Saturday, July 6, 2013

Nelson Cruz Grand Slam Lifts Rangers over Astros; Seven RBI by Juan Uribe Send Dodgers to 10-2 Win over Giants

Players of the Day for Friday, July 5, 2013

American League

Over the past five years, few teams have been as successful as the Texas Rangers. One reason for their superior play has been the mainstay of Nelson Cruz in their lineup. Not a superstar, but a quiet, solid everyday player, Cruz has been on the field for Texas throughout their reign in the AL West.

Nelson Cruz
In Friday's 10-5 victory over Houston, Cruz only had one hit, but it was a big one, a second-inning grand slam off Houston starter, Lucas Harrell, which put the Rangers up by a 6-0 score and allowed them to cruise to the series-opening win, keeping them on pace with Oakland, whom they trail by 1/2 game in the division.

The Cruz homer was his 21st of the season and the four RBI gave him 65 on the year, an exceptional total, but hardly recognizable when Detroit's Miguel Cabrera and Chris davis have 86 and 83, respectively, to lead the league. Cruz is tied for fourth in RBI and fifth in homers.

Game two of the home series for the Rangers is Saturday at 7:15 pm EDT.

National League

Juan Uribe
Juan Uribe was lashing the ball all over the AT&T Park field in the Dodgers' 10-2 win over the Giants, but he did not hit for the cycle because in five at-bats he only had a home run, triple and a double, no single.

Despite not putting himself in the MLB record book, Uribe did manage to drive in seven runs, doubling in a pair of runs in the second, tripling with the bases loaded in the third to drive in three more and capping his awesome performance with a two-run homer in the seventh inning.

A veteran of 13 seasons, Uribe is in his third year as a Dodger, the fourth stop on his major league tour, having previously played for the Rockies, White Sox and Giants.

The victory kept the Dodgers locked into second place in the NL West, tied with Colorado, 3 1/2 games behind Arizona. San Diego and San Francisco round out the division, both just 5 1/2 out.

Game two of the storied Dodger-Giants rivalry series is set for 4:15 pm PDT, Saturday in San Francisco.

Today's Trivia: Who had a higher career on-base percentage, Ted Williams or Ty Cobb? (answer tomorrow)

Yesterday's Answer: Lefty O'Doul had 254 hits for Philadelphia in 1929, a National League record that was tied by Bill Terry of the NY Giants, just a year later, in 1930. The record still stands.

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