Sunday, June 4, 2017

Edinson Volquez Throws No Hitter For Miami Over Arizona; Angels' Albert Pujols Swats 600th Home Run

Players of the Day for Saturday, June 3, 2017

Pujols joins 600 club
American League

Albert Pujols reached one of the great milestones in all of sports, swatting his 600th home run on Saturday in an Angels' 7-2 victory over Minnesota.

Not only was the homer the stuff of legend, but it happened to be the ultimate in long balls, a fourth-inning grand slam that broke the game wide open for the Angels.

As the ninth player to hit 600 homers, Pujols joins some of baseball's greatest hitters in the hallowed 600 club, including Hank Aaron (755), Babe Ruth (714), and Willie Mays (660).

A major leaguer since 2001, Pujols is also approaching some other strong career marks in his sixth season with the Angels after playing his first 11 in St. Louis. He has 1859 RBI and 2876 hits. Pujols is currently 13th all-time in RBI, but not for long. His next run driven in will tie him with Mel Ott in 12th. Considering that the 37-year-old will play at least another season, he has a legitimate chance of becoming the fifth player in MLB history to amass 200 RBI.

Third among active players in hits (Adrian Beltre, 2950; Ichiro Suzuki, 3042), Pujols is tied with Mel Ott at #43 all-time, and on the move. 300 hits - a level reached by just 30 players - is also well within his reach.

The win left the Angels in second place in the West, 12 1/2 behind the Astros, who have spurted away again, winning their ninth straight on Saturday in a 6-5 win at Texas. Minnesota, despite the loss, remains in first place in the Central division, a game to the good on Cleveland. LA hosts the Twins Sunday at 3:37 pm ET in the series finale. Minnesota leads, two games to one.

National League

Volquez hurls no-hitter
Tossing the first no-hitter of 2017, Edinson Volquez surprised the Arizona Diamondbacks in a 3-0 win for the Miami Marlins.

Played before a crowd of 21,548 at Marlins Stadium in Miami, Volquez entered the contest with a 2-7 record, not exactly a stellar grade for a major league starter.

But, as the game unfolded, Volquez was displaying the kind of stuff he had when he was a top hurler in 2008 when he went 17-6 for Cincinnati.

It wasn't until the fifth inning that the Diamondbacks even had a baserunner. Volquez walked Jake Lamb, but was aided by a double play, as he was in the eighth, when he issued his only other walk, to Chris Hermann.

Thus,Volquez faced the minimum 27 batter, fanning the final three in the ninth to complete the gem, striking out 10 and needing just 98 pitches (65 for strikes).

In support, the Marlins scored a run in the fourth inning and added two more in the eighth, improving to 23-31 while dropping the Diamondbacks 1 1/2 games behind the Dodgers in the West, at 34-24.

The two teams will complete the four game series Sunday at 1:10 pm ET. Miami leads the series, two games to one.

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