Thursday, June 13, 2013

Brandon Moss Homers Twice, Powers A's to AL West Lead; Starling Marte, Andrew McCutchen Help Pirates Rip Giants, 12-8

Players of the Day for Wednesday, June 12, 2013

American League

Brandon Moss
With the Rangers losing their second straight to the Indians by a 5-2 score, Oakland took over sole possession of first place in the AL East with a 5-2 victory over the visiting Yankees.

The Oakland win was powered by Brandon Moss, who homered twice and drove in three runs while starter Dan Straily limited the Yankees to two runs on three hits over 6 2/3 innings, improving his record to 4-2.

Moss got the A's started with a two-run rip in the second inning, adding an insurance run with his 11th homer of the year in the eighth.

Batting an unimpressive .228, Moss, however has delivered well in the clutch. He has 33 RBI on the season.

The A's also took the opener of the series on Tuesday by a 6-4 score and will be seeking the sweep when they host the Yankees in the day-game finale, Thursday, at 12:35 pm PDT.

National League

Andrew McCutchen
The current version of the Pittsburgh Pirates is hardly similar to the teams the organization have put on the field for most of the past two decades. This one is serious, and contenting for the NL Central crown.

Marte: 4-5, 4 R
Proving they are worthy of the league's attention, the Pirates took their second straight from the world champion Giants, pounding Barry Zito (4-5) and four relief pitchers for 18 hits in a 12-8 triumph.

Sporting a 4.79 ERA, things didnt start well for Zito, despite taking the mound with a 1-0 lead, courtesy of a Hunter Pence RBI double in the Giants' half of the first.

Leadoff hitter Starling Marte singled and came around to score on the first of three Andrew McCutchen RBI. This became a recurring theme, as Marte finished 4-for-5 - all singles - scored four runs and swiped a pair of bases while McCutchen went 3-for-5 with a double and a duo of singles.

Marte, a rookie, after playing in 47 games for the Pirates last season, is having a solid year atop the Pirates' batting order, hitting .289 in 63 games. His two steals gave him 20 on the season, second most in the league, behing Everth Cabrera's 30.

McCutchen, hitting .297, has picked it up of late, riding a four-game hitting streak in which he's gone 8-for-14 (.571).

The Pirates will be looking for a sweep of the Giants Thursday night at 7:05 pm EDT.

Today's Trivia: The St. Louis Cardinals are leading the NL with a .275 team batting average. What team had the highest NL team batting average for a single-season? (answer tomorrow)

Yesterday's Answer: Francisco Rodriguez (K-Rod) recorded 62 saves in 2008 for the LA Angels.

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