Sunday, June 18, 2017

Jose Ramirez, Lonnie Chisenhall Power Indians To 1st In AL Central; Yasiel Puig Displays Power In Dodger Win

Players of the Day for Saturday, June 17, 2017

American League

Ramirez: 2HR, 4 RBI
Last season's AL entrant into the World Series, the Cleveland Indians, have gone on a roll, winning four straight, including the sweep of Saturday's doubleheader at Minnesota, winning 9-3 in the first game and continuing with a 6-2 victory in the nightcap. The result of winning the first three games of their four-game series (Friday was an 8-1 Cleveland win) landed the Indians alone in first place in the AL Central, with homesteading Minnesota a game back in second.

Winners of four straight, the Indians are putting it all together while Minnesota has given up control of the division, dropping three straight.

In the opener, Jose Ramirez pretty much won the game all by his lonesome, socking a two-run double sandwiched by a pair of solo home runs. Ramirez his home run number 10 in the first innings, doubled in two runs in the fourth and sent home run #11 over the right field wall in the sixth inning. The Twins were never in the game, as Cleveland built and early 4-0 lead and never was challenged. Ramirez is batting .306 with 19 doubles, 11 homers and 34 RBI this season.

Chisenhall: 2HR, 4RBI
The nightcap saw Lonnie Chisenhall in right field, and the part-timer responded with another sensational game, slugging a pair of home runs for four RBI. In the fourth, Chisenhall poked his 9th - a solo shot - which broke a 1-1 tie. Later, in the sixth inning, Chisenhall smashed his 10th homer with two aboard, putting Cleveland up, 5-1, essentially putting the game away.

Chisenhall has been on a tear recently, slugging three home runs and driving in 11 runs in his last four games. Appearing as a pinch-hitter in the first game of Saturday's doubleheader, he was 0-for-1. With that, he's 6-for-12 in the last four.

Minnesota will have an opportunity to stem the tide and re-tie the Indians for the top spot in the division when the two teams meet in game four, Sunday, 2:10 pm at Target Field.

National League

Puig 2 HR, 3 RBI
There's no disputing that the liveliest race in the National League is in the West, where the Rockies, Diamondbacks and Dodgers have the three best records in the league, with Colored at 45-26, and LA and Arizona a game back at 43-26.

Colorado has won four straight, Arizona six straight and the Dodgers took their second straight at Cincinnati, hammering the Reds, 10-2, Saturday.

After building a 7-2 lead through five innings, Yasiel Puig finished off the Reds with a pair of tape-measure home runs in the sixth and eighth innings and a sac fly to complete the scoring in the ninth.

Puig's homers were solo shots, the first traveling 413 feet, the second going 423. The flamboyant right fielder from Cienfuegos, Cuba, has 12 homers on the year, with 37 RBI.

The win kept the Dodgers in the mix, with the series finale set for Sunday, 1:10 pm ET at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati. The Dodgers begin a none-game home stand on Monday, beginning with the Mets for four games, then a three-game series with the Rockies, followed by two with the Angels.

The Reds have lost a season-high eight straight, dropping to last place, 6 1/2 games out in the NL Central division.

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