Saturday, July 27, 2013

Edwin Encarnacion Belts Two Homers in One Inning as Blue Jays Romp; Mets' Daniel Murphy Blasts Two Homers in 11-0 Rout of Nationals

Players of the Day for Friday, July 26, 2013

American League

It's a shame the Toronto Blue Jays are such an unbalanced team, blessed with great power and hitting, cursed with shoddy pitching. The Jays are second in the AL in home runs, with 128 (Baltimore leads - 141) and are sixth in RBI, but their pitching staff has an ERA of 4.35, better than just one team - Houston - and they are tied for the lowest number of saves in the league, at 21.

Edwin Encarnacion
Then there's Edwin Encarnacion, the sweet-swinging, all-purpose DH, first baseman, third baseman and sometimes outfielder who is having a monster season, despite being overshadowed by Baltimore's Chris Davis and Detroit's Miguel Cabrera. Encarnacion is third behind those two in home runs and RBI, belting a pair Friday to give him 28 on the year, along with five RBI, for 80. The best part is that Encarnacion, who included a double and scored another run to go 3-for-5 with three runs, hit both of his homers in the seventh inning, when the Blue Jays more than batted around, scoring eight runs to turn a 6-4 Astro lead into a 12-8 Toronto victory.

Encarnacion started the offensive explosion with a solo shot in the inning and ended it with a grand slam.

The win was Toronto's second straight over Houston, though both teams remain mired in last place in their respective divisions.

The two cellar-dwellers will play game three of their four-game set on Saturday at 1:07 pm EDT.

National League

Daniel Murphy
Possessing what may be the best pitching staff in the division, the Mets keep gradually creeping closer to second place in the NL East, though on Friday, they might best have saved a few runs for the nightcap as they split a double-header with the Nationals in Washington, DC, winning the first game, 11-0, but dropping the nightcap, 2-1.

In the opener, rookie hurler Jennry Mejia tossed seven innings of shutout ball in his first start of the season (just what the Mets need: another quality starter), though he didn't even need to be that sharp, because Daniel Murphy socked a pair of homers to go with a couple of singles in a 4-for-5 game, scoring three times and driving in five runs.

Murphy hit a solo shot in the first, followed by a two-run belt in the third. He also singled in a run in the seventh and another in the ninth, later scoring, as the Mets piled in six runs in their final at-bat.

Murphy was 2-for-4 in the second game, extending his hitting streak to six games with four straight multiple-hit games.

The results left the Mets 10 1/2 back of Atlanta in the division, with the Phillies nine out and the second-place Nationals 8 1/2 out.

The Nationals host the Mets in game three of four on Saturday, at 3:05 pm EDT.

Today's Trivia: who won more league batting championships, Stan Musial or Ted Williams? (answer tomorrow)

Yesterday's Answer: Had George Brett not captured the 1976 AL batting championship, Rod Carew might have won it seven straight, having batted .331 to Brett's .333. He was the league top hitter from 1972 to 1975 and again in 1977 and 1978. Along with his 1969 title, he had the AL's highest average seven times.

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