Saturday, July 22, 2017

Josh Bell, Andrew McCutchen Lead Pirates 13-5 Rout; Edwin Encarnacion Leads Indians Past Jays, 13-3,

Players of the Day for Friday, July 21, 2017

American League

In the offseason, the Indians picked up Edwin Encarnacion to add some power to their lineup. The 34-year-old slugger has done just that and he made his former team take notice in the opener of a three-game series in Cleveland against the Blue Jays with a four-RBI performance in the Indians' 13-3 rout of Toronto.

Encarnacion: HR, 4RBI
After Toronto had taken a 2-0 lead in the top of the second, Encarnation cut it in half with his 20th home run of the season, a mammoth, 421-foot blast to center. In the fifth, Toronto added another run, but, in the bottom of the inning, the Indians plated four, capped by Encarnacion's double, which sent two runs home and a 5-3 lead for the home team.

Capping off his 3-for-4 effort with an RBI single in the seventh, the rest of the tribe piled on, adding six more runs to complete the whipping.

The result improved Cleveland's lead in the Central to 1 1/2 games over Minnesota and Kansas City. Detroit is 5 1/2 back, while Toronto remains alone in last place in the East division.

The two teams go at it again on Saturday, with game two scheduled for 7:10 pm ET.
McCutchen: 3-4, 3R, 3RBI

National League

Flying just under the radar most of the year, the Pittsburgh Pirates have awakened and are the hottest team in the NL Central.

Pittsburgh won its sixth straight on Friday, swashbuckling past the Rockies, 13-5, in Denver. Since the all-star break, the Pirates are 7-1 and 12-2 since the fourth of July.

Bell, 4-6, 4 RBI
Leading the barrage of 18 hits against five Colorado pitchers were Andrew McCutchen, who was 3-for-4 with three runs, three RBI and a pair of walks, and Josh Bell, 4-for-6 with a double, three singles and four RBI.

The 2013 NL MVP, McCutchen is having another solid season, batting .294 with 17 home runs and 56 RBI. He generally hits out of the three-hole, in front of second year first baseman, Bell, who has strikingly similar numbers, .248, 17 HR, 52 RBI.

The win left the Pirates just two games off the lead in the division. Milwaukee leads the Cubs by one, with Pittsburgh another game back.

Game two of the series is at 8:10 pm ET, Saturday in the Mile High city.

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