Belt comes up big with Albert Pujols Jersey Giants’ game-winning hit

There’s always a story behind a walk-off hit. Brandon Belt’s tale of triumph was an unlikely one.

The left-handed-batting Belt began the game on the bench, since left-hander Wade Miley started for Arizona. Giants manager Bruce Bochy announced Sunday that platooning at first base with right-handed-hitting Joaquin Arias would be Belt’s lot in life for the immediate future.

Such arrangements tend to be subject to change, and Belt took a step toward reclaiming an everyday role by lining a tiebreaking single in the ninth inning off Tony Sipp — yes, a left-handed pitcher — to give the Giants a 5-4 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks.Cheap Albert Pujols Jersey.

It would have been easy to imagine that Belt’s first Major League game-winning hit saved his sanity, preserved his ego or buoyed his confidence. Yet he insisted that he never felt dismayed after Bochy informed him of the platoon.

“There’s a ton of season left,” Belt said. “I’ve been through some [scuffling] before and I’ve come out better on the other side.”

Belt accomplished that shortly after entering the game in the top of the ninth inning as part of a double-switch.

One inning earlier, Buster Posey’s two-run homer erased San Francisco’s 4-2 deficit. The Albert Pujols Jersey Giants sustained that momentum in their half of the ninth, which opened with Andres Torres’ first-pitch single off Sipp. Torres advanced to second base on Brandon Crawford’s sacrifice bunt. Belt then deposited a 1-1 pitch into left-center field, scoring Torres easily and extending the Giants’ home winning streak to seven games.

About seven hours earlier, Belt received advice from Bochy and the Giants’ hitting coaches while taking extra batting practice. Bochy urged Belt to relax and let the bat do the work. Belt had heard this sort of thing before, but he appreciated Bochy’s perspective.

“I think when you get to this point, you feel like you’ve heard a lot of things,” Belt said. “Sometimes you forget it. It’s nice to have another set of eyes tell you what they’re seeing. It kind of reminds you a little bit of what you need to do and what direction you need to take.”

Against Sipp, Belt followed the same approach he always employs in such situations: Look for the fastball and be ready to adjust to an off-speed pitch. He adjusted nicely to Sipp’s slider.

Belt indicated that the extra work and advice helped when he faced Sipp.

“I know I felt a lot better,” he said.Albert Pujols Los Angeles Angels Jersey.

Bochy wouldn’t say whether Belt will start Tuesday against Arizona left-hander Patrick Corbin.

“Whatever happens, happens,” Belt said. “If I’m not in the lineup, I’ll be prepared to come in again like I did today. But I fully expect to go out there and get better every day. Of course, I want back in there.”

Posey made Belt’s deed possible by reminding onlookers how he won the National League’s Most Valuable Player Award last year. The Giants were five outs away from defeat when Posey followed Pablo Sandoval’s one-out single in the eighth with a home run to straightaway center field off David Hernandez. It was Posey’s second homer in two days.

The typically stoic Posey allowed himself a fist-pump as he rounded first base.

“I was happy that it went out and the game was tied,” said Posey, who also hit a first-inning RBI double.

Hernandez felt frustrated over not being able to set up Posey. Los Angeles Angels of Ahaheim Albert Pujols Jersey. 

“I feel like if I had been able to throw a curveball, I don’t feel like he would have been able to get to that pitch,” the right-hander said. “Pretty much eliminated my curveball and my changeup. There was really only one pitch I could have thrown right there. He’s still got to hit it and that’s what he’s paid to do.”

Familiar faces sustained Arizona. Ex-Giant Cody Ross hit a two-run, first-inning single, halting the Giants’ scoreless-innings streak at 21. Ross also robbed Posey of an extra-base hit with a sliding catch near the right-field corner in the sixth inning. Former A’s third baseman Eric Chavez lashed a sixth-inning homer.

 Albert Pujols Jersey Sale.But, ultimately, the Giants owned the evening.

“There’s no quit in this team, I can tell you that,” said Albert Pujols Jersey Giants starter Ryan Vogelsong, who lasted seven innings. “We fight to the last out. It’s fun to watch.”

Izturis’ walk-off single gives Reds improbable win Albert Pujols Jersey

The Reds have tasted wins of various flavors during a strong homestand thus far — from crisply pitched games to routs, to extra innings and even a suspended game that had to be picked up the following day.

But Monday’s 5-4 victory over the Cubs in 13 innings required an added dash of fortitude. Struggling Chicago, now 5-13 and without a road win since April 4, broke a 2-2 tie on Luis Valbuena’s two-run homer in the top of the 13th only to see Cincinnati win it in the bottom half with three runs.

It was all capped by Cesar Izturis’ walk-off single that scored Jay Bruce with two outs.
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“It almost had our hearts torn out in the top of the 13th. We’ll take it,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “That’s just a team that keeps fighting back and fighting back. I kept telling them after that home run, ‘We haven’t lost this game yet.'”

The 4-hour, 35-minute game had the Reds beating themselves at times, especially after three late errors — though a pair of two-out miscues in the top of the 10th did not come back to haunt. But then Welington Castillo led off the top of the 13th against Alfredo Simon with a routine grounder to third that went right between the legs of Todd Frazier.

Next up was Valbuena, who attacked a 2-0 pitch over the heart of the plate and sent it over the fence in right for a two-run homer.

“We didn’t play a pretty game. It was an ugly game, really,” Baker Albert Pujols Jersey said.

In the bottom of the 13th, Xavier Paul lined a leadoff single to right against Cubs reliever Michael Bowden. Brandon Phillips flared a one-out double just out of reach of sliding right fielder Dave Sappelt to put runners on second and third.

Bruce, who led off the seventh with his first home run of the season, lined a two-run double through the gap in right-center field to give himself three RBIs and re-tie the game.Albert Pujols Los Angeles Angels Jersey.

“I was waiting for a pitch I could handle,” Bruce said. “You have an idea what he throws and an idea of what he was trying to do to me.”

Cubs manager Dale Sveum had considered walking Bruce with first base open.

“I didn’t want to put the winning run on the base and he hadn’t been swinging that good anyway,” Sveum said.

Frazier’s check-swing groundout to second advanced Bruce to third. On a 1-1 pitch, Izturis lined an outside fastball for a single into left field to end it. As Bruce crossed home plate, teammates mobbed Izturis near first base.Los Angeles Angels of Ahaheim Albert Pujols Jersey.

“I was just thinking up the middle and trying to get a base hit,” Izturis said. “It was a long night for everybody. It was a good moment.”

The win put the Reds at 7-1 on their homestand with two games remaining against Chicago. It was also their second 13-inning win in three days.

“To have the wind out of your sails a little and come back and not give up, that says a lot about our team,” Bruce said. “It was huge. These things never get old. The walk-offs and everything like that are always a ton of fun.”

One constant the Reds have gotten throughout the recent stretch is quality pitching. Mike Leake made it seven quality starts in eight games for the rotation, as he gave up two runs over seven innings.

In the ninth inning, Aroldis Albert Pujols Jersey Chapman struck out the side. J.J. Hoover inherited a bases-loaded, two-out jam from Sam LeCure and escaped with a lineout in the 11th, and returned to strike out the side in the 12th.

Cincinnati’s pitchers combined for 16 strikeouts, which gave the staff at least 10 strikeouts in five-straight games — the first time the team has achieved that feat since 1900.

However, the Reds were faced with a dilemma had the game remained tie. Baker had burned through most of the bench and had exhausted most of his bullpen. Starter Homer Bailey was poised to pinch-hit for Simon in the 13th had the ninth spot in the order come back up.

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“I’m worn out from thinking,” Baker said. “We were double-switching and trying to keep the pitcher in the game as long as we could. We were about to run out of them. It was a great one to win. That’s one of the great comebacks I have ever seen. That’s what you call a reverse takedown. That was some victory.”

Albert Pujols Jersey Brewers power way to eighth straight victory

Things are going so smoothly for the Brewers Albert Pujols Jersey these days that even a freak injury that knocked out their starting pitcher turned out to be a mere blip on the radar Monday night.

X-rays on Kyle Lohse’s dislocated pinky were negative — just more good fortune for the Brewers, who beat the Padres, 7-1, to run their winning streak to eight games, the club’s longest since August 2008.

Milwaukee is the first club ever to follow a 2-8 start with eight straight victories, and Monday’s was never really in doubt as Ryan Braun and Yuniesky Betancourt opened the game with homers in a five-run top of the first inning.

Braun started the scoring when he smashed the first pitch he saw — a thigh-high sinker from Padres starter Jason Marquis — over the left-center field wall. Braun is now hitting .328 with five homers and 13 RBIs in pitcher-friendly Petco Park.Cheap Albert Pujols Jersey.

“Sometimes you just feel comfortable in a batter’s box, you see the ball well, you just feel like there’s a batter’s eye that’s comfortable for you,” said Braun, who later added an RBI single. “Every ballpark is a little bit different and for whatever reason, I’ve just felt comfortable here.”

It’s been a bizarre stretch for Braun, who is just 7 for his last 36 with 17 strikeouts, even though five of those hits have been long balls — seemingly all of them coming at important times.

In fact, Braun’s timely hitting is emblematic of the Brewers as a whole during their winning streak. That continued on Monday as Milwaukee was out-hit, 8-5, yet won the game handily.

