Thursday, May 3, 2018

Edwin Encarnacion's 3 HR, 6 RBI Leads Indians Over Texas; Nolan Arenado, Rockies Rout Cubs, 11-2

Players of the Day for Wednesday, May 2, 2018
Encarnacion: 3HR, 6RBI

American League

There were plenty of game performances in the AL on Wednesday, including a complete game shutout by Luis Severino (5-1, 2.11), who allowed five hits and struck out 10 in the Yankees' 4-0 win over the Astros, all of the New York runs accounted for by Giancarlo Stanton, who socked a solo homer, a two-run homer and drove in the other Yankee run with a double.

In Boston, Mookie Betts ripped three solo home runs, helping the Red Sox take down Kansas City, 5-4.

While those performances certainly were considered POTD material, they fell short of Edwin Encarnacion's three home run, six RBI game in Cleveland's 12-4 rout of the Rangers.

Encarnacion victimized Texas starter, Matt Moore, with a three run blast in the opening frame, followed by a two-run dinger in the second inning. With a 9-1 lead after two innings and Corey Kluber throwing for the Indians, the final result was never in doubt. Kluber improved to 5-1 and Encarnacion capped off his big game with a solo home run in the eighth, a tape-measure shot of 425 feet. He has nine homers but just 16 RBI on the season.

The win gave Cleveland a 2-1 split in the series, dropping the 12-20 Rangers deeper into the AL West cellar. At 16-13, Cleveland is the only team in the Central division with a better-than-.500 record. They lead the Tigers by three games and remain home to open a weekend series with Toronto, starting at 1:10 pm EDT.

National League

Arenado: 2HR, 5RBI
Arizona leads the NL West by five games after taking a 2-1 loss to the Dodgers in LA as the Rockies topped the Cubs for the second straight day, their 11-2 road win resulting in a 2-1 series win.

Chicago sent Yu Darvish to the mound on Wednesday, but the Chicago ace didn't last long, as the Rockies put up four runs in the first three innings, and sent the 0-3 hurler to the showers with one out in the fifth after he allowed solo homers to Trevor Story and Chris Iannetta.

Colorado began to build its lead on Nolan Arenado's two-run bomb in the first inning, but Arenado was hardly finished. He added a double and a three-run home run in the eighth, going 3-for-5 with five RBI.

The up-and-down Rockies, now 17-15, likely have the most potent offense in the division, if no the entire league. Consider that Arenado, who would have been the 2017 MVP if not for Giancarlo Stanton's banner season, has seven homers and 19 RBI, is only tied for second on the team in RBI, with leadoff hitter Charlie Blackmon. Story leads the team with 20, all of this despite the league's second-worst batting average (.226). Arenado is batting a brisk .320.

If Arenado (.309, 37, 130 in 2017) continues to lead, expect his teammates to follow. Colorado should be in the heat of the NL West race for the duration. The team gets a day off Thursday prior to opening a series with the Mets in New York on Friday.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Matt Adams Belts A Pair In Washington's Rout Of Pittsburgh; Dee Gordon Leading Seattle's Surge

Players of the Day for Tuesday, May 1, 2018

American League

Gordon: 5-for-5, 2 SB
Dee Gordon went 5-for-5 in Seattle's 6-3 win over Oakland, stroking four singles and a double for his customary leadoff spot.

Gordon also swiped a pair of bases and scored a run, on Nelson Cruz's decisive three-run homer in the bottom of the fifth inning.

With 12 steals thus far on the year, Gordon leads the league in the thefts, and his .339 batting average is third-best in the AL.

The swift center fielder has been instrumental in Seattle's surge into second place in the AL West. They've won six of their last seven and trail the Astros by two games after Houston fell to the Yankees, 4-0, on Tuesday. Gordon is 11-for-14 (.786) in his last three games.

A career .295 hitter, Gordon was acquired by the Mariners, from Miami, in the off-season and has added some needed punch to the top of the batting order.

Game two of the three-game series is scheduled to start at 7:10 pm PDT in Seattle.

National League

Adams: 3-for-3, 2HR, 3RBI
Still under .500 and 4 1/2 games behind the Mets in the NL East, the Washington Nationals appear to be awakening, winning their third straight with a 12-4 victory over the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday.

Contributing to the Nationals' rise, first baseman Matt Adams continued his assault on major league pitchers with another big effort, going 3-for-3 with a pair of solo homers and an RBI single in the rout.

Adams scored three runs, and has been on a tear since getting more playing time. In his the last four games in which Adams has started, he's 9-for-16 (.563) with three home runs, nine RBI and six runs.

At 14-16, the Nationals are closing in on the magic break-even mark, but remain in fourth place in the division, behind the Mets, Braves and Phillies.

At 7:05 pm EDT on Wednesday, the Nationals will be looking to take their third straight from Pittsburgh. Game four of the series is Thursday.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Xander Bogaerts Slams Royals In Boston Win; Brian Anderson Leads Marlins Past Phillies

Players of the Day for Monday, April 30, 2018

American League

Returning to the friendly confines of Fenway Park on Monday, the Red Sox opened their three-game series against the Royals in typical Boston fashion, banging out 13 hits in a 10-6 victory, highlighted by Xander Bogaerts' third inning grand slam.
Bogaerts: Grand Slam

The Royals thought they were looking good after scoring three runs in the first inning, but the Sox took little time getting to starter Jason Hammels. After Mitch Moreland socked a solo homer in the second inning and walked with the bases-loaded in the third, Bogaerts unloaded, with a tape-measure, 430-foot blast over the Green Monster in left field.

That put the Red Sox up 6-3, and, for all intents and purposes, sealed the victory early in the affair.

Bogaerts added a couple of singles, finishing 3-for-5 with four RBI. He's batting a brisk .412 in 51 at-bats, his playing time limited to just 12 games this season due to an early injury that set him down for three weeks.

In his third game back from the DL, Bogaerts is 7-for-13 (.518) and the Red Sox have won their last two games, leaving them three in front of the Yankees in the LA East, after Houston downed the Bombers, who had won nine straight, 2-1, Monday night.

Game two of the series starts Tuesday at 7:10 pm EDT.

National League

Anderson: 3-4, HR, 4 RBI
Off to their best start in many years, the high-flying Phillies would have figured to do well on a trip to Miami, engaging the lowly Marlins in a three-game series which began on Monday.

The Phillies had taken two of three from the Marlins in Philadelphia earlier in the season, one of them a humiliating 20-1 rout, but Monday's outcome would be different, as Brian Anderson led the Marlins to an 8-4 decision.

A rookie right fielder, Anderson singled, doubled and homered in four at-bats, driving in four runs and scoring twice.

In the third inning, Anderson laced a double to right center, breaking a 2-2 tie by driving in a pair of runners. He would score later in the inning on a ground out by Miguel Rojas.

By the end of the fourth inning, the Phillies had closed to gap to 6-4, but Anderson's wo-run homer in the seventh put the game out of reach as relievers Tayron Guerrero and Brad Ziegler held the Phillies hitless and scoreless over the final two innings.

The win was the 10th of the season for Miami, the Phillies loss dropping them two games behind the Mets, who are leading the NL East. The Braves hold second place, 1 1/2 out.

Game two of the series is scheduled for Tuesday, 7:10 pm EDT.