Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Ervin Santana Keeps Twins In 1st With 2-Hit Shutout Of O's; Anthony Rendon Blasts A Pair For Nationals

Players of the Day for Tuesday, May 23, 2017

American League

Minnesota kept its edge in the AL Central, thanks to a sterling performance by starting pitcher, Ervin Santana, who twirled a two-hit, complete game, 2-0, shutout over the stumbling Orioles.

Santana: 2-Hitter
The Twins' ace allowed only singles by Wellington Castillo in the second and Jonathan Schoop in the fifth. He also issued walks to Shoop and Mark Trumbo, and fanned six. Once settle in, Santana was truly untouchable, retiring the final 14 Oriole would-be hitters in order.

Santana has been insanely good this season, a key reason that the Twins are doing so well. The win was his second complete game shutout of the season and he's joined Houston's Dallas Keuchel as the only seven-game winner in the AL.

At 7-2, Santana has already equaled the number of wins he had last season (7-11) and in 2015 (7-5), allowing just 31 hits in 70 innings. Opposing hitters are batting a mere .143 against him.

The result, combined with Cleveland's 8-7 win over Cincinnati, kept the Twins a game up on the reigning la champions. Detroit is four games out. Baltimore has remained in second place behind the Yankees in the East, 1 1/2 back, but having lost three straight and nine of their last 12, the Orioles have allowed the Red Sox to gain. Boston is 3 1/2 out, two behind Baltimore.

Minnesota will be looking for the sweep at Camden Yards Wednesday afternoon. Game time is 12:35 pm ET.

National League

Rendon: 2 HR, 5 RBI
Threatening to runaway in the NL East division, the Washington Nationals won their second straight with a 10-1 victory over the visiting Seattle Mariners.

While Joe Ross was going eight innings for his second win without a loss, allowing just one Seattle run, Anthony Rendon was doing his thing at the plate, supporting his pitcher with a pair of home runs, a two-run shot in the second and a three-run bomb in the fourth. He also doubled to open the fourth, scoring on Matt Weiters single. Scoring eight runs in the inning, the Nationals sent 11 men to the plate. Along with Rendon, Jayson Werth and Bryce Harper also homered.

Harper's home run was his 14th, tying him for the league lead with Atlanta's Freddie Freeman. Rendon's two shot gave him seven on the season; the five RBI upped his total to 28.

The Nationals lead the NL East by 6 1/2 over Atlanta. The Mets are 7 1/2 back.

The game was the first of three in Washington. The Nats and M's will go at it again at Nationals Park, Wednesday night at 7:05 pm ET.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Charlie Blackmon Pwoers Rockies Over Phillies, 8-1; Max Kepler Leads Twins' 21-Hit Attack Of Orioles

Players of the Day for Monday, May 22, 2017

American League

Max Kepler
Minnesota has been at or near the top of the Central division all season. After Monday's 14-7 bombing of the Orioles in Baltimore and Cleveland's 5-1 loss, the Twins ended the day with a one game lead over the Indians and a 1-0 lead in their series with the troubled O's.

Baltimore's issue is mainly with their pitching staff. Ubaldo Jimenez, who started for the Orioles, was touched up for six runs on nine hits over four-plus innings, relinquishing a 5-0 lead. Other hurlers didn't fare much better, as the Twins lashed out 21 hits.

Leading the barrage was Max Kepler, who singled, doubled and whacked a solo home run (his 5th) in five at-bats. Kepler drove in four runs, scored three times and reached on an error, which allowed Joe Mauer to score in the Twins' six-run sixth.

Kepler is in his second full season as the Twins' regular right fielder. Last year he hit 17 home runs, drove in 63 runs and batted .235. The nubers are improved this season, with five homers, 20 RBI and a .271 average.

Minnesota will try to hang onto first place in the division when they meet the Orioles at Camden Yards for game two of their three-game series, at 7:05 pm ET Tuesday.

National League

Charlie Blackmon
If Charlie Blackmon keeps playing the way he has so far this season, the Rockies will have to find another spot for him in the lineup. In Colorado's 8-1 torching of the Phillies, Blackmon went 2-for-5, drove in three runs, stole a base and scored twice, raising his average to .321 and upping his RBI total to 36, good for fifth in the National League.

This is not what leadoff hitters ordinarily do. They're supposed to get on base and score runs, not lead the team in RBI. Well, actually, teammate Mark Reynolds leads the Rockies - and the league - in RBI with 39, but Blackmon, who has nine homers as well, is closing in on him.

Not that Blackmon isn't scoring runs. He's crossed the plate 33 times, tied for fifth in the league. Meanwhile, the Rockies are rolling right along, with a 29-17 mark, two games up on Arizona in the NL West. While they're respectable, at 13-10, at home, the Rockies are an amazing 16-7 on the road.

Blackmon and his mates will look to improve on their road raging when they play the Phillies in game two of their four-game series, Tuesday, 7:05 pm ET at Citizens Bank Park.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Yan Gomes Leads Indians To Sweep Of Astros; Cubs Pound Brewers As Kris Bryant Smacks Two Home Runs

Players of the Day for Sunday, May 21, 2017

American League

While the Twins were splitting a doubleheader with they Royals on Sunday, the Cleveland Indians executed a hit job on the Astros, completing the three-game sweep in Houston with an 8-6 victory, tying Minnesota for first place in the AL Central.

Gomes: HR, 5 RBI
Doing all their scoring early - two in the second and three each in the third and fourth innings - the Indians were led by catcher Yan Gomes, who lashed a run-scoring double in the second, whacked a three-run homer in the third and was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, giving him five RBI on the day.

After the game was seemingly out of reach at 8-1 in the fourth, Houston finally got started in the home half, with a two-run Jose Altuve home run. Houston scored all of its runs on homers, by Carlos Beltran, Marwin Gonzolez and Alex Bergman.

Houston's three straight losses left them still with a comfortable cushion in the AL West, 5 1/2 ahead of the Rnagers, winners of 11 of their last 12.

The Astros remain home this week, hosting the Tigers for four games and then welcoming in the Orioles for a three-game weekend series. Cleveland begins a four-game home and home series with the Reds starting Monday in Cincinnati.

Bryant: 2 HR, 4 Runs
National League

After losing to the Brewers on Friday night, 6-4, having the second game of the series rained out Saturday, the Chicago Cubs came out swinging Sunday at Wrigley Field, belting out 15 hits in a 13-6 romp over Milwaukee.

Scoring in every inning but the second, the Cubs swamped starter Chase Anderson for six runs in four innings. Every Cubs' position player had at least one hit. Third baseman and 2016 NL MVP Kris Bryant had three, a single and two solo homers - his ninth and 10th - driving in two runs and scoring four times.

Bryant's sluggish start is one of the reasons the Cubs haven't taken hold of the division lead thus far, but the 25-year-old is beginning to hit mid-season form, batting .303 with 10 home runs and 22 RBI.

Sunday's results leave the Brewers on top in the division, with the Cardinals in second place, 1 1/2 back and the Cubs two out.

Chicago will host the Giants for four games starting Monday. 25-19 Milwaukee heads home Tuesday, with two games against the Blue Jays followed by a four-game series with the Diamondbacks.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Avisail Garcia Drives In Six In White Sox Rout Of Seattle; David Peralta 4-for-5 In 9-1 Arizona Win

Players of the Day for Saturday, May 20, 2017

American League

After evening their four-game series in Seattle at a game apiece with Friday night's 2-1, 10-inning win, the Chicago White Sox stepped up their game with a 16-1 blowout win over the fading Mariners, losers of seven of the last 10.

Garcia: 2 HR, 6 RBI
Heading the frontal assault on Seattle pitching was Avisail Garcia, who was 4-for-5, with two doubles and two home runs, driving in six and scoring three times.

Garcia's homers - numbers seven and eight - came early in the game off Seattle starter, Antonio Gallardo, who lasted a mere 3 2/3 innings, allowing 10 runs on nine hits and two walks. Garcia smashed a three-run homer in the first inning, adding a solo shot in the third.

In the fourth, Garcia doubled in two more, and in the seventh, he doubled again and scored.

Garcia's .357 batting average leads the National League. His six RBI are second in the NL behind Seattle's Nelson Cruz.

Peralta: 4-for-5
Chicago is mired in the Central division battle, 3 1/2 games behind the Twins, with the Indians and Detroit sandwiched in between. The series concludes Sunday at 4:10 pm ET.

National League

Arizona's David Peralta stroked four singles in five at-bats, scored three times and boosted his batting average to .315 as the Diamondbacks picked up a game on Colorado with a 9-1 win over San Diego.

Arizona has won five straight and stand alone in second place, one game behind the Rockies in the contested NL West. They've taken the first two games in San Diego and will be seeking the sweep of the Padres when the two teams square off in the series finale, Sunday at 4:40 pm ET.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Baltimore's Wellington Castillo Crushes Blue Jays; Jake Lamb, Arizona Tear Up Padres' Jered Weaver

Players of the Day for Friday, May 19, 2017

American League
Castillo Tears Up Toronto

In the off-season, Baltimore fans wondered how Wellington Castillo would fare as a replacement for longtime catcher Matt Wieters, who was released and ended up down the highway in Washington.

Castillo endeared himself to many a skeptic Friday night as he belted a pair of home runs, each of them critical in Baltimore's 10-inning, 5-3 victory over Toronto.

Acquired from Arizona after the 2016 season, Castillo socked a two-run home run in the sixth inning which tied the score at 3-3, then delivered the game-winner in the tenth, another two-run blast. Both times, Mark Trumbo was on base when Castillo drove the ball out of the park.

The homers were Castillo's second and third of the season. He's batting .356 with 13 RBI in 20 games.

Baltimore was in need of a win, as the Yankees were losing at Tampa Bay, 5-4, and the Orioles had lost six of their last seven heading into the three-game series with the visiting Blue Jays. At the end of the night, the Yanks held a 1/2 game lead on Baltimore. Toronto, beset by injuries, is eight back.

Toronto will try to even things up when they meet the O's at Camden Yards, Saturday at 7:35 pm ET

National League

Lamb: 2HR, 5RBI
There was a time, not long ago, that Jered Weaver was one of the best pitchers in the majors. From 2009 to 2014, Weaver compiled a record of 96-50, going 20-5 in 2012. A three-time all-star, it's safe to say that the 34-year-old's best days are behind him.

Evidence of his demise occurred Friday night as the Arizona Diamondback bombed him for five hits, two walks and seven runs in just 2/3rds of an inning en route to a 10-1 romp. His shortest outing of the season left Weaver at 0-5 with an ERA of 7.44.

Chief among the Arizona protagonists was Jake Lamb, who opened the scoring for the Diamondbacks with a three-run homer and finished Weaver's stint by walking, forcing in the seventh run of the inning. Lamb was far from finished, socking a solo homer in the sixth to complete Arizona's scoring, finishing with five RBI for the game and 11 home runs with 34 RBI (5th in NL) for the year.

Arizona's win opened a three-game series in San Diego and left them tied for second place in the NL West with the Dodgers, two games behind Colorado. The win was Arizona's fourth straight and they'll look for number five when they meet the Padres Saturday at 7:10 pm PT at Petco Park.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Jose Berrios Dominates Rockies As Twins Win; Javier Baez Grand Slam Boosts Cubs Over Reds

Players of the Day for Thursday, May 18, 2017

American League
Berrios Blanks Rockies

Jose Berrios didn't allow a hit through four innings, going on to blank the Colorado Rockies over 7 2/3 innings in the finale of the four-game series in Minnesota.

The Twins avoided being swept at home with the 2-0 win, thanks to Berrios' savvy mound control and timely hitting which produced single runs in the first and fourth.

Despite holding the Rockies hitless in the opening innings, Berrios actually got himself into a little trouble, plunking Nolan Arenado and Ian Desmond in the second. Desmond advanced to second on a balk by Berrios, and took third when the 22-year-old hurler uncorked a wild pitch. However, Berrios escaped the inning by fanning Pat Valaika, one of his 11 strikeout victims on the night.

Berrios (2-0) was called up from AAA Rochester on May 13th after going 3-0 with a 1.13 ERA and 39 strikeouts with the Red Wings. He dazzled the Indians in his first start, also lasting 7 2/3 innings, allowing one run on two hits in a 4-1 win. Thus far, in two starts, Berrios has allowed just four hits and one run over 15 1/3 innings, with 15 strikeouts and two walks. Opposing hitters are batting .082 against the dominating youngster.

Hailing from Bayamon, Puerto Rico, the right-hander was taken by the Twins in the first round of the 2012 draft and appears to be ready to become a fixture in the Minnesota rotation.

The win came after the Rockies won game one of the doubleheader, 5-1, leaving both teams where they began the day, in first place in their respective divisions. Minnesota leads the AL Central by one game over Detroit and Cleveland. Colorado holds a two-game edge over the Diamondbacks and Dodgers in the NL West.

On Friday, the Twins (20-17) host the Royals in the first of a three-game series; the Rockies (26-16) head to Cincinnati to begin a three-game series with the Reds at 7:10 pm ET.
Baez: Grand Slam

National League

The NL Central is a paradox, with the Milwaukee Brewers in first place by a game over St. Louis and the world champion Chicago Cubs two back. Chicago second baseman, Javier Baez, tried to make some sense of it all when he belted a grand slam in the first inning of the Cubs' runaway 9-5 win over visiting Cincinnati, who ended the day 19-21, four games out.

The Cubs scored five times in the opening frame and were ahead 9-0 before the Reds finally got on the board.

Baez finished 3-for-3 with five RBI, driving in another run with a single in the fifth, later scoring the Cubs' ninth run on a Ben Zobrist single.

The slam was the sixth homer of the season for Baez, who now has 19 RBI on the year, along with a .248 batting average. Last year, Baez was a steady contributor, hitting 14 home runs, driving in 59 runs.

Completing the three-game sweep of the Reds, Chicago welcomes the first-place Brewers to town on Friday for three games, all of which purportedly will start at 2:20 pm ET.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw Stops Giants; Tyler Collins Belts A Pair, Leads Tigers Over O's

Players of the Day for Wednesday, May 17, 2017

American League

Collins: 2 HR, 4 RBI
In four at-bats, Detroit's Tyler Collins doubled and homered twice, the second of which chased Baltimore starter, Ubaldo Jimenez, in the fifth inning, the tree-run shot turning the game around and erasing the Orioles' 4-2 advantage.

Following the turn-around blast, the pitching took over and neither team scored again, producing a 5-4 Detroit win and improving starter Michael Fulmer's record to 5-1, despite allowing 10 Baltimore hits and three earned runs over seven innings. After that, the Wilson boys took over - Alex and Justin (unrelated). Alex hurled a perfect eighth, but Justin got his third save only after throwing 30 pitches, allowing a hit and a walk, but fanning two.

Collins also belted a solo shot in the second off Jimenez. His two homers gave him four for the season, the four RBI upping his total to 14.

Baltimore's loss was their fifth in the last six outings, dropping them 1 1/2 behind New York in the AL East. Detroit attained breakeven at 19-19 with the victory, leaving them in third place, 1 12 games behind Minnesota in the Central. Cleveland trails the Twins by one game.

Detroit will host game three of the three-game series with an afternoon getaway game starting at 1:10 pm ET at Comerica Park.

National League

Kershaw Leads NL at 7-2
Having won the NL Cy Young award in 2011, 2013, and 2014, Clayton Kershaw is looking good to add a fourth trophy to his collection, becoming the first NL pitcher to reach seven wins this season with Wednesday's 6-1 win over the Giants.

Kershaw allowed just three hits over seven innings, walking none while striking out five. The Giants got their only run of the game off reliever Sergio Romo in the ninth, on an Edwardo Nunez solo homer, his first of the season.

The workmanlike performance for Kershaw consisted of 89 pitches, 63 of which went for strikes. He also calmly ignored a bench-clearing in the third inning, heading right to the mound to take his warm-up throws.

The win stopped the bleeding for LA, as the Gaints had taken the first tow games of the series at AT&T Park in San Francisco. A sellout crowd of 41,588 saw Kershaw improve to 7-2 (2.15 ERA), besting Johnny Cueto (4-3)

With Colorado rained out at Minnesota, the Dodgers picked up 1/2 a game and trail by 2 1/2. San Francisco dropped nine back.

The Dodgers return home Thursday to open a 10-game homestand, starting with a four-game series with the Marlins. San Francisco heads to St. Louis.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Chris Davis Homer Ends O's-Tigers Marathon In 13th; Charlie Blackmon Leads Rockies; Greg Holland Posts 17th Save

Davis Socks Game-Winner
Players of the Day for Tuesday, May 16, 2017

American League

Baltimore gave up a 7-1 lead, fell behind and tied the game with Detroit at 8-8 on a Mark Trumbo home run, scored three runs in the top of the 12th only to give up the same number to the Tigers in the bottom half.

Finally, Chris Davis ended the marathon in the 13th inning with a two-run homer and Richard Blier - the O's seventh pitcher - closed out the Tigers in the bottom of the frame for a 13-11 win, snapping a four-game losing streak.

Davis had homered earlier, in the 12th, putting the Orioles up 9-8, though the lead was not to last. The Baltimore slugger finished 3-for-5 with three runs and four RBI, raising his batting average to a respectable .266.

Detroit also used seven pitchers. Between the two squads, their pitchers threw 497 pitches. The game lasted well into the night, lasting 5:19.

The win left the Orioles 1/2 game behind the Yankees in the AL East, who earlier had won at Kansas City, 7-1. Detroit trails Minnesota by two games in the Central division.

Blackmon: .319 BA
That was just game one of the three-game series. The teams get back on the diamond Wednesday, 7:10 pm ET at Comerica Park.

National League

Before the Giants topped the Dodgers, 2-1, in San Francisco, the Rockies were doing their thing in Minnesota, whipping the Twins, 7-3, padding their lead in te NL West to 2 1/2 games over Arizona, dropping the Dodgers into third place, three games off the pace.

Holland: 17 Saves
Colorado got a dose of offense from leadoff hitter, Charlie Blackmon, who went 3-for-5, scored a run and socked his ninth home run of the season, a sixth-inning, two-run shot that put the game away as the Rockies broke a 3-3 tie with four runs in the frame. The Rockies' leadoff hitter is batting .319 and has 30 RBI.

Later, Greg Holland came in and threw four pitches, the last of which induced a Brian Dozier pop-up to second ending the game. Holland recorded his 17th save, which leads the majors by a bunch. In the NL Seung-Hwan Oh of St. Louis and Fenando Rodnay of Arizona each have 10. Boston's Craig Kimbrel leads the AL with 12.

Holland has been somewhat unhittable this season, posting a 1.04 ERA and a 0.81 WHIP in 17 1/3 innings. In 18 appearances, he's allowed nine hits and two earned runs, not allowing a hit in 12 of those outings. He's walked five and struck out 23.

The Rockies and Twins meet in game two Wednesday night at 8:10 pm ET. Both teams are in first place in their respective divisions, though Minnesota's edge over Cleveland is only 1/2 game.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Yuli Gurriel Grand Slam Paces Houston Past Miami; Hunter Renfroe's Walk-Off Homer Lifts Padres

Players of the Day for Monday, May 15, 2017




American League
Gurriel: Grand Slam

.692.

That's the winning percentage of the Houston Astros as MLB approaches the end of  the proverbial first quarter in the annual march to the pennants. At 27-12, the Astros have the best record in the majors and are on pace to run away with the AL West, with a record of 112-50.

Already eight games to the good over the Angels and Rangers, the Astros have led the division since being 7-4 on April 14 and appear poised to keep padding their lead for the foreseeable future.

In their 7-2 win at Miami - Houston's seventh win in their last eight games - another hero emerged for the night in the form of first baseman, Yuli Gurriel, who smacked a sixth-inning grand slam that erased a 1-0 Marlins lead and sent the Astros on their way to victory.

Technically a rookie, since MLB rules state, "A player shall be considered a rookie unless, during a previous season or seasons, he has (a) exceeded 130 at-bats or 50 innings pitched in the Major Leagues..." and Gurriel had exactly 130 at-bats last year for Houston, the 32-year-old Cuban is batting .293 with three homers and 14 RBI. He continues to get plenty of playing time and has become a regular contributor to the Houston offense.

Refroe: 2-run HR
Houston will be looking to take game two of their three-game interleague series when they take the field at Marlins Park on Wednesday at 7:10 pm ET.

National League

The Brewers lost a 6-5 heart-breaker in the opening game of their four-game series in San Diego as the Padres, after giving up a run in the top of the tenth inning, plated a pair for the win on Hunter Renfroe's walk-off two-run homer.

Renfroe, who finished 2-for-4 with four RBI, got the Padres started with a two-run double in the opening inning, but the Brewers came back to eventually tie the game at 4-4 and force extra frames. After Eric Sogard's solo homer gave the Brewers a lead in the top of the 10th, the stage was set for Renfroe after Erick Aybar singled leading off the bottom of the inning. Milwaukee's Oliver Drake didn't get anybody out, giving up both the single and Renfroe's blast, and took the loss, dropping the Brewers to 21-18, 1 1/2 games behind the streaking Cardinals.

A 25-year-old rookie, Refroe is batting just .217, but, he's socked seven home runs and driven in 17 for the 15-25 Padres, who have found their way to last place in the NL West, 9 1/2 behind the division-leading Rockies.

The teams meet again for game two at Petco Park on Wednesday. Game time is 7:10 pm PT.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Pat Valaika, Jason Kipnis Each Homer Twice In Wins For Rockies, Indians

Kipnis Powers Indians
Players of the Day for Sunday, May 14, 2017

American League

On a day in which 15 teams scored six or more runs (plus the Yankees and Astros, which each did twice via their double-header) and a total of 190 runs were scored, including 52 home runs, some impressive numbers were put up, but Cleveland's Jason Kipnis outdid them all in the Indians' 8-3 win over Minnesota.

Batting from his usual spot atop the Cleveland lineup, Kipnis went 4-for-5 with four RBI and two runs, doing most of his damage in the first three innings. To start things off, the scrappy second baseman led off the bottom of the first with a solo homer, giving Cleveland a lead they would not relinquish.

In the third, Kipnis belted homered with two aboard, completing the Cleveland scoring. Earlier in the inning, Carlos Santana also went yard. The two Kipnis homers were the first of the season. Kipnis had a breakout year in 2016, belting 23 homers and driving in 82 runs, both outstanding numbers for a player generally batting in the leadoff spot.

The win kept the Twins from sweeping the three-game series, though it did not prevent them from holding a one-game edge over the Indians in the AL Central.

Cleveland remains at home to open a three-game series with Tampa Bay, Monday at 6:10 pm. The Twins get Monday off and look to get back on the winning track Tuesday when they begin hosting a three-game series with Colorado.

National League

Valaika: 2-4, 2HR, 4RBI
The Rockies and Dodgers finished up their four-game series in Denver on Sunday, with nothing resolved as the two split the series, the Rockies taking the first game and Sunday's finale, 9-6.

The unlikely hero of the game was Colorado shortstop, Pat Valaika, who homered twice in four at-bats, each time with Carlos Gonzalez on base.

Valaika's four RBI came at opportune times for the Rockies. His first two-run belt came in the fourth, turning a 4-3 deficit quickly into a 5-4 lead for Colorado.

The second shot was in the eighth inning, with the Rockies clinging to a 7-6 lead. Valaika's homer provided the winning cushion.

A rookie, the home runs were his second and third. Having played in just 20 games (41 at-bats), Valaika is batting .268 and has nine RBI.

The victory put the Rockies back up by 1 1/2 games over the Dodgers in the NL West. Colorado heads for a three-game set in Minnesota starting Tuesday. LA opens a three-game series with the Giants in San Francisco Monday at 7:15 pm PT.

NOTES: There were 190 runs scored on Sunday,

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Jose Bautista Homers For 4th Straight Blue Jay Win; Bryce Harper's Walk-Off HR Keys Nationals Win

Players of the Day for Saturday, May 13, 2017

Bautista is heating up
American League

Toronto is beginning to find their groove, winning their fourth straight by taking down the visiting Mariners, 7-2, thanks to Jose Bautista's three-run homer.

Bautista came to the plate in the seventh with the score tied and two aboard for the Blue Jays, and promptly delivered his fifth home run of the season 438 feet away into the stands past center field.

The blow broke a 2-2 tie, propelling the Jays to their third straight over the Mariners. They will be looking for the series sweep when the two teams meet on Sunday, 1:07 pn ET at the Rogers Centre.

The fact that the Jays are winning and Bautista - a six-time all-star who led the AL in home runs in 2010 and 2011 - is heating up is no coincidence. His bat is essential to Toronto's attack, especially since trading Edwin Encarnacion in the off-season and extended injuries to Josh Donaldson and Troy Tulowitzki. Bautista has homered in three of his last four games, driving in eight runs.

Harper: Walk-Off HR
Off to a very slow start with just 17 RBI and a .185 batting average, "Joey Bats" may be finding his best stroke as the Jays struggle to get out of last place in the AL East, where they trail the Yankees and Orioles by seven games.

National League

Bryce Harper only had one hit in Washington's 6-4 win over the Phillies Saturday at Nationals Park, but it was a decisive one, a two-run, walk-off blast with two outs in the bottom of the ninth.

The home run was Harper's 11th on the season, to go with 31 RBI, tying him for third in the NL with Colorado's Mark Reynolds. Teammate Ryan Zimmerman leads the league with 36 RBI and also leads in batting (.397) and homers (13, tied with Milwaukee's Eric Thames).

The win was the first over the Phillies in their three-game series. With Friday night's game rained out, the teams will finish up with a double-headed on Sunday, the first game at 1:35 and the second starting at 7:05 pm ET.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Ervin Santana, Miguel Sano Lead Twins To 1st Place; Brandon Drury Powers Arizona Past Pirates, 11-4

Santana: 6-1
Players of the Day for Friday, May 12, 2017

American League

The Twins are in first place.

Yes, you read that right. After winning at Cleveland, 1-0, in the opener of a three-game series by Lake Erie, the Twins hold a one game edge over the reigning AL champions in the Central division.

Ervin Santana notched his sixth win against one loss, hurling seven innings of two-hit shutout ball at the Tribe. Santana clearly didn't have his nastiest stuff, throwing just 56 of 99 pitches for strikes, walking five and fanning four, but, looking like an elite pitcher, he worked out of self-made jams, worked the lineup and managed masterfully.

Sano: HR sinks Indians
His six wins tied him with Houston's Dallas Keuchel for the AL lead and with LA's Clayton Kershaw for the major league lead. Santana's effort was backed by Miguel Sano's 10th home run of the year, a first-inning solo shot off Cleveland starter, Josh Tomlin, who also pitched a whale of a game (six hits, seven Ks), but was tagged with the loss.

Minnesota's top slugger, Sano registered his 30th RBI, second in the AL to Seattle's Nelson Cruz (31).

Taylor Rogers and Matt Belisle got the Twins through the eighth and Brandon Kintzler pitched a perfect ninth inning preserving the win with his ninth save. The win was the 10th on the road for the Twins, against just four road losses.

The teams resume heir battle for the top spot in the division Saturday, 4:10 pm ET, at Progressive Field.

National League

At the start of the season, some baseball experts were saying that the Giants and Dodgers would fight it out in the NL West.

Drury: 3-5, 3-run HR
Well, while it's still early, the Giants are in last place, 10 games behind Colorado. The Dodgers evened their series with the Rockies at 1-1 Friday with a 6-2 win and are 1 1/2 games back, but, the Arizona Diamondbacks are lurking, just two games off the pace after swamping the Pirates, 11-4.

The win was Arizona's third straight and second straight in the four-game series with visiting Pittsburgh. Banging out 16 hits, the Diamondbacks scored all of their runs in the second and third innings, hammering Pittsburgh starter, Tyler Glasnow, for seven runs on seven hits and pasting reliever, Josh Lindblom, for four runs in the third.

Going 3-for-5 was second baseman Brandon Drury, whose three-run homer capped the big third inning assault. He also doubled and singled in the game.

