Sunday, June 11, 2017

Lorenzo Cain's Grand Slam Boosts Royals Over Padres; Cardinals Whip Phillies, 7-0, On Carlos Martinez 4-Hit Shutout

Players of the Day for Saturday, June 10, 2017

American League

Cain: Grand Slam, 5 RBI
With Minnesota holding the rest of the Al Central division at bay, the Kansas City Royals - 6 1/2 back - need every win they can get, so their 12-6 score at San Diego Saturday was a step in the right direction.

Of particular notice was the live bat of Lorenzo Cain, who was 3-for-5 with a pair of homers, three runs and five RBI.

A player who generally hits for a good average, Cain has picked it up of late, batting .333 in June, with four homers and ten RBI. He's hit safely in four straight games, a kind of consistency the Royals need throughout their lineup.

Cain belted a solo shot in the sixth, but the big inning for the Royals was the nine-run eighth, which Cain began with an infield single, scoring on Eric Hosmer's sixth home run of the year. With Kansas City players circling the bases, Cain delivered the decisive blow, a grand slam that put the game away. An inning that started with a 5-3 San Diego lead, ended with the Royals up 12-6, as the Padres could only respond with a single run in the bottom of the frame.

With the series tied at a game apiece, the teams will play the rubber game, Sunday at San Diego's Petco Park, 1:40 pm PT.

National League

Martinez: 4-hit shutout
After going 0-7 on their road trip to Chicago and Cincinnati, the St. Louis Cardinals were sorely in need of some relief, and they may have found it by returning home to host the Phillies for three games.

At 21-39, the Phillies have the dubious distinction of being the worst team in the majors, and the Cardinals aren't enhancing their reputation, taking two straight, including Saturday's 7-0 whitewash.

The Cardinal regulars didn't do much, as they didn't have to, but they put together seven runs on six hits while starter Carlos Martinez was twirling a four-hit shutout.

At 25, Martinez is considered an up-and-coming star, clearly pitching up to his potential by striking out 11 Phillies and evening his record at 5-5. Martinez threw 107 pitches and walked just one, never allowing a baserunner past second.

The win left the Cardinals in fourth place, but just 3 1/2 games behind Central division leader, Milwaukee. St. Louis will be seeking a sweep of the Phillies when they take the field at Busch Stadium, Sunday, 2:15 pm ET.

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