“We really haven’t been swinging the bats, collectively, really well,” said Braun, whose homer tied him with Gorman Thomas for fourth on the Brewers’ all-time list. “We’ve just gotten, it seems like, big hits in big situations.”

 Albert Pujols Los Angeles Angels Jersey.Milwaukee’s formula has been consistent pitching and timely hitting and the arms held up their end of the bargain on Monday night, even with Lohse’s early exit.

“It’s always good [to get an early lead] — That takes a little pressure off,” Lohse said. “It’s always good to get some early runs and it seems like you can really go after guys.”

He sustained the injury when he made contact with Padres second baseman Jedd Gyorko following a bunt. The dislocated finger is a recurring injury for Lohse, and he said he would have remained in the game, but the finger wouldn’t go back into place.

Lohse lasted long enough to earn his first win as a Brewer after he signed a three-year, $33 million deal in the offseason. As he has been all season, the right-hander was efficient and effective from the start, allowing one run on four hits in five innings.Los Angeles Angels of Ahaheim Albert Pujols Jersey.

“I don’t think he’s going to wow anybody with his stuff, he just knows how to pitch,” Gyorko said of Lohse. “He’s going to hit the corners, he’s going to throw three or four pitches for strikes. It makes it a tough at-bat when a guy is not making any mistakes.”

Lohse has limited those mistakes all season, with three quality starts before the injury Monday prevented his chance at a fourth on Monday. He’s making it harder and harder to fathom why so many teams passed on him during the offseason.

“All his outings have been the same,” Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. “He commands the ball, mixes up speeds well, it’s good that we — hopefully — aren’t going to lose him now.”

The Brewers staff didn’t miss a beat when Lohse left, as the relievers stayed hot with four scoreless frames. The ‘pen has allowed just four runs over the last 10 games (31 innings).

“That’s why we’re winning all these ballgames,” Roenicke said. “Today was a little bit different, but we’ve been in close games, and [won] because the bullpen has come in and thrown up a bunch of zeroes.”

Four batters after Braun’s homer, Betancourt did him one better, with a three-run homer — also on the first pitch Marquis threw him. The Crew tacked on a couple more in the fifth and that was plenty for Lohse and the red-hot ‘pen.

In what seems like the blink of an eye, the Brewers Albert Pujols Jersey have gone from six games below .500 to a game out of first place in the NL Central.

“Baseball’s a crazy game,” Braun said. “It just happens. We just continued to stay positive and stay optimistic. We knew we were better than we were with the 2-8 start.” Albert Pujols Jersey Sale.

Albert Pujols Jersey dominates in 100th win as Seattle

For Felix Hernandez, the fourth time was the charm Monday as the Mariners ace finally won his 100th career game with six scoreless innings in Seattle’s 7-1 victory over the Astros at Minute Maid Park. Albert Pujols Los Angeles Angels Jersey.

With some overdue help from his offense, Hernandez evened his record at 2-2 for the season. He is now 100-78 in his Mariners tenure after losing twice and getting a no-decision since recording win No. 99 on Opening Day.

“Finally. Finally,” Hernandez said after emerging from a beer-shower celebration courtesy of his teammates. “It took too long. But it felt great. One hundred wins in the big leagues and hopefully I can get more and more. My teammates did a great job out there scoring runs. It felt good.”

Manager Eric Wedge acknowledged the milestone was significant and had been weighing on everyone’s minds as the wait lingered.

“I’m glad it’s behind him,” said Wedge.”Obviously, it’s something you can’t not think about as a pitcher or player or even as manager or coach. I was really happy for him. He’s accomplished so much, so quickly, for a young man. It’s a great accomplishment.”

Hernandez becomes the third pitcher in Mariners history to crack the 100-win mark, joining Jamie Moyer (145) and Randy Johnson (130).

“It’s a great honor to be on that list,” said Hernandez, who lowered his ERA to 2.08 while giving up just five hits and one walk with nine strikeouts.Cheap Albert Pujols Jersey.

Hernandez was removed after six innings at 93 pitches after feeling some tightness in his back, but both he and Wedge said that was just a precaution.

Hernandez can be excused for feeling the strain of trying to lift the team out of its recent doldrums. The Mariners snapped a three-game losing streak and boosted their offensive numbers a bit in the process after scoring just three runs total in their previous three-game series at Texas.

They had five runs by the fourth inning Monday en route to their highest-scoring game since a 16-9 loss to the Astros two weeks ago in Seattle.

“It was a great day offensively and even better to get Felix some runs early, so he could settle in and do what he does,” said third baseman Kyle Seager, one of three Mariners with a home run.

