Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Jose Altuve 4-for-4 As Astros Thump Phillies, 13-4; A.J. Pollock Leads Arizona Past Braves, 10-2

Players of the Day for Monday, July 24, 2017

American League

Winning the opener of a three-game series in Philadelphia, 13-4, the Houston Astros improved to a MLB-best 36-12 record on the road.

Altuve's .365 leads AL
Putting that in perspective, no other team in the AL West and no teams in the AL East have winning road records. Only Cleveland (27-21) and Minnesota (26-18) are above .500 away from home.

Overall, the Astros have left the rest of the league in their dust, leading the division by a whopping 17 games with a record of 66-33 (.667).

At the heart of Houston's offense - they lead the league in runs scored (594) and scoring differential (+178) - is second baseman Jose Altuve, putting in a serious bid for league MVP.

In Monday's blowout win, Altuve went 4-for-4 scoring three runs and driving in three with a pair of doubles and two singles. Not only is Altuve leading the league in batting at .365, he's third in on-base percentage (.421), runs (71), and stolen bases (21) while on pace for well over 200 hits, currently with the league lead at 138, 20 more than Cleveland's Jose Ramirez.

With just over tow months left in the season, all that's left to determine from Altuve and the Astros is how many games they'll win on their way to the post-season.

Houston and the Phillies play game two Tuesday at 7:05 pm ET.

National League

Pollock: 3-5, HR, 4 RBI
Arizona moved back into a tie for second place with Colorado in the NL West with a 10-2 victory over the Atlanta Braves.

While the Diamondbacks have faint hope of catching the Dodgers for the division crown, as LA has an 11 1/2 game lead, a win over the Braves was important since Atlanta also has wild card aspirations, trailing the Nationals by 12 1/2 games in the East. The Braves' loss sent them 9 1/2 behind in the wild card.

With Matt Greinke cruising to his 12th win against five losses, A.J. Pollock provided more than adequate offense, smacking two doubles and a two-run home run, driving in four runs in five at-bats.

Pollock is batting .303 but missed a substantial part of the season - half of May and all of June - on the DL. Apparently back in the groove, Pollock has hit safely in six of his last seven games, going 12-for-27 (.444) over that span.

The Diamondback and Braves play game two of the three game series Tuesday, 9:40 pm ET at Chase Field in Phoenix.

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