Saturday, April 4, 2015

Albert Pujols, Andrew Heaney Lead Angels over Dodgers; Jason Marquis Hurls Reds past Blue Jays in Montreal

Players of the Day for Friday, April 3, 2015

Grapefruit League

Jason Marquis
Despite indications to the contrary, there are still baseball fans in Montreal - at least 46,314 of them, not to put too fine a spin on it. That's how many turned out to see the Reds defeat the Blue Jays, 2-0, inside climate-controlled Olympic Stadium.

Mark Buehrle and Jason Marquis put on a fine pitching duel to start the game. Buehrle allowed three hits over four innings, but Marquis was truly masterful, allowing no runs on one hit over a five-inning span, striking out three.

Marquis, who missed all of last season due to injury, appears fully repaired. He's thrown 31 innings of exhibition ball this Spring, allowing 22 hits and 10 earned runs, posting a respectable ERA of 2.80. He'll be in the Reds' starting rotation when the regular season opens this coming week.

While the two teams combined for just 10 hits, fans were appreciative, many sporting gear bearing the insignia of the Montreal Expos, the team that was moved from Canada in 2004 to become the Washington Nationals.

Skip Schumaker doubled in the game's only runs in the eighth inning.
Pujols: Slam

Cactus League

Heaney: No Hits
David Freese smacked a two-run homer in the second and Albert Pujols added a sixth-inning grand slam, the two long balls more than enough to support the 5 1/3 innings of no-hit ball from Angels starter, Andrew Heaney, who got the win in LA's 6-0 whitewash of the Dodgers.

Heaney walked three, but struck out just as many, getting his first win of the exhibition season. He was surely trying to impress the team's coaches, as the fifth spot in the rotation has yet to be filled, and he's one of a few players getting a look.

Heaney went 0-3 for the Marlins last season, making five starts, but his performance was less-than-impressive, putting up an ERA of 5.83.

Until Friday, his stats this Spring were also poor. He finishes up with a record of 1-2 and a 7.03 ERA. The Angels may not use a fifth starter until sometime later in the month.

For Pujols, the slam was his fifth homer of Spring. He has 19 RBI in 20 games.

Last season, his third in an Angel uniform, Pujols hit .272 with 28 HR and 105 RBI.

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