Friday, May 24, 2013

J.P. Arencibia, Edwin Encarnacion Lead Surging Blue Jays past O's; Andrew McCuthen Drives Pirates to Sweep of Cubs

Players of the Day for Thursday, May 23, 2013

American League

J.P. Arencibia
J.P. Arencibia drove in four runs and Edwin Encarnacion hoisted a grand slam in the fourth inning as the Blue Jays opened an important four-game series against the Orioles with a convincing, 12-6 victory.

Edwin Encarnacion
Arencibia's 11th home run came with a man aboard in the fifth inning. Earlier, the Toronto catcher doubled home a run in the fourth inning. His final RBI came in the eighth, when he grounded out with the bases loaded, bringing home Jose Bautista as the Blue Jays put the game out of sight with four runs in the frame.

Encarnacion's slam was his 13th homer of the season and his only hit of the game, but it gave Toronto an 8-3 lead, which was nearly a necessity, since starter Brandon Morrow allowed six runs on ten hits over seven innings, Despite the poor outing, Morrow (2-3) did notch the win.

The Toronto win was their seventh in their last ten. Still trailing the AL East, the Blue Jays are 8 1/2 back of the Yankees, who lead the division. Baltimore fell to 3 1/2 back of the idle Yanks.

The Jays and Orioles renew their rivalry in the second game of the series at 7:07 pm EDT in Toronto.

National League

Andrew McCutchen
In the only NL game Thursday, Andrew McCutchen carried the Pirates to their fourth straight win, stroking three singles from four at-bats, driving in two runs and stealing a pair of bases as Pittsburgh took their third in a row from the lowly Cubs, 4-2.

Pittsburgh's three-game sweep dropped Chicago into sole possession of last place in the NL Central, a full 12 games behind St. Louis. Winners of eight of their last 10, Pittsburgh continues to put pressure on the first-place Cardinals, the Pirate win tying Cincinnati for second place, 1 1/2 back of St. Louis.

McCutchen didn't get off to a great start of his 2013 campaign, but lately has been making up for lost time, with multiple hits in five of his last six games, raising his batting average to .291. The fleet center fielder has 12 steals (fourth in the NL) and has crossed home plate 33 times, tied for seventh in the league.

The Pirates open a three-game series at Milwaukee Friday night at 8:10 pm EDT.

Today's Trivia: Who is the active player that has led or tied for the major league lead in triples four times since 2005?

Yesterday's Answer: The "Big Train," Walter Johnson, threw 110 shutouts, a major league record likely never to be broken.

No comments: