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


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.

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