Monday, April 24, 2017

John Hicks Powers Tigers Into 1st Place Tie; Nationals Sweep Mets On Daniel Murphy's Slam

Players of the Day for Sunday, April 23, 2017

American League

Looking once again like a legitimate contender in the AL Central, the Detroit Tigers took the final game of their series at Minnesota with a very efficient 13-4 victory, banging out the same number of hits as runs produced.

Hicks: 3-5, HR 5RBI
Playing in just his second game this season, rookie John Hicks drove in five runs, going 3-for-5 with two singles and a three-run homer that capped the scoring for Detroit.

In his limited major league experience, Hicks has played only 20 games in three separate seasons, likely owing to the fact that he's a first baseman, playing behind the likes of Victor Martinez and Miguel Cabrera.

The win gave the series to the Tigers, two games to one, and moved them into a tie for first place with the Indians, both teams at 10-8. Detroit opens a ten-game home stand on Tuesday, when they host the Seattle Mariners in the first of three games.

National League

Murphy: Slammin'
Daniel Murphy's first inning grand slam was just enough for Max Scherzer (3-1), who allowed three earned runs over eight innings as the Washington Nationals completed the three game sweep of the Mets at New York's Citi Field with a 6-3 win.

Murphy teed off on Mets' starter Zak Wheeler, who had loaded the bases in the opening frame, getting only one out before Murphy arrived at the plate. Having traded Murphy to the Nationals following the 2015 season, the Mets' brass have to live down the bonehead move as Murphy blossomed into a textbook high-average hitter, batting .347 for the Nationals in 2016, second best in the National League.

The sweep help expand the Nationals' lead in the NL East to three games over Miami while sending the Mets to an 8-10 record, 5 1/2 games back. Washington has the best record in the majors, at 13-5. They travel to Colorado Monday to open a three-game series with the red-hot Rockies (13-6), who completed a sweep of their own over the weekend, taking three straight from the Giants. The Rockies hold a 1 1/2 game lead over Arizona in the topsy-turvy NL West.

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