Sunday, June 16, 2013

Trevor Plouffe Leads Twins past Tigers; B.J. Upton's Two Homers Lift Braves over Giants

Players of the Day for Saturday, June 15, 2013

American League

Trevor Plouffe
Holding onto the lead in the AL Central division has been routine work by the Tigers, not because they're winning consistently, but because the rest of the division has been losing.

Saturday was a case in point: four of the five teams in the Central were losers, the only winner, the Twins, topped the Tigers by a 6-3 score in the middle game of their three game series.

Minnesota's 14-hit assault on Detroit pitching was spearheaded by third baseman, Trevor Plouffe, who singled, doubled and homered in three official at-bats, walked once, scored twice and drove in three runs, two of which came on his fourth-inning, two-run shot that tied the game at two.

Plouffe, who's played in just 38 games this season, was in his first game back since coming off the DL and is riding a nine-game hit streak in which he's gone 12-for-32 (.375) with eight RBI.

The Twins have lost six of their last ten outings, but still are only 6 1/2 off Detroit's pace. The Tigers lead Cleveland by 4 1/2, Kansas City by five.

The Tigers and Twins will play the rubber game of their series on Sunday at 2:10 pm EDT.

National League

B.J. Upton
Atlanta keep rolling along, extending their home record to 22-8 (best in the majors) with a 6-5 win over the Giants Saturday, evening the series at a game apiece and maintaining their 5 1/2 game bulge over the Nationals in the NL East.

While Justin Upton was the toast of the town in April and May, June is turning into brother B.J. Upton's time to shine. The elder Upton socked a pair of homers for the Braves, scored three times, stole a base and drove in three runs. In his last plate appearance, Upton took a bases-loaded walk to tie the game at 5-all, and watched from between first and second as teammate Freddie Freeman drove home the game-winner with a single as Giants' reliever, Sergio Romo, imploded, getting just one out in the ninth.

B.J. homered in the first inning to get the Braves on the board with a solo shot. In the sixth, his two-run shot cut the Giants' 5-2 lead to 5-4. Despite hitting just .166, the Braves have kept Upton in the lineup for his stellar work in center field. He has eight homers and just 15 RBI this season.

The Giants and Braves will settle their differences Sunday night at 8:00 pm EDT at Turner Field. The game will be nationally televised by ESPN.

Today's Trivia: In 2011, two players led the major leagues in hits with 213 each. Who are they? (answer tomorrow)

Yesterday's Answer: Colorado's Todd Helton has the highest career batting average among active National Leaguers, at .3186.

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