Monday, August 7, 2017

Manny Machado 4-5, HR, 5 RBI in 12-3 Oriole Win; Hyun-Jin Ryu Throws 1-Hit Ball For 7, Dodgers Win 4th Straight

Players of the Day for Sunday, August 6, 2017

American League

Widely regarded as the most balanced division in the majors, four of the five teams in the AL East posted wins on Sunday, the lone loser, last place Toronto, in a 7-6 defeat by Houston.

Machado: 4-5, HR, 5 RBI
That left the standings unchanged for the top four teams. The Red Sox lead the Yankees by three games, the Rays by 5 1/2 and Baltimore by 7 1/2. Despite Baltimore handing the visiting Tigers a 12-3 defeat at Camden Yards, the Orioles failed to gain any ground, but they are just 2 1/2 out of the second wild card slot, so, with their powerful lineup and many divisional games upcoming, they bear watching.

Manny Machado spearheaded the Baltimore offense, going 4-for-5 with two singles, a double, a two-run homer, and five RBI.

After a horrible first half, Machado has apparently fixed whatever was wrong with his swing. He hit .327 in July, raising his average from .217 to .246, and thus far in August he's batting .423 (11-for-26) with three home runs and eight RBI. Sunday's four-hit barrage was his third multiple-hit game of the month.

Baltimore will have to improve on its 55-56 record down the stretch if the Orioles are to reach the playoffs. Upcoming is a ten-game road trip to the West coast, playing the Angels, A's and Mariners beginning Monday. If Baltimore can be successful on the road - they're 20-33 thus far - they may have a future in October.

National League

Ryu: 7 IP, 1 H, 0ER
No team appears capable of slowing down the inexorable march to the playoffs by the Los Angeles Dodgers. Leading the NL West by a whopping 15 1/2 games, LA won its fourth straight, defeating the NY Mets at Citi Field in New York, 8-0, as Hyun-Jin Ryu tossed seven complete innings of one-hit ball in the Dodgers' 8-0 whitewash.

Ryu, who improved to 4-5, was impressive, striking out the first three batters he faced and setting down the first six before Travis d'Arnaud singled to open the third inning. The hit didn't matter, as Ryu breezed through eh remainder of the inning, putting away the last 15 batters he faced in order.

Ryu struck out eight and did not allow a walk. Tony Cingrani and Kenley Jansen each pitched an inning in relief, neither allowing a Mets hit.

The Dodgers continue to outpace the entire league. Since the all-star break they are an astonishing 18-3, and they ride their winning streak into Arizona to play a three-game series with the Diamondbacks beginning Tuesday.

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