Thursday, July 11, 2013

Hanley Ramirez Homers in 14th, Dodgers Sweep D-Backs; Josh Hamilton's 5 RBI Propel Angels Past Cubs, 13-2

Players of the Day for Wednesday, July 10, 2013

American League

Josh Hamilton
In the AL West, the A's have held a 1/2 game edge over the Rangers for a week with the Angels lurking, just below .500, some distance back. On Wednesday, both the A's and Rangers were losers, so the Angels picked up a game on both with their 13-2 clubbing of the Cubs and now are nine games out.

Resurgent Josh Hamilton, who has four homers in his last six games and has hit safely in nine of the past ten, belted a pair of homers to send the Angels home a winner, splitting the two-game series at Wrigley Field.

Hamilton's big blast - a three-run donk - came early, in the first inning, setting the tone for the evening's festivities, which consisted of the Rangers smacking around three Cubs' hurlers for a total of 15 hits, nine of them off starter Jeff Samardzija (5-9), who allowed nine and the same number of earned runs in just 4 2/3 innings.

Hamilton's second homer was a solo shot in the fifth, which pretty much did in Samardzija, coming right after Albert Pujols two-run shot. The Rangers bashed five home runs and had 11 extra base hits in all. Hamilton got his fifth RBI of the evening on a ground out in the eighth. He has 14 HRs and 39 RBI on the year.

LA closes out the first half with a three-game series in Seattle, beginning Friday night.

National League

Hanley Ramirez
Winners of four straight and eight of their last ten, the LA Dodgers closed to within 1 1/2 games of first-place Arizona in the NL West with a 7-5 win in a 14-inning marathon over the Diamondbacks.

Back-to-back home runs by Hanley Ramirez and A.J. Ellis in the top of the final inning produced the victory, with Kenley Jansen working the final two innings in relief, evening his record at 3-3 with two shutout frames.

Ramirez has been lights out since returning from the DL, batting .409 with eight homers and 24 RBI in 35 games. He was 3-for-5 on Wednesday, with the homer, a double and a single, three RBI and two runs.

The victory was the conclusion of a three-game sweep in Arizona for the Dodgers, who will finish out the first half at home with a four-game series against the Rockies, the first game starting at 7:10 pm PDT, Thursday night.

Today's Trivia: In the modern era (since 1900), the single-season record for runs is 177. Who set that mark?

Yesterday's Answer: In his 14-year career, Maury Wills swiped 586 bases and finished with a .281 average. Lou Brock, who broke in two years after Wills, stole 938 bases (2nd all-time) and batted .293 over 19 years.

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