Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Homer Bailey Tosses First No-Hitter of Season in 3-0 Reds' Win; Kendrys Morales Drives in Six as Mariners Sink Rangers

Players of the Day for Tuesday, July 2, 2013

American League

Morales: 3-5, 6RBI
Because of the way they're playing, the Oakland A's don't really need anyone doing them favors, but Kendrys Morales and the Seattle Mariners did so anyway, boosting the A's back into the top spot in the AL West by taking down the Texas Rangers, 9-2, in the opener of a three-game series in Texas.

While the Mariners were bombing the Rangers, Oakland did their part, defeating the visiting Cubs, 8-7, resulting in a 1/2 game lead in the division.

Raul Ibanez socked his 20th home run for the M's, but the real damage was done by Morales, who hit a solo homer right behind Ibanez in the first inning, then delivered a three-run blast in the fifth, followed by a two-run single in the sixth for a 3-for-5, six RBI game.

The Mariners' good deed didn't help them much, however. They are mired in fourth place in the division, 12 1/2 games back of the A's. They'll try to improve on that when they face the Rangers again on Wednesday night, at 8:05 pm EDT.

National League

Bailey: No-hitter
The last time a major leaguer threw a no hitter was on September 28, 2012 and it was Homer Bailey on the mound in Pittsburgh, leading his Reds to a 1-0 win.

On Tuesday night, Bailey was home in Cincinnati, at a place he feels most comfortable, the pitching mound at Great American Ball Park, facing the World Champion San Francisco Giants in game two of a four-game set.

The Giants didn't look very much like world-beaters, however, as Bailey set them down in routine fashion, throwing the first no-hitter of the season in a 3-0 victory.

Tossing his second career no-hitter, Bailey was in complete command, striking out nine while issuing just one walk, that to Gregor Blanco, leading off the seventh inning.

Bailey (5-6, 3.57) needed just 109 pitches for the mound gem, throwing 74 for strikes, getting ahead of 19 of 28 batters by throwing first pitch strikes, a key to the outstanding performance.

The win was a boost for the Reds, as both the Pirates and Cardinals lost. The Reds trail Pittsburgh by four games. The second place Cardinals are two games out.

Game three of the series begins at 7:10 pm EDT Wednesday night.

Today's Trivia: Which pitcher hold the record for most career no-hitters and how many did he throw? (answer tomorrow)

Yesterday's Answer: Philadelphia's Jimmy Rollins set the major league record of 716 at-bats in 2007. Rollins played in all 162 games, hit 30 homers, led the league with 20 triples, drove in 94 and scored 139 runs and won the NL MVP award.

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