Sunday, April 30, 2017

Aaron Judge, Austin Romine, Brett Gardner Power Yanks Into 1st Place; Matt Kemp Socks Three Homers For Braves

Aaron Judge
Players of the Day for Saturday, April 29, 2017

American League

After Friday night's heroics by Matt Holliday and Jacoby Ellsbury, the Yankees made it even more difficult on Saturday to choose a player of the day when they drubbed Baltimore, 12-2, taking the second straight from the Birds and taking sole possession of first place in the AL East.

Possibly overlooked in Friday's game were the aptly-named Aaron Judge's two homers, both line shots with plenty of power.

On Saturday, Judge could not be overlooked, as he homered once again, blasting a two run shot, his 10th of the season, in the seventh inning to complete New York's scoring. That gave Judge, the Yankee's full time rookie right fielder, the AL lead (tied with Oakland's Khris Davis) in the long ball department and boosted his team-leading RBI total to 20, tied for fourth in the league.

Judge managed to reach base every time he went to the plate, adding a single and two walks, going 2-for-2 with four runs, two RBI and a stolen base.

Brett Gardner
Austin Romine
Earlier in the game, Brett Gardner mashed his first two homers of the season, a solo shot to lead off the Yankee first and a three-run dinger in the second. In between Gardner's belts, Austin Romine knocked in one of his five runs with a sac fly, then singled in two more in the fourth and socked a two-run homer in the sixth.

All told, the Yankees seem to have captured lightning in a bottle with their mix of veterans and young players.They not only have the lead in the AL East, but the best record in baseball, at 15-7. They're 14-3 since their 1-4 start to the season and will look to sweep division rival Baltimore on Sunday at 1:05 pm ET at Yankee Stadium.

National League

After being traded from the Dodgers to the Padres and, after last season, to the Braves, Matt Kemp is quickly heating up, smacking three home runs in Atlanta's 11-3 victory over Milwaukee.

Kemp: 3HR, 5RBI
Going 3-for-5, Kemp hit two-run homers in the fifth and eighth innings, sandwiching a solo shot in the seventh. The homers were numbers four, five and six on the year and his five RBI gave him 15, exceptional because Kemp missed two weeks between April 7th and 20th, and has only had 52 at-bats. He's batting .327.

Over his last five games, Kemp is 8-for-23 with 11 RBI and has helped the Braves win four straight. Atlanta started the season 6-12, but is closing in on .500, at 10-12.

Atlanta will be looking for the sweep at Milwaukee when the two teams meet at 2:10 pm ET Sunday.

Honorable mention: Washington's Ryan Zimmerman went 3-for-4 and hit his 11th home run in a 5-3 losing effort against the Mets on Saturday, but Zimmerman leads the league in batting (.410) and RBI (27) and his 11 homers is tied for the league lead with Eric Thames, currently on the disabled list.

Ivan Nova tossed a three-hit shutout for the Pirates, walking none and fanning seven as Pittsburgh won, 4-0. Nova is 3-2 with a 1.50 ERA.

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