1. Two games, 28 runs: The Rangers’ pitching may never be good enough, but their hitting is always playoff-team caliber. On Monday they scored 14 runs for their second consecutive game as they pounded the Twins 14-4. Catcher Gerald Laird hit a grand slam, Sammy Sosa had three RBIs, and Kenny Lofton had three runs for Texas. Carlos Silva had his worst start of the season for Minnesota, as he gave up seven runs in just 4 innings. Reliever Julio DePaula also allowed seven runs in just one inning. The Rangers are still one of the worst teams in the AL at 18-27, but they now rank fifth in the league in runs scored. Unfortunately for Rangers fans, they’ve allowed more runs than anybody in baseball except the Devil Rays.
2. A-Rod is Back: After a 22-game streak in which he only had 1 homer and 5 RBIs, Alex Rodriguez is back to his April self. He has homered in three straight games, bringing his major-league leading total to 18. This is his third streak this season of three or more consecutive games with a homer. He helped the Yankees beat the Red Sox to start off a crucial series. On the pitching side of things, Chien Ming-Wang outdeuled the suddenly struggling Tim Wakefield. Ming-Wang pitched six innings and recorded a season-high five strikeouts, while Wakefield allowed six runs. The host Yankees won 6-2 to slash Boston’s division lead back to single digits (9.5 games). The 20-23 Yankees still have a lot of work to do to catch up with Boston, who is the only major league team with 30 wins.
3. The Power of the Brewers: Who would have thought Milwaukee would be one of the most powerful teams in the majors this season? They rank second in the majors in homers (behind Texas) and third in slugging percentage. The Brewers also have the two leading NL homerun hitters in JJ Hardy and Prince Fielder, who have 14 apiece. Fielder hit two bombs last night in their 9-5 win over the Dodgers. Just wait until their most powerful hitter from last year, Bill Hall, finds his stroke.
Player of the Day: Noah Lowry, Giants: 7 innings, no runs in a 4-0 win over Houston. Lowry has silently put up a 2.69 ERA, fifth best in the NL.