Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Rocking Rookies: Mike Trout, Bryce Harper Lead Angels, Nationals to Fourth Straight Wins

Players of the Day for Monday, June 11, 2012

American League

Mike Trout
With a 3-2 road win over the Dodgers, the LA Angels inched still closer to Texas in the race for the AL West division title, drawing to within 2 1/2 games of the idle Rangers with their fourth straight win.

Rookie Mike Trout, who is well on his way to vying for rookie of the year honors now that he's become the Angels' regular leadoff hitter and center fielder, led the Angels with a 2-for-4 effort, including a solo home run in the fourth inning and a run-scoring single in the sixth.

With the score tied in the top of the ninth, Trout worked a one-out walk, stole second and scored the game-winning run on a single to left center by Albert Pujols. Trout had stolen third base back in the sixth inning, and with the ninth inning swipe upped his total for the season to 15, tying him with Cleveland's Jason Kipnis for the league lead.

Trout, who is batting .354 through 40 games, doesn't have enough plate appearances to qualify among the league leaders, though he's close.

National League

Bryce Harper
Speaking of rookies, there's a pretty good one in Washington by the name of Bryce Harper, who helped the Nationals to their fourth straight victory, a 6-3 win at Toronto.

Harper singled three times in four at-bats, stole his fourth base of the year, scored twice and drove in a run as the Nats increased their lead over Atlanta to three games in the NL East. Atlanta fell at home, 3-0, to the Yankees.

Harper has played in 39 games thus far and has compiled a batting average of .295 with six home runs and 18 RBI. Listed on the roster as a left fielder, Harper can play any outfield position. In Monday's contest he patrolled both center and right field.

Washington's win came in the opener of a three game series in Toronto, which continues with a night game on Tuesday and a day game Wednesday.

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