Following his first full season as a starter in 2016, Drury has become an integral part of the Arizona attack. Last season, he was solid, with a .282 batting average, 16 homers and 53 RBI. This year, in 32 games, he's batting .325, with three homers and 14 RBI.

The Diamondbacks are second in runs (182) and fifth in batting (.261) in the National League. Their 44 home runs and 172 RBI are among the leaders in the majors.

Arizona seeks its fourth straight win when they host the Pirates in game three, Saturday, 8:10 pm ET.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Mike Napoli's Two Homers Blast Rangers Past Padres; Nolan Arenado Leads Rockies Over Dodgers, 10-7

Players of the Day for Thursday, May 11, 2017

American League

Everybody's chasing Houston the in AL West, including the Texas Rangers, who are in last place, 8 1/2 out, but just 1 1/2 out of second place (Houston leads Seattle by seven games).

Napoli HRs sink Padres
Given their lineup, Texas ought to be a contender, but, while their division rivals, the Astros, have blazed a path to prominence, the Rangers have struggled to a 16-20 mark, which gets you nothing but fan anger and finger-pointing.

The Rangers won their third straight on Thursday, defeating the Padres by a 5-2 score. The game was won almost entirely on the bat of DH Mike Napoli, who homered in the bottom of the eighth off Padre starter, Clayton Richard, with a solo shot to left center, halving San Diego's lead to 2-1.

In the ninth, Napoli again came plate-ward, this time with the score tied, 2-2, with one out, after Texas scratched out a run off reliever Brandon Maurer. The well-traveled slugger delivered a three-run, walk-off blast sending the Padres to their thrid straight loss and seveth defeat in their last eight games (San Diego is 13-23 and arguably the worst team n the majors).

Napoli's big, four-RBI game maight signal a breakout for both him and the Rangers. Napoli is batting just .178 with seven homers and 17 RBI, well shy of what is considered his career year, last season with the Indians, when he socked 34 home runs and knocked in 101 runs.

Having finished with three straight wins in the interleague games against San Diego, Texas continues its eight-game home stand on Friday with the first of three games, hosting the A's at 8:10 pm ET.

National League
Arenado key for Rockies

The Rockies continue to make converts to their cause in the NL West, the latest coming at the expense of the LA Dodgers, who helplessly watched Colorado pile up a 10-0 lead en route to a 10-7 victory, hiking their lead in the division to 2 1/2 games.

Pounding starter, Hyun-Jin-Ryu (1-5), for all 10 runs (only five earned), the Rockies took advantage of six walks and banged out eight hits in the first four innings. They scored two in the first, five in the second and three in the fourth before the Dodgers mounted a challenge in the latter stages of the game, eventually falling short.

Keying the run barrage was third baseman and two-time all-star, Nolan Arenado, who stroked a single and a pair of doubles in four at-bats, scoring three times and driving in a pair.

Arenado was a major contender for NL MVP last season when he socked 41 homers and drove in 133 runs. He's led the NL in home runs and RBI in each of the last two seasons and is currently riding a six-game hitting streak, batting .309 with eight dingers and 24 RBI.

The Dodgers will have a chance to redeem themselves Friday, when the Rockies host game two of the four-game series, starting at 8:40 pm ET at Coors Field.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Robinson Cano Leads Seattle To 4th Straight Win; German Marquez, Rockies Shut Out Cubs, 3-0

Players of the Day for Wednesday, May 10, 2017

American League

Cano: 8 HR, 28 RBI
Seattle has clawed its way back to .500 (17-17) and into sole possession of second base in the AL West, though they are still six games behind division-leading Houston, by taking two straight from the Phillies in Philadelphia, winning Tuesday by a 10-9 score and thumping the Phils, 11-6, on Thursday.

Aiding the Mariners' cause was Robinson Cano, who went 4-for-5 in Thrusday's blowout and was 6-for-8 in the two wins over Philly with two homers and five RBI.

In the 11-6 win, Cano belted his eighth home run - a two-run blast - in the third inning, walked in the seventh with the bases loaded to force in another run and added three singles during the game. He's batting .296 and has driven in 28 runs, tied for second in the AL, one behind teammate Nelson Cruz.

The Mariners have won four straight and head to Toronto Thursday for the start of a four-game series with the Blue Jays. Game time is 7:07 pm ET.

National League

Marquez: 8IP, 3H, 0ER, 8K
Proving they are a team with which to be reckoned in the National League, the Colorado Rockies finished their three-game series with the Cubs by dousing the visitors 3-0, to take the series, two games to one.

Masterful on the mound and at the plate was Rockies' starter, German Marquez, who throttled the Cobs on three hits over eight innings, striking out eight while issuing one walk. Marquez started the game striking out Cub leadoff hitter, John Jay, and ended his stint by getting Jay to ground out to third. In between he struck Jay out three times.

Marquez was economical, throwing 69 of 99 pitches for strikes, improving to 1-2 on the season. The start was his fourth of the year and just the seventh of his MLB career. He was 1-1 in three starts last year for the Rockies.

At the plate, Marquez provided all the runs he would need with a seventh-inning single that plated two runs. The Rockies scored their other run in the third on a sac fly. Greg Holland cam in for a perfect ninth for his 14th save, which leads the majors by a mile. Boston's Craig Kimbrel has 10, and, in the NL St. Louis stopper, Seung-Hwan Oh, has nine.

The win kept the Rockies 1 1/2 ahead of the Dodgers in the NL West. Colorado has won four of their last five and stays home on Thursday to open a crucial four-game set with the Dodgers at Coors Field. Game time for game one is 8:40 pm ET.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

A.J. Griffin Shuts Out Padres In 11-0 Texas Rout; Mark Reynolds Keeps Rockies In 1st, Beating Cubs

Players of the Day for Tuesday, May 9, 2017

American League

The Texas Rangers haven't been doing anything exceptionally well, but they may have gotten an emotional boost after Tuesday's 11-0 demolition of the Padres in San Diego.

Griffin: CG, 4-Hit Shutout
Ranger hitters scored 11 runs on just nine hits, thanks to seven walks by Padre pitchers. While the regulars in the lineup were scoring at will, starting pitcher, A.J. Griffin, improved to 4-0 with a complete game four-hit shutout, the first of each for the 29-year-old righty this season and his second (his first shutout was in 2013 with Oakland).

Griffin was on the mark throughout, throwing 71 of 104 pitches for strikes and getting first strikes on 23 of the 30 batters he faced. After getting out of the sixth inning with a double play, Griffin mowed down the final nine batters in order, finishing with four strikeouts while allowing one base on balls.

Griffin has been solid this season, with a 2.45 ERA and a 0.85 WHIP, fanning 27 while walking just six. Opposing hitter are batting a mere .183 against him in 29 1/3 innings.

The win marks the end of a nine-game road trip for the Rangers, in which they went 3-6. They remain in last place in the AL West, 8 1/2 games behind Houston, but return home Wednesday for two games against the Padres at 8:05 pm ET, starting an eight-game home stand.

National League

Reynolds: 12HR, 30RBI
After Monday's opener was rained out in Colorado, the Rockies took the first of a twi-night doubleheader over the troubled Cubs, 10-4, before dropping the nightcap, 8-1. In the first game, Mark Reynolds showed why Colorado is a team to watch in the NL West, which they lead by 1 1/2 over the LA Dodgers.

