Sunday, June 9, 2013

Prince Fielder Leads Tigers in Win over Indians; Hunter Pence Paces Giants as NL West Race Tightens

Players of the Day for Saturday, June 8, 2013

American League

Prince Fielder
What was a tight race a week ago, is quickly turning into a runaway in the AL Central, as the Indians lost their sixth straight game while the Tigers have won three in a row.

Cleveland's latest lost was delivered by the bat of Prince Fielder, whose second inning, bases-loaded double paved the way to a 6-4 Detroit victory, their second straight over their division rival. The Tigers have opened up a 4 1/2 game lead over the Indians.

Fielder's gapper to right-center plated three runs, breaking a 1-1 tie. The Tigers tacked on a pair in the third inning, which was all starter Rick Porcello (3-3) needed, shutting down the Indians on three hits and one earned run over six innings. The Indians scored two unearned runs off Tiger errors, but could not mount enough offense to overcome their deficit.

Fielder, hitting in the all-important spot behind reigning MVP, Miguel Cabrera, added a single, going 2-for-5 on the day. With 12 homers, a .285 batting average and 51 RBI, Fielder is having an exceptional season, especially considering that the guy in front of him, Cabrera, has been routinely clearing the bases. Cabrera has 17 homers and 67 RBI.

The two sluggers in the heart of Detroit's lineup have driven in 118 of 305 total RBI by the team, an outlandish 38.7%.

Detroit will be seeking a sweep of the Indians when they host game three of the weekend series, Sunday, at 1:08 pm EDT.

National League

Tightening the NL West up a little more, the San Francisco Giants cranked out 15 hits in their 10-5 win at Arizona, tying the Rockies - 4-2 losers to San Diego - for second place, 2 1/2 games back of the Diamondbacks.

Hunter Pence
Hunter Pence made the most of his plate appearances, going 2-for-5 with a double and his tenth homer of the season, a seventh-inning solo shot that put the Giants up 9-0.

Prior to his fence-clearing, Pence got the Giants on the scoreboard in the second inning, grounding into a fielder's choice, but then stealing second and third base, scampering home on Miguel Montero's wild throw to third.

He also started the Giants' six-run outburst in the fourth inning, leading off with a ground rule double to left and scoring on a Andres Torres sac fly.

Pence has his season going in the right direction, batting .342 over his last ten games. He's swiped 12 bases this season without being caught.

The Giants and Diamondbacks will settle their differences Sunday at 4:10 pm EDT in the rubber game of the series.

Today's Trivia: Who was the player who led the majors in runs five times from 2003-2010? (answer tomorrow)

Yesterday's Answer: The all-time career leader in RBI is Hammerin' Hank Aaron, with 2297.

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