8th-best in the National League.

With the Reds and Pirates deadlocked atop the Central, both teams begin key interleague series against contending AL teams on Tuesday. The Reds will host Cleveland, while Pittsburgh travels to Baltimore.

No comments: