Monday, July 29, 2013

Ian Desmond, Denard Span, Wilson Ramos Lead Nats in 14-1 Rout of Mets; Nick Franklin's Two Homers Power Mariners

Players of the Day for Sunday, July 28, 2013

American League

In the blink of an eye, the Oakland A's have turned a close race in the AL West into a runaway, winning three in a row while the Texas Rangers have lost four straight, opening a six-game lead.

Nick Franklin
Further back, struggling to keep up, are the Seattle Mariners, completing a 2-2 split with the Twins with a 6-4 win on Sunday.

The mariners were fueled by Nick Franklin, their rookie second baseman, who socked a pair of homers and drove in four runs to help turn back the Twins.

After Michael Saunders hit a solo shot to tie the game at two, Franklin's first blast came in the fourth inning, a three-run belt that put the Mariners ahead for good. In the seventh, Franklin launched his second homer of the game, a solo job which completed the scoring after Minnesota had drawn to within a run.

Adding a single, Franklin finished with a 3-for-4 game. Over the last eight games, Franklin has hit safely in six, popped four homers and driven in 12 runs. Now, if the A's would only lose a few games, Seattle might make up some ground in the division.

National League

Ian Desmond
The Mets were getting a little too close for the second-place Washington Nationals, so they took the initiative, taking three of four over the weekend, culminating with a powerful, 18-hit, 14-1 victory on Sunday at Nationals Park.

Denard Span
Beating up on five Mets hurlers, the brunt of the attack came from the six, seven and eight hitters in the lineup who together accounted for ten hits and ten RBI.

In the six hole, Ian Desmond went 4-for-4 with two singles, a pair of doubles, three runs and two RBI. Right behind him, Denard Span was also 4-for-4, rapping out three singles and a two-run homer, scoring three times and driving in three.

Wilson Ramos
Batting in front of the pitcher is usually not a position where one sees a lot of good pitches, but Wilson Ramos saw a few he liked, going 2-for-4, including a third-inning grand slam. Ramos scored twice and had five RBI.

Even with the win, the Nationals have their work cut out for themselves as August rapidly approaches. The Braves completed a three-game sweep of St. Louis with a 5-2 victory Sunday night, leaving Washington 8 1/2 games back, the largest lead in any major league division.

Today's Trivia: Since 2000, who is the only player to lead the NL in doubles for a season more than once? (answer tomorrow)

Yesterday's Answer: Ted Williams drove in 1839 runs in a 19-year career, but Stan Musial, who played three more seasons than Williams, tops him with 1951, sixth all-time.

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