Reynolds completed the scoring for Colorado when he stroked his 12th home run of the season in the sixth inning after singling home runs in the third and fourth, finishing 3-for-4 with three RBI and three runs. In the late game, Cubs' pitchers worked around Reynolds, walking him three times. Reynolds was 0-for-1.

A veteran of 11 seasons, Reynolds, 33, has found new life in the high air of Denver. Always a slugger, but generally with a low average, Reynolds hit a career-best .282 with Colorado last season and is belting at a .333 pace this season (39-for-117). He's tied for seventh in batting and is third in both homers (12) and RBI (30).

At 21-13, the Rockies have been steady, winning five of their last seven after the completion of Tuesday's doubleheader. The Cubs have not been sharp. Their win snapped a four-game losing streak and they are just 5-8 over their last 13 games.

With the series tied 1-1, the Cubs and Rockies will play the rubber game Wednesday at 3:10 pm ET at Coors Field in Denver.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Jed Lowrie's Walk-Off Homer Leads A's Past Angels; Cards' Carlos Martinez Wins At Plate

Players of the Day for Monday, May 8, 2017

Lowrie: 2HR, Game-winne
American League

The Oakland A's used the long ball to score all of their runs in a 3-2, 11-inning win over the visiting Angels, as both teams struggle to catch the runaway Astros, who lead the division by six games.

Jed Lowrie accounted for two of the A's runs, socking a solo shot in the fourth and the walk-off solo blast in the bottom of the 11th. In between, Trevor Plouffe added a bases-empty homer in the fifth.

Second baseman Lowrie returned to the A's in 2016 after spending a year in Houston. Though he's batting .295, he's hit four homers and has only eight RBI as he's not getting much help from his teammates.

The Angels, A's, and Mariners each trail the Astros by six games. Oakland hosts the Angels in game two of their three-game series at 7:05 pm PT at the Oakland Coliseum.

National League

St. Louis reached first place in the NL Central on Monday, whipping the Miami Marlins, 9-4, their fourth consecutive victory.

Martinez: Big Hitter
The Cardinals' rise to the top spot in the division can be credited partly to the New York Yankees, who took three straight from the Cubs over the weekend and Monday turned down the Reds, 10-4, leaving St. Louis 1/2 game better than Cincy and a full game ahead of slumping Chicago.

Credit is also due starting pitcher, Carlos Martinez, who wasn't exactly overpowering on the mound, but who absolutely terrorized Marlins' starter Adam Conley, doubling in three runs in the second inning and singling in another and scoring in the fourth. Conley lasted just 3 2/3 innings, as the Cards built a 7-0 lead.

Martinez worked six innings, allowing three runs on five hits, fanning seven with two walks, but his real value obviously came from when he was at the plate rather than throwing to it.

The 25-year-old righty is 2-3 with a 3.86 average. After a shaky start, the Cardinals have been playing much better of late. After dropping three straight to the Yankees in New York, they've gone on a 14-5 tear. They'll be looking to add to or keep their lead in the division when they play game two of their three-game series in Miami Tuesday at 7:10 pm ET.

Notable: Chris Taylor's first inning grand slam opened the floodgates in LA, as the Dodgers romped over the Pirates, 12-1. Taylor went 3-for-4 with four RBI and three runs. He's batting .395 and the Dodgers are in second place, just two games behind Colorado in the NL West.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Sandy Leon's Two Homers Lead BoSox; Scott Feldman Blanks Giants For Cincy Sweep

Players of the Day for Sunday, May 7, 2017

American League

Leon: 2 HR, 4 RB
Boston defeated Minnesota, 17-6, to take their series in Minneapolis two games to one, but despite their 17-14 record, they're having a tough time remaining relevant in the AL East, where the Yankees have a 1/2 game lead over Baltimore. Boston continues to hang in, but they're four games out.

With the departure of David "Big Papi" Ortiz last season, many wondered where the Red Sox would find the power stroke to replace the future Hall of Famer. That question was answered in part on Sunday as the Sox hammered five balls out of Target Field, two of them by catcher Sandy Leon, who broke a 4-4 tie in the sixth inning with the first of two two-run blasts. In the ninth, Leon again homered with one aboard as the Red Sox tallied a 10-spot in the final frame.

Boston finally got some run support for ace starter Chris Sale, who didn't have his best stuff, allowing four runs on four hits over six innings. Striking out 10, he took the win, improving to 2-3.

National League

Feldman: CG, 4H, 0ER
With a record of 11-18, it wasn't as though the San Francisco Giants weren't having problems enough heading into Cincinnati Friday for a three-game series with the Reds, but by the time they left on Sunday, their issues had magnified, as the Reds swamped them three straight, by a combined score of 31-5, including Sunday's 4-0 whitewash.

The shutout was delivered courtesy of Scott Feldman, the 6'6" right-hander who tossed his fifth career complete game and third career shutout, blanking the Giants on four hits. Feldman, who walked one and struck out five, got tougher as the game progressed, giving up just one hit over the final three innings, getting the last three on ground balls to the right side.

Improving to 2-3 as he threw 81 of 119 pitches for strikes, Feldman gave the Reds their fifth straight win. Much later, when the Yankees beat the Cubs, 5-4 in 18 innings Sunday night, the Reds found themselves in first place in the NL Central division by 1/2 game over the Cardinals and a full game ahead of the Cubs.

The Reds absolutely dominated the slumping Giants, who now hold the worst record in the NL, at 11-21. Friday's 13-2 score and Saturday's 14-3 score indicate that not only are San Fran's pitchers having problems, but the bats aren't exactly humming either. San Francisco is dead last in the NL West, nine games behind division leader, Colorado.

The Reds host the Yankees for two games beginning Monday at 7:10 pm ET at Great American Ball Park. The Yankees have also won five straight including a three-game sweep of the Cubs. At 20-9, they have the best record in the majors.


Sunday, May 7, 2017

Billy Hamilton Swipes 19th Base As Reds Rout Giants; Aaron Hicks Powers Yankees Past Cubs

Players of the Day for Saturday, May 6, 2017

American League

Aaron Hicks
The Yankees have taken their youth movement on the road, this weekend visiting the world champion Chicago Cubs, where they have taken the first two of their three-game series, following up Friday's dramatic ninth-inning comeback 3-2 win with an 11-6 blowout Saturday.

Getting off early and often against Cubs' starter, Brett Anderson, touching him up for six hits and five runs in just 1/3 of an an inning.

Aaron Hicks was the main protagonist, going 4-for-5 with three runs, three RBI and a stolen base. Hicks rattled the Cubs' starter with a bunt single in the opening frame, upon which Brett Gardner scored on Anderson's throwing error, opening the floodgates.

In the second, Hicks singled, stole second, but was left stranded. In the fourth, Hicks doubled and scored on Starlin Castro's sixth homer, putting the Yankees ahead, 8-0. Capping off the scoring in the eighth, Hicks uncorked a three-run homer of his own, his sixth on the year.

Hicks, playing part-time in center and left field, is batting .355, has scored 17 runs and driven in 15 in 62 at-bats.

