Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Brett Lawrie Launches Pair of Homers to Keep A's in First Place; Pirates All Over Phillies in 18-4 Rout, Pedro Alvarez Slams

Players of the Day for Monday, March 30, 2015

Grapefruit League

Pedro Alvarez
In their eventual 18-4 win over the Phillies, the Pirates put on a slugging display, banging out six home runs, but, prior to the bottom of the fifth, the slugging nearly came to the style done with fists instead of bats.

Down 6-0 at the time, tensions were rising in the Philadelphia dugout, and both benches cleared before order was restored. No punches were thrown, but Phillies first base coach Juan Samuel and Pirates third base coach Rick Sofield were ejected.

Matters just got worse for the Phillies, as the Pirates exploded for 12 more runs. Pedro Alvarez smacked a pair of home runs - one of them a grand slam - and drove in six runs.

In 13 exhibition games, Alvarez is batting .325 with four homers and 15 RBI.

The Pirates improved to 14-10 with the win, drawing to within one game of the Grapefruit League-leading Mets. Pittsburgh is tied for second place with the Blue Jays.

Cactus League

Brett Lawrie
Just in case nobody noticed, it's beginning to look like some teams are actually serious about winning the race in the Cactus League.

The top three teams - the A's, Dodgers and Royals - were all in action on Monday, each producing a win to keep the competitive juices flowing.

The Dodgers topped the Diamondbacks, 4-2; Kansas City roughed up the Rangers, 11-7, with Mike Moustakas hitting a grand slam, and the first-place A's pummeled the Rockies, 11-2, helped along by two homers from Brett Lawrie.

Lawrie delivered a solo shot in the fifth inning, followed by a three-run blast in the sixth.

Penciled in to be the A's starting third baseman this season, Lawrie was picked up from Toronto, where he had played all of his major league career, beginning in 2011.

The Athletics have a one-game edge over the Dodgers and lead the Royals by 1 1/2.

*  *  *  *

No comments: