Sunday, April 9, 2017

Kendall Graveman Shuts Down Rangers As A's Win; Howie Kendrick Stars As Phillies Pound Nats, 17-3

Players of the Day for Saturday, April 8, 2017

American League
Kendall Graveman

The Oakland A's aren't supposed to compete in the race for the AL West crown, but don't tell that to Oakland hurler Kendall Graveman, who held the Texas Rangers to one run on two hits over seven innings on the mound Saturday.

Graveman, in his third season as a starter, threw 85 pitches - 58 for strikes - as Oakland evened their three-game series with the Rangers at a game apiece with a 6-1 win.

Graveman walked one and fanned five, improving to 2-0 on the year. The only run allowed was on a solo homer by Mike Napoli in the seventh inning, after Graveman had set down 14 Rangers in a row. Once Graveman finished the inning and took a spot on the bench, Santiago Casilla and Ryan Madsen went to work, each throwing a perfect inning to close out the game.

The win got the A's to 3-3, while the Rangers dropped to 1-4. The two teams will complete the series on Sunday. Game time at Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas, is 3:05 pm ET.

National League

Howie Kendrick
Supposedly, the Washington Nationals have the best starting rotation in the league, maybe in all of baseball, but you couldn't tell by yesterday's mauling at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, as the Phillies hammered out 12 runs in the first inning en route to a 17-3 beat down of their NL East rivals.

Washington starter Jeremy Guthrie lasted just 2/3rds of an inning, allowing six hits, four walks and 10 runs. The main protagonist for the Phillies was left fielder Howie Kendrick, who socked a bases-loaded triple to highlight the opening inning.

The three-bagger was in Kendrick's second at-bat of the inning. He earlier singled and scored Philadelphia's second run. Coming up again in the seventh, Kendrick singled once more, driving in Cesar Hernandez, completing a 3-for-5 day with four RBI for the journeyman utility player.

A 12-year veteran, Kendrick spent nine seasons with the Angels and the last two with the Dodgers before being picked up by the Phillies in the off-season. In four games this year, he's batting .444 with 12 total bases.

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