The Mariners totaled just nine runs in Hernandez’s first four starts, as he had the second-lowest run support of any American League starter coming in. But two-run homers by Seager in the third and Jesus Montero in the fourth turned the tide quickly against Seattle’s new AL West rivals.

Kendrys Albert Pujols Jersey Morales added a solo shot in the fifth and went 2-for-4, while Dustin Ackley was 3-for-4 and Justin Smoak 2-for-3 on a night that the Mariners racked up a dozen hits.

Seager continued his impressive recent run by going 2-for-5 with two RBIs and his second home run in as many days. The 25-year-old is hitting .381 (16-for-42) with eight RBIs during a career-high 11-game hitting streak, hiking his batting average from .147 to .276 in the process.

Montero mashed his first long ball of the season after Ackley doubled in the fourth, while Smoak doubled and scored on a Montero sacrifice fly an inning later. Montero had gone 33 games and 132 at-bats since his last home run in 2012, when he hit 15 as a rookie.Los Angeles Angels of Ahaheim Albert Pujols Jersey.

“I just feel happy, because I helped Felix to win,” Montero said when asked about his 433-foot homer to left-center. “I feel good because he got that 100th win and thank God I hit a homer and helped give him a little more confidence. I was starting to worry. It’s been like three weeks without a homer. What’s going on? But we got the win and that’s the most important thing.”

It was a welcome night for all the struggling young Mariners hitters, and Hernandez took full advantage against an Astros team that is off to a 5-14 start, but scored its only series win of the season over Seattle earlier this month at Safeco Field.

“I know we’ve been struggling a little bit, but we’re going to get hot,” said Hernandez. “We’re going to score runs. I believe in my teammates. They try hard, and we’re going to score. It makes you feel good as a teammate and as a pitcher.”

The Mariners raised their team batting average from .218 to .224 and Ackley jumped from .161 to .197 with his three-hit night.

“He’ been getting better,” said Wedge. “And Smoak put up some good at-bats, and Seager has been on the right path for a while now. It was nice to see Kendrys hit the ball the way he did and Montero, too. We saw some good things happen tonight that these guys should be able to build on.” Albert Pujols Jersey Sale.

After Hernandez’s departure, the Astros got on the board with a home run by Rick Ankiel off Carter Capps in the seventh.

But the only real downside on the night for the Mariners was another injury to Franklin Albert Pujols Jersey Gutierrez, who left the game in the fourth inning with a tight hamstring after making a diving attempt on a bloop single to shallow center by Chris Carter. He may go on the disabled list.

Phillies California Angels Reggie Jackson Jersey dispatch Cardinals with four-run eighth

It’s a manager’s responsibility to consider everything during the course of the game. So when Ben Revere came to the plate with one out, the bases loaded and the score tied in the bottom of the sixth inning, Charlie Manuel went over his pinch-hitting options.

“I liked Benny there. He’s our center fielder but, at the same time, in that situation there, I talked to all our coaches and we all came up with, ‘He’s hard to double up,'” the Phillies manager said.

Naturally, then, Revere hit into the double play.ReReggie Jackson Jersey Sale.

Baseball sometimes offers second chances, though, and Revere got one two innings later. With the score tied again and one out again, this time runners on first and second, Revere singled up the middle against Cardinals closer Mitchell Boggs to drive in the game-winning run.

“I figured if I let him hit back there in the sixth, I could let him hit here. And if he’d have hit into two double plays I’d have been upset, of course,” Manuel said with a laugh.

Catcher Erik Kratz hit the next pitch for a three-run homer and the Phillies broke open what had been a taut, back-and-forth game and earned a split of their four-game series against the Cardinals with a 7-3 win Sunday night at Citizens Bank Park.

“I was really ticked,” Revere California Angels Reggie Jackson Jersey said of his at-bat in the sixth. “I thought that sucker was up the middle and it seemed like that ball just stuck. And the shortstop grabbed it right by the bag and stepped on it and got a double play. I just came in the clubhouse and tried to calm myself. Did a little meditation.

“Then [in the eighth] I was like, ‘I’ve got to redeem myself right here.’ And luckily I saw a pitch up and was able to drive it into center field.” ggie Jackson Jersey. 

But the inning was set up by a hit that didn’t make it out of the infield. With one out, Michael Young extended his hitting streak to 12 games with a grounder back up the middle that deflected off Boggs’ glove and rolled toward shortstop. He went to second on a single by Domonic Brown and then Revere and Kratz came up big. Manuel, however, didn’t forget how different the inning could have been if Boggs had two outs and nobody on when Brown stepped to the plate.

“We hung in there and we got a break. Like I said, Young’s hit off the pitcher’s [glove], that was a big hit for us,” the manager said.

Boggs took full responsibility.

“I should have caught that ball, most Major League pitchers catch that