Monday, August 20, 2012

Aaron Hill's Two Homers Help D-Backs to 4th Straight; Michael Young Drives in Five to Power Rangers

Players of the Day for Sunday, August 19, 2012

American League

The way the Texas Rangers are going, they're a cinch to make the playoffs, as the AL West champion, or, even if they stumble a bit, as one of the two AL wild cards.

Texas maintained their five game lead over the A's in the division with an 11-2 romp over the Blue Jays, banging out 19 hits, nine of which went for extra bases.

Michael Young
One of the big advantages the Rangers hold over all opposition in the American League is their power-laden lineup. When you can put a former batting champion in the six hole, like Michael Young was on Sunday, you have no holes in your batting order. Young won the AL batting crown in 2005 with a .331 average.

Young delivered five RBI for the Rangers, going 3-for-5 with a single, double and a three-run homer in the five-run fifth inning, which put Texas up 8-1, and, with Matt Harrison tossing bullets from the mound (8 IP, 2 ER, 1 BB, 7 K), the Rangers cruised to the win, taking two of three from the Jays.

The Rangers return to Arlington Monday for a 10-game home stand, with four games against the lowly Twins sandwiched in between a pair of three-game series with the top two wild card teams from the AL East, Baltimore and the red hot Tampa Bay Rays, who just did the Rangers a big favor over the weekend, taking four straight from the Angels and dropping them nine games behind Texas in the division.

National League

With the Dodgers taking first place in the NL West with a 5-0 win over the Braves, the Arizona Diamondbacks crept a little it closer in their quest to reach the top spot in the division.

Aaron Hill
Arizona won its fourth straight, with an 8-1 rout of the Astros, sweeping the three-game series at Houston by a combined score of 23-6. Houston has the worst record in the majors, a distressing 39-83 mark (.320).

Aaron Hill banged a pair of solo homers for the Diamondbacks, going 3-for-4 with a double, two RBI and three runs. Hills homers were his 16th and 17th of the season, and raised his batting average to a robust .298, which, if he maintains it, would be the best in his eight year pro career.

With the win and the Giants' 7-1 loss to the Padres - which dropped them 1/2 game behind the Dodgers - the Diamondbacks are 4 1/2 off the pace in the division and have a trio of three games series at home against Miami, Chicago and Cincinnati before heading to LA for a four-game showdown with the Dodgers, August 30 through September 2, followed by a three-game set at San Francisco, so the NL West could begin to sort itself out right after Labor Day.

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