Saturday, August 8, 2015

Torii Hunter Saves Twins with 9th-Inning Homer; Carlos Gonzalez, Rockies Dump Nats with Grand Slam

Players of the Day for Friday, August 7, 2015

American League
Gonzalez: GS, 4 RBI
Hunter Leads Twins

A much-needed win was what the Twins got Friday in the opener of a three-game series in Cleveland, when Torii Hunter put Minnesota on top with a ninth-inning solo homer for a 10-9 victory.

Minnesota was coming off being swept four straight in Toronto by the Blue Jays, prior to which they ended a series against Seattle with a 4-1 loss, their Friday night win snapping a five-game losing streak.

Hunter's home run was his 18th of the season. In previous at-bats he singled and doubled, going 3-for-5 with three RBI and three runs. He has 60 RBI on the year.

Minnesota's win left them in second place, 9 1/2 games back of the Royals in the AL Central, the largest lead in any of MLB's six divisions. The Twins are also on the outside looking in at the wild card, where they trail the Angels by 3 1/2 games, but have Toronto and Baltimore ahead of them as well.

The series between the Twins and Indians resumes Saturday night at 7:10 pm EDT.

National League

Carlos Gonzalez lashed a two-out, eighth-inning grand slam, erasing a 4-1 deficit and sending the Colorado Rockies to a 5-4 win over the Washington Nationals.

The 23rd home run of the season for Gonzalez came off reliever Drew Storen, who was saddled with the loss, eclipsing a solid pitching performance by starter Jordan Zimmerman, who allowed the Rockies just four hits and one earned run over 6 2/3 innings. The four RBI gave Gonzalez an even 60 on the year.

The win meant little to the Rockies, who are mired in last place in the NL West, but sent the Nationals to a sixth loss in their last eight games. Since the All-Star break, Washington has been sliding into mediocrity, going 8-13, relinquishing their NL East lead to the Mets, who, following Friday's 4-3 victory over Tampa Bay, hold a 2 1/2 game lead over the Nationals in the division.

Game two of the three-game series at Nationals Park is slated for 7:05 pm EDT, Saturday night.

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