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.

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