Monday, June 24, 2013

Blue Jays Win 11th Straight, Edwin Encarnacion Leads 13-5 Rout of Orioles; Anthony Rizzo, Ryan Sweeney Pace 14-6 Cubs Win

Players of the Day for Sunday, June 23, 2013

American League

Edwin Encarnacion
Toronto completed their three-game sweep of the visiting Orioles and won their 11th straight - the longest winning streak in the majors this season - with a 13-5 blowout, roughing up Baltimore starter, Freddie Garcia, for seven runs on seven hits in 2 1/3 innings.

Edwin Encarnacion had another fantastic game, going 3-for-5 with a single, double, home run, three runs and four RBI. Those totals move him into second place in the AL home run category (21) and third in RBI, with 63. Encarnacion has gone 12-for-36 (.333) over his last ten games, with three homrs, 10 runs and 10 RBI.

Combined with Boston's 7-5 loss to the Tigers, Toronto is now just five games off the pace in the AL East, tied with Tampa Bay. The Yankees are 2 1/2 back, with Baltimore in second place, two down to the Red Sox.

The Blue Jays have shaved seven games off Boston's lead during their winning streak, remarkable in that they were left for dead less than two weeks ago, but suddenly are right back in the mix, even though the calendar says there's more than three months of baseball left to play.

Having tied the franchise record, the Blue Jays will look to break it when they seek win #12 in a row, Monday night at Tampa Bay, where they open a three-game series with the Rays, starting at 7:10 pm EDT. The Jays close out the month with four games at Boston before returning home to host the Tigers for three.

National League

Ryan Sweeney
The Chicago Cubs took advantage of some very suspect Houston hurlers en route to a 14-6 rout of the Astros, taking the three-game series at Wrigley Field, two games to one.

Anthony Rizzo
Ryan Sweeney and Anthony Rizzo accounted for six of the Cubs' 16 hits and between them drove in 10 runs. Sweeney was 3-for-5 with two doubles and a home run, scoring twice while driving in a season-high six. Rizzo went 3-for-3 - two singles and a homer - scored four times and drove in four runs.

The win got the Cubs into a tie for last place in the NL Central with the Brewers, 7-4 losers to Atlanta. Houston, likewise in last place, though in the AL West, has the AL's worst record, at 29-48.

NOTABLE: David Wright could have hit for the cycle in Sunday's 8-0 win over the Phillies, if he had just stopped at first on one of his two doubles - one each in the fourth and fifth innings. Of course, Wright had no reason to believe that he'd triple in the seventh inning and sock a solo homer in the top of the ninth. The hard-hitting third baseman finished the day 4-for-5 with two runs, two RBI and 11 total bases.

Today's Trivia: From 1956 to 1966, the Cy Young Award went to the best pitcher in the majors, not the individual leagues. During those years, who won the award three times? (answer tomorrow)

Yesterday's Answer: With the Expos in 1997, Pedro Martinez won the Cy Young Award before winning back-to-back AL Cy Young's with Boston in 1999 and 2000.

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