Sunday, July 2, 2017

Ricky Nolasco Shuts Out Mariners In 4-0 Angels' Win; Rich Hill, Chris Taylor Lead Dodgers Past Padres

Players of the Day for Saturday, July 1, 2017

American League

In his 12 seasons as a major leaguer, Ricky Nolasco has been around, playing for no less than five different teams, but the last time he's finished with a winning record was when he went coastal in 2013, logging a 13-11 record playing for the Marlins (5-8) and Dodgers (8-3).

Nolasco: CG Shutout
At 4-9, Nolasco may or may not finish over .500 this season, though his last two outings argue that he's headed in the right direction. On June 26, Nolasco threw five scoreless innings against the Dodgers in a 4-0 win. On Saturday, he upped his scoreless inning string to 14 with a complete game shutout, as the Angels moved a game over .500 (43-42) with another 4-0 win, this time over the visiting Mariners.

Scattering a mere three hits over the nine frames, Nolasco needed struck out seven and didn't issue a walk. All the Mariners could muster in terms of offense were three harmless singles, one each in the second, fifth and eighth innings. Only one runner even made it to second base. Nolasco is 112-112 in his MLB career.

The win didn't help the Angels in the West division standings as the Astros rallied for a 7-6 win over the Yankees, but the Angels are only a game out of the second wild card slot behind the Yankees (+2), Rays, and Twins.

Being early July, it's probably premature to be looking at wild card standings, though in the case of the AL West, Houston's 13 1/2 game lead does appear insurmountable. Nolasco and his Angels may be prudent to keep trudging forward, especially with Mike Trout due to return shortly from the 10-day disabled list.
Hill: 7 IP, 0 ER, 11 K

Evening the series at a game apiece, the Angels and Mariners play the rubber game Sunday, at 12:37 PT.

National League

Taylor: Grand Slam
Opening the month of July as hot as they ended June, the LA Dodgers won their third straight with a 8-0 whitewash of San Diego.

While his teammates were building a healthy lead, Dodger starter Rich Hill was blanking the hapless Padres over seven innings.

Hill struck out 11, walked one, allowed four hits, throwing 69 of 92 pitches for strikes. After Chris Taylor swatted a grand slam in the top of the seventh, Hill returned for one more frame and then headed to the bench. Taylor finished 2-for-4 with two runs and four RBI.

With the huge lead, Brock Stewart worked a hitless eighth and ninth innings for the win, which kept the Dodgers 3 1/2 ahead of the Diamondbacks in the NL West. Hill improved to 5-4, dropping his ERA to 4.00.

LA will be seeking the three-game sweep of the Padres when they return to Petco Park Sunday, 1:40 pm PT.

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