Monday, June 19, 2017

Rockies' Nolan Arenado Hits For Dramatic Cycle; Xander Bogaerts Leads Boston To 6-5 win At Houston

Players of the Day for Sunday, June 18, 2017

American League

Bogaerts: 3-4, 2HR, 4RBI
With the Yankees losing their sixth straight, dropping a 4-3 decision at Oakland, the Boston Red Sox have finally caught them for first place in the AL East. The two teams are .002 apart, with the Yankees at 38-29 and the Sox at 39-30.

Boston got a big game from Xander Bogaerts Sunday night in their 6-5 win at Houston.

Bogaerts hit two home runs and singled in what would prove to be the difference-maker in the seventh inning, going 3-for-4 with four RBI. The first homer was a first inning solo shot, followed by a two-run belt in the fourth that gave Boston a 3-2 edge.

In the seventh, Bogaerts singled home Mookie Betts, giving Boston a 6-4 advantage, but Houston rallied for a run in the eighth when Carlos Beltran singled with one out, plating George Springer. Jose Altuve was thrown out at home by Andrew Benintendi.

Boston took the series two game to one, and heads to Kansas City Monday for a three-game series with the Royals. Houston remains atop the AL West by 11 games. They begin a seven-game road trip Monday, with four at Oakland and three at Seattle. The Yankees will try to stop their slide when they return home Tuesday for a three game series with the Angels.

National League

The NL West continues to amaze, with Colorado continuing to lead Arizona and the Dodgers by one game, the teams now having combined for 15 straight wins.

Arenado hits for cycle
The Rockies did their part by winning their fifth straight on Sunday, as Nolan Arenado hit for the cycle in Colorado's 7-5 win over the Giants.

Hitting for the cycle is a mighty feat, but the way Arenado did so was dramatic, bordering on the surreal. After tripling in the first and singling in the fourth, there was still no score, but that changed when Carl Crawford hit a two-run homer in the top of the fifth for the Giants. Arenado countered with an RBI double in the sixth, but Colorado still trailed, 2-1.

Afgter taking a 3-2 lead in the seventh, Arenado struck out to end the inning, but that would not be the last the fans at Coors field would see of their all-star third baseman.

The Giants rallied for three runs in the top of the ninth, setting the stage for Arenado, who stepped to the plate with two men aboard, and a run already in. Completing the cycle in the most dramatic way imaginable, Arenado sent a blast to left, homering for the walk-off, 7-5 win.

Arenado finished the game 4-for-5 with four RBI, and is creeping up on the leaders in offensive categories with a .299 average, 15 homers (tied for 16th) and 55 RBI (tied for 3rd).

It was the eighth cycle in Rockies history and the 17th at Coors Field. It also was the first walk-off cycle in the majors since Carlos Gonzalez did it July 31, 2010, against the Cubs.

Colorado gets a needed day off before hosting the Diamondbacks for three games at Coors Field beginning Tuesday. Then they play three in LA with the Dodgers over the weekend.

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