The Yankees will be seeking the sweep when they close out their weekend series in Chicago, Sunday night at 8:00 pm ET. The game will be televised nationwide on ESPN.

National League

Hamilton: 19 SB
One of the lost arts in today's baseball is the stolen base, but don't tell that to Cincinnati's Billy Hamilton, who was second in the NL in steals each of the last three seasons, with 56, 57, and 58 in 2014, 2015 and 2016 respectively. The first two years Hamilton was chasing Dee Gordon (64, 2014, Dodgers; 58, 2015, Marlins), last season running behind Milwaukee's Jonathan Villar (64).

This year, Hamiliton seems to be intent on setting the record straight. Though batting just .248 in 28 games as the Reds' leadoff hitter, the swift center fielder has swiped 19 bases, leaving Gordon (11) and Villar (6) eating his dust.

The latest came in Saturday's 14-3 rout of the visiting Giants, the second straight manhandling of their guests by the Reds following a 13-3 beating Friday.

Hamilton wasted no time getting the Reds off to a positive start, tripling and scoring in his opening at-bat. In the second, he doubled in a pair of runs and stole third base, but was left stranded.

In the third, Hamilton was again in on the action, singling and scoring as the Reds put up a six spot for a 10-2 lead.

Finishing 3-for-6 with two runs and a pair of RBI, Hamilton has been helping the Reds stay in contention in the NL Central. Saturday's win tied them for first place with the Cubs. Cincy will be looking to sweep the swooning Giants (11-20) Sunday at Great American Ball Park. First pitch is scheduled for 4:10 pm ET.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Paul Goldschmidt, Kendrys Morales Each Homer Twice As Arizona Downs Rockies, Toronto Rocks Tampa Bay

Players of the Day for Friday, May 5, 2017

American League

Kendrys Morales
Having gotten off to an 11-2 start, the worst of any major league team, Toronto still finds itself mired in last place in the AL East due to a combination of poor play and injuries to key players, such as Troy Tulowitzki and Josh Donaldson.

One player who hasn't been injured and is having a decent season is Kendrys Morales, who helped the Blue Jays defeat the Rays, 8-4 with a pair of home runs and five RBIs.

Down 3-1, Morales got the Jays even with a two-run blast in the seventh, then helped put the game out of reach with a three-run homer, highlighting a five-run eighth inning.

The home runs were numbers five and six for Morales, acquired from Kansas City during the off-season, and the five RBI gave him an even 20 on the year. Toronto took the opener of their three-game series in Tampa and will try to make it two straight when the teams meet on Saturday. Game time is 4:10 pm.

While the Blue Jays are still just 10-19, once they get healthy, they will probably make it tough on the front-runners in the AL East and throughout the majors.

National League

Paul Goldschmidt
It should come as no surprise that Paul Goldschmidt is among the NL leaders in RBI. After all, he's driven in 205 runs in the past two seasons and has been an all-star for Arizona each of the past four seasons.

On Friday, Goldschmidt cranked out a pair of home runs (#6 and #7) against the Rockies and drove in another run with a single, as Arizona pulled to within 1/2 game of first place Colorado with a 6-3 victory.

The game was the first of a three-game series in Denver, but Goldschmidt took advantage early on, socking a solo shot in the first inning, then adding a three-run belt in the third, putting Arizona up 5-0. In the seventh, Goldschmidt knocked in his fifth run of the game with a single to center, plating David Peralta.

Finishing 3-for-3 with a walk, Goldschmidt raised his average to .330, good for eighth in the National League. His 26 RBI are fourth-best in the NL.

The Rockies will try to retain first place when they meet the Diambondbacks in game two, Saturday night at Coors Field. First pitch is slated for 8:10 pm ET.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Seth Smith 4-4, Steals Home In Baltimore Win; Max Scherzer Fans 11 For Nationals

Players of the Day for Thursday, May 4, 2017

American League

Smith: 4-4, Steals Home
Now in his 10th full season, Baltimore right fielder Seth Smith has been around, with stops in Colorado, Oakland, San Diego and Seattle, but he may have won over the hearts of Baltimore fans in his first season with the Orioles by his play thus far, especially what he did Thursday night.

Down, 2-0 in the third inning, Smith - who led off the game beating out an infield single but was stranded - singled again, this time to center, and moved to third on a bunt and a fielder's choice. With two down and runners on first and third, Smith and Manny Machado executed a double steal, with Smith scoring for the Orioles.

Smith was hardly done. Down 3-1 in the fourth, Smith doubled with two aboard, tying the game at three. When Manny Machado launched his xxx homer of the season, Smith scored along with J.J. Hardy, putting the Orioles up, 6-3, a lead they would not relinquish en route to an 8-3 victory.

Smith walked in the fifth and singled again in the seventh, completing a 4-for-4 effort with two runs, two RBI a steal of home, having reached base in all five of his plate appearances.

The win left Baltimore 1/2 game behind the idle Yankees in the AL East, dropping Boston three games back in third.

The Orioles split four games with the Red Sox and return home Friday to open a three-game set with the White Sox. Game time at Camden Yards is 7:05 pm ET.
Scherzer: 11 Ks

National League

The Washington Nationals are rolling along, and, if Max Scherzer - who won the AL Cy Young award in 2013 with Detroit and again in the National League last season - starts pitching like he did against Arizona, the rest of the league will need track shoes to keep pace with the NL East leaders.

After a rough outing on April 28 against the Mets (9 hits, 5 earned runs in six innings), Scherzer found his good stuff, stifling the Diamondbacks on two hits and one run over seven innings in Thursday's 4-2 Washington win.

Fanning 11, Scherzer took over the NL strikeout lead with 51, two better than Arizona's Robbie Ray and the Mets' Jacob deGrom. Sherzer walked just one in earning his fourth win against two losses, and has allowed just 11 batters to reach on walks this season.

The victory put the Nationals 6 1/2 in front in the division, as the Phillies and Marlins both lost and the Mets were rained out in Atlanta.

Winners of three of their last four, Washington travels to Philadelphia to open a three-game series Friday at 7:05 pm ET.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Marwin Gonzalez Homers As Houston Wins 4th Straight; Mets' Jose Reyes Drives In 5

Players of the Day for Wednesday, May 3, 2017

American League

While the races are tight - albeit it's only early May - in the AL East and Central divisions, the Houston Astros are threatening to run away in the West.
Marwin Gonzlaez

Houston's 10-1 rout of the Texas Rangers was their fourth straight victory, taking the third in a row from visiting Texas.

Marwin Gonzalez had two hits and whacked a two-run homer to center in the sixth inning for a 6-1 lead. Gonzalez has four homers in his last three games, socking a pair against Texas on Tuesday, including a go-ahead grand slam in the eighth, boosting Houston to an 8-7 win. He also homered against Oakland on Sunday in Houston's 7-2 win. The sixth-year first baseman did not play in Monday's 6-2 win over the Rangers. He's batting .246 with eight home runs and 19 RBI.

