Angels’ 21-year-old phenom Mike Trout did the coolest thing a batter can do in baseball on Tuesday as he hit for the cycle. His cycle began with a single, then an RBI triple in the fourth, followed by a bases-clearing 3-run double in the sixth, capped off by a solo homer in the eighth to right-center.
Trout raised his average to .293 with the 4-for-5 night and now has 9 HR, 34 RBI, 31 runs scored and 9 SB on the season. After his Rookie-of-the-Year campaign last year, he seems primed to once again challenge Miguel Cabrera for MVP honors. This Jersey boy is legit, there is no doubt about it. The Angels have won three straight and may finally be breaking out offensively as Howie Kendrick and Josh Hamilton both homered in the 12 – 0 rout of the Mariners.
Nationals Closer Rafael Soriano gave up a 2-1 lead in the ninth and a two run walk-off moon shot to Pablo Sandoval in the bottom of the tenth inning as the Nationals continue to play below expectations. It was Soriano’s second straight blow save. The 33-year-old closer has some job security, however, as Drew Storen has been awful in save chances and has had trouble with walks, while Tyler Clippard is better suited in a late relief or a setup role. Monitor this situation though, as Skipper Davey Johnson has to be scuffling for answers to the club's losing ways in close games.
DBacks reliever Matt Reynolds came into a tie game in the bottom of the tenth only to give up a hit and a walk. Wilin Rosario would capitalize as he knocked a walk-off RBI single into right field. Rosario has been on an offensive surge since May16th, during which time he's gone 8-for-21 with 8 RBI.
Nate McLouth played the hero as the Orioles hosted the Yankees on Tuesday. McLouth came to the plate with the game tied in the bottom of the tenth to face Vidal Nuno and promptly ended the game with a solo homer to right field.
Evan Gattis and Freddie Freeman gave the Braves a jolt Tuesday in a long rain-delayed game. After coughing up the lead in the 8th inning, Braves' manager Fredi González pulled out his ace-in-the-hole, sending out Evan Gattis for a two-out pinch hit opportunity. Gattis would reward his manager with a game-tying pinch-hit homer to left field to tie the game at 4. Going into the 10th, the Braves would get two base runners providing Freddie Freeman an opportunity to play hero with a walk off single that plated Jason Heyward from second base.
NL Hot Shots:
- Travis Snider hit a grand slam for the Buccos as they outlasted the Cubs for a 5-4 victory. Jason Grilli sealed the deal with his 18th save. Wandy Rodriguez got the win for the Pirates.
- Mike Leake was terrific thru 7 shutout innings allowing only 3 hits and 2 walks with 4 strike outs. Catcher Devin Mesoraco homered in support of Leake in the Reds 4-0 win (the Reds’ 9th win in their last 11 games)
- Zach Greinke lost in his return to Milwaukee as the Brew Crew put up 5 runs including a 4-run 5th inning which was Greinke’s undoing. He gave up a bases loaded double to Carlos Gomez before being replaced.
- Troy Tulowitzki homered in the Rockies walkoff win over the Diamondbacks. It was his ninth on the season
- Adam Wainwright pitched another solid game with 7-plus innings allowing a lone ER in the second. He improved to 6-3 with the win and has been pitching quite will for the Red Birds. Daniel Descalso added some run support in the 8th with a Grand Slam.
AL Hot Shots:
- Yoenis Cespedes provided all the offense needed for the A’s with a solo homer. Dan Straily (7.0 IP, 2 H, 5 K, 0 BB) out-dueled Yu Darvish in a 1-0 Athletics victory.
- Chris Dickerson hit two homers in the Orioles win over the Yankees. He could find some additional at-bats in the OF or at DH if he keeps it up.
- Jimmy Peredes homered in a losing effort as the Royals came back to score 7 runs in the final three innings to win 7-3. Alex Gordon was 3-4 but was caught trying to swipe second leaving him still without a stolen base in 2013.
- Max Scherzer improved to 6-0 on the season with 8 innings with 7 K and only a single ER. Miguel Cabrera was back to dominating Tuesday after an off day Monday; he homered and drove in 2 runs for the Tigers in a 5-1 victory. Andy Dirks would also homer in the game.
- Alex Cobb moved to 5-2 with another solid performance going 6.1 innings allowing only 1 ER. He pitched to contact more resulting in only 2 strikeouts. Kelly Johnson (8) and Desmod Jennings (5) both homered for the Rays, and Colby Rasmus (7) went deep for the Jays.
- Jose Quintana out-dueled Felix Doubront in a 3-1 victory in a battle of the Sox. Quintana had a no-hit bid broken up by Big-Papi on a broken bat single with one out in the seventh. Alex Rios extended his career best hitting streak to 16 games and Jeff Keppinger put one on the boaaaaaard for the White Sox.
- Jerome Williams was actually pretty darn good for the Angels as they destroyed the Aaron Harang and the M’s with a 12-0 victory. Williams’ 8 IP with 0 ER and 6 K was backed by Mike Trout’s cycle and homers from birthday boy Josh Hamilton (6) and Howie Kendrick (7). The Angels have now won 3 straight. Harang dropped to 1-5 on the season. Danny Hultzen has begun throwing and should show up in the Mariners rotation along with Erasmo Ramirez at some point this season.
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Follow Shawn Caswell on Twitter: @CasKnowsRoto