|Encarnacion: 3HR, 6RBI|
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.
|Arenado: 2HR, 5RBI|
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.