Houston leads the Angels by 4 1/2 games in the division. Seattle is in third, though seven games out. At 19-9, Houston has the best record in the majors and will try for a sweep of the Rangers when they meet Thursday, 2:10 pm ET at Minute Maid Park.
Reyes: 5 RBI

National League

Jose Reyes set a career mark, driving in five runs in the Mets' 16-5 victory at Atlanta.

Reyes went 2-for-5, starting with a two-run single in the third inning. Following with a sac fly in the fifth, Reyes capped off his big night with a bases-loaded double that sent three runners to the plate in the eighth inning as the game got completely out of hand.

The Mets racked up 20 hits of six Atlanta hurlers, scoring seven times in the eighth after already leading 9-5.

New York's win put the Braves temporarily back into last place in the NL East, with the Mets just 1/2 game better. The battle for last place continues on Thursday at 7:35 pm ET in Atlanta. New York has taken two of three.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Aaron Judge Hits 2 HR In Yankee Win; Jay Bruce's Slam, 2 HR Not Enough In Mets Loss At Atlanta

Players of the Day for Tuesday, May 2, 2017
Judge's 12 HRs lead AL

American League

Aaron Judge isn't letting up after his sizzling start in April.

On just the second day of May, Judge touched off another pair of home runs, giving him the AL lead with 12 and helping the Yankees hammer the Blue Jays, 11-5.

The red-hot rookie put the Yankees up 6-0 with a solo shot in the second and finished New York's scoring with a three-run bomb to right in the seventh, giving him four RBI for the game and 25 overall, second to Miguel Sano (27) in the American League. Judge finished 2-for-4 with three runs. He's batting .313.

Coupled with Boston's 5-2 win over the Orioles, the win put the Yankees back into a first place tie with Baltimore in the AL East.

Toronto and New York will complete their three-game series on Wednesday with the rubber game, starting at 7:00 pm ET at Yankee Stadium.

National League
Bruce: 2HR, GS, 6RBI

To say the New York Mets have had their share of struggles this season would probably be an understatement as the team finds itself in last place in the NL East with a record of 11-15 after Tuesday's 9-7 loss at Atlanta

A rash of injuries - most recently to starting pitcher, Noah Syndergaard - and a severe lack of hitting have contributed to the slow start. The Mets' .220 batting average is the worst in the National League and a 4.73 ERA is 14th of 15 NL teams.

Even when the Mets hit, as they did Tuesday, it's often not enough, as evidenced by Jay Bruce's effort, going 2-for-5 with a pair of home runs and six RBI. Bruce is batting .293 with nine homers and 22 RBI.

Bruce socked a two-run homer in the first inning and belted a grand slam in the ninth, accounting for six of New York's seven runs. Unfortunately for Bruce and the Mets, the Braves touched up starter Matt Harvey for six runs over 5 1/3 innings and added three more against four Mets' relievers.

Atlanta got out of last place and put the Mets there with the win. The Braves are 11-14, 1/2 game better than the Mets. The series is tied at 1-1, with game three of the four-game set scheduled for Wednesday at 7:35 pm ET.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Ryan Goins Lifts Blue Jays Over Yankees; Travis Shaw Powers Brewers Past Cardinals

Players of the Day for Monday, May 1, 2017

American League
Ryan Goins

Ryan Goins drove in four runs with a two-run homer and the rare score of two players on a sac fly as the Toronto Blue Jays opened a three-game series in New York with a 7-1 win over the Yankees.

The Blue Jays, entering the game with an 8-17 mark, the worst start of any major league team, got going in the second inning when Goins cracked his second home run of the season with a man aboard off Yankee starter Luis Severino.

In the sixth, Goins took a 3-0 offering to the wall in center field, caught by Jacoby Ellsbury, who fell and was unable to throw out either Justin Smoak from third or Devon Travis, who scored all the way from second base.

Meanwhile, Toronto starter, Marco Estrada kept the Yanks at bay, allowing seven hits but just one run through seven innings.

The Yankee loss and Baltimore's 5-2 win at Boston dropped New York into second place, a game behind the Orioles in the AL East. The Yankees will try to even the score with Toronto in game two, Tuesday night at 7:10 pm ET at Yankee Stadium.

National League

Travis Shaw
With the Cubs losing, 10-2, to the Phillies, the Milwaukee Brewers took advantage of the opening to tie Chicago for first place in the NL Central via a 10-inning, 7-5 victory at St. Louis.

After the teams finished nine innings tied at 4-4, Milwaukee third baseman, Travis Shaw, delivered the decisive blow, a three-run homer - his seventh of the season - in the top of the 10th.

St. Louis responded with a solo shot by Jedd Gyorko, but the Cards could not rally further.

Shaw, in his first year as a Brewer after two seasons in Boston, is off to a solid start, batting .263 with 21 RBI on a Milwaukee team that leads the majors in home runs (47) and is second in the NL in RBI (137).

The win by the 14-13 Brewers leaves them and the Cubs a game better than the Red and Cardinals in the division. Pittsburgh is two back.

The Brewers and Cardinals play game two of their four-game series Tuesday night at Busch Stadium in St. Louis at 8:15 pm ET.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Anthony Rendon 6-for-6, 3 HR, 10RBI As Nationals Crush Mets; Miguel Sano Drives In Five For Twins

Players of the Day for Sunday, April 30, 2017

American League

Sano's 25 RBI Leads AL
Despite a 5.06 ERA, pitcher Phil Hughes improved to 4-1 on the season, getting all the run support he needed from third baseman Miguel Sano, who wnet 3-for-5, including a three-run homer, driving in five runs, giving him the AL lead in RBI with 25. Minnesota handed the Royals their ninth straight defeat, 7-5. Hughes gave up four runs in 5 2/3rds innings.

Sano's home run was his seventh of the season, helping to boost his batting average to .313 while keeping the Twins relevant in the division, led by Cleveland. The White Sox are 1/2 game behind the Indians, with Minnesota 1 1/2 back and Detroit two behind. Kansas City has fallen 6 1/2 off the plate, as Minnesota swept the two games in Kansas City (Saturday's game was rained out).

Winners of four of their last five, the 12-11 Twins open a six-game homestand with three against the Athletics starting on Tuesday. Minnesota is just 5-7 at home.

National League

Rendon: 3 HR, 10 RBI
Heading into the final game of the three-game series against the Mets, Anthony Rendon had hit no home runs and had driven in just five runs in 22 games, but, by the time the Nationals were done romping over the Mets, 23-5, the Washington third baseman had established a new franchise record with 10 RBI, going 6-for-6 with six runs, two singles, a double, and three home runs.

Rendon drove in two with a single in the first, socked a solo homer in the third, stroked a three-run bomb in the fourth, doubled in three more in the fourth, singled and scored in the seventh, and crushed another solo homer in the eighth. It was the kind of game players call a good week.

Matt Weiters homered twice and drove in four runs. Bryce Harper hit his eighth home run and scored four times as the Nationals cranked out 23 hits against five Mets' hurlers.

The win avoided a sweep by the Mets and kept the Nationals well in front in the NL East, with a five game lead over the Phillies and Marlins. Washington has the best record in the majors, at 17-8 (.680). The Mets remain in last place in the division, 6 1/2 out.

Following a day off Monday, Washington will open a three-game series against the visiting, 16-11, Arizona Diamondbacks.