Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Michael Wacha Tosses Complete Game, 5-0 Cardinal Win; Chris Davis Socks Two HRs In 12-1 Baltimore Romp

Players of the Day for Tuesday, July 18, 2017

American League

In Baltimore, Shin Soo Choo led off game with a solo home run for Texas, but, as it turns out, that would be the only run the Rangers would score, as Baltimore amassed 16 hits and routed the AL West visitors, 12-1.

Chris Davis scorched a two-run homer in the middle of Baltimore's six run first, and belted a grand slam in the fourth to account for half of Baltimore's runs.

Davis: 2HR, Slam, 6RBI
Davis' homers were numbers 15 and 16, unusually low totals for the Oriole slugger, because he missed over a month - from June 12 to July 14 - on the DL. This was his fifth game back and first multi-hit game since June 6.

During his absence, the Orioles went into an extended tailspin, going 11-15 into the all-star break. Having Davis back is a plus, but it didn't seem to matter as the O's dropped three straight to the Cubs coming out of the break, though they've now taken two straight from Texas.

Dylan Bundy threw exactly 100 pitches, working six innings for the win. He's 9-8 on the year.

Having Davis back in the lineup regularly should be a boost to Baltimore's fortunes, though their pitching staff seems to be at the root of their problems. They trail the Red Sox by eight games in the AL East, where Tampa Bay is in second place, two games out and New York is 3 1/2 off Boston's lead.

The Orioles will try to make it three straight at Camden Yards when they meet the Rangers Wednesday night, 7:05 pm ET.

National League

Wacha throws first shutout
With the Dodgers winning their 10th straight with a 1-0 Clayton Kershaw gem Tuesday and the Nationals taking their sixth straight, LA and Washington lead their respective divisions by 10 1/2 and 11 1/2 games, leaving the Central as the only real race in the National League.

Milwaukee still leads the division by 2 1/2 over the Cubs, but they've dropped three straight while Chicago has won five in a row, the Cardinals two straight and the Pirates, given up for dead back in May, are on a three-game win streak and only five games off the pace.

St. Louis reached to within 4 1/2 games of the Brewers with a second straight win at Citi Field, topping the Mets, 5-0, on Michael Wacha's three-hit, complete game shutout.

The victory was a milestone for Wacha, his first complete game and first shutout of his five year major league career.

Wacha walked one and struck out eight. After allowing a two-out single to Yoenis Cespedes in the first, Wacha didn't give up another hit until Michael Conforto's one-out, sixth inning double. Conforto also singled to lead off the ninth, eventually reaching third base on a wild pitch and a Cespedes ground out, but Wacha ended the drama by striking out Jay Bruce to end the game.

The win was the fourth straight in as many starts for Wacha, who improved to 7-3, dropping his ERA to 3.71. In three July starts, the 6'6" hurler is 3-0 with a 0.87 ERA.

St. Louis will try to make it three straight against the Mets when the teams take the field Wednesday at 7:00 pm ET.

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