Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Yoenis Cespedes Drives A's Past Jays, 9-4; Pedro Alvarez, Andrew McCutchen Push Pirates to within 1/2 Game of 1st in NL Central

Players of the Day for Monday, July 29, 2013

American League

Yoenis Cespedes
It's no fluke that the Oakland A's are leading the AL West by six games over the Rangers, with the rest of the division fading fast in Oakland's rear-view mirror.

Yoenis Cespedes, he of the All Star Home Run Derby 2013 championship, belted an eighth-inning solo homer to cement Oakland's 9-4 win over the visiting Blue Jays.

Sporting a batting average that is flirting with the Mendoza line at .236, Cespedes has been picking it up of late, going 3-for-5 in the A's victory, with a triple, the homer, and a single, scoring twice while driving in three.

Cespedes is batting a more-robust .333 over his last ten games, with eight RBI during that span, giving him an even 50 on the season. Not by coincidence, the A's are 7-3 in their last ten, while the Rangers have dropped seven of their last ten games.

The win opened a three-game series with the Jays, which continues Tuesday night at 10:05 pm EDT.

National League

Andrew McCutchen
It's tough being on top. Just ask the St. Louis Cardinals.

Pedro Alvarez
Fresh off being swept by the Braves in a three-game series, the Cardinals headed to Pittsburgh to open a five-game series with the second place Pirates, who have been breathing down the back of St. Louis for most of the season.

Pittsburgh pulled to within 1/2 game of St. Louis in the Central division with a 9-2 win, powered by two of the Pirates' biggest stars, Pedro Alvarez and Andrew McCutchen.

McCutchen got things started in a hurry for Pittsburgh, singling in the game's first run in the first inning, followed, later in the frame by Alvarez with a three-run homer, as the Pirates build a 4-0 lead off St. Louis starter, Jake Westbrook.

McCutchen singled and scored again in the seventh, the game getting out of hand, as Francisco Liriano (11-4) stifled the Cards on four hits and one earned run over seven, fanning eight.

Today's Trivia: Joe Medwick set the NL mark for doubles in a season with 64 in 1936. Since then only one player has been close, with 59 two-baggers in a season. Who was it and what year was it? (answer tomorrow)

Yesterday's Answer: Lance Berkman led the NL in doubles in 2001, with 55, and tied for the lead with Nate McLouth, both with 46, in 2006.

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