Friday, June 14, 2013

Ian Desmond, Ryan Zimmerman Lead Nationals Over Rockies; Elliot Johnson's Big Sixth Inning Rallies Royals

Players of the Day for Thursday, June 13, 2013

American League

Elliot Johnson
When second baseman Elliot Johnson came up to the plate leading off in the top of the sixth inning, there was no score between the Royals and Rays. By the time the inning was over, it was 8-0 Kansas City, and Johnson had gone around the bases twice.

Johnson got things started in KC's big inning with a simple single to right off Tampa starter Jeremy Hellickson and came around to score two batters later on Alex Gordon's single.

The Royals ended up sending 11 men to the plate, and Johnson made the most of his second crack of the inning, launching a three-run homer to right field, finishing off Hellickson, who took the loss as the Royals went on to the 10-1 win.

Adding a single in the eighth inning, Johnson finished up 3-for-4 with two runs and three RBI, helping the Royals (31-33) to their eighth win in their last nine games. picking up 1/2 game on idle second place Cleveland and first place Detroit.

The Royals are five games back and just 1/2 game behind the Indians in the division, and will look to make it two straight in Tampa when they face the Rays at 7:10 pm EDT Friday night.

National League

Ian Desmond
Ryan Zimmerman
After losing the opener of their three-game series in Colorado, 8-3, the Nationals fell below .500 and need to get their season back on track against the red-hot Rockies.

Taking the second game, 5-1, the Nats felt confident going into the rubber game; veterans Ryan Zimmerman and Ian Desmond led the way to a 5-4 victory, a 33-32 record and second place in the NL East, 5 1/2 behind the runaway Braves.

Zimmerman doubled and homered in four at-bats, driving in three of Washington's runs, while Desmond stroked four singles in four at-bats, stole a base, scored a run and drove in another.

Starting the month of June with a 1-4 mark, including back-to-back rain-outs against the Mets and Minnesota, the Nationals have turned the corner, going 4-1 in their last five.

Washington remains on the road, heading to Cleveland for a three-game series beginning Friday at 7:05 pm EDT.

Today's Trivia: Who was the last player to hit two inside-the-park home runs in one game? (hint: it was in 1986) (answer tomorrow)

Yesterday's Answer: In 1894, the Philadelphia Phillies batted .349, the highest ever by a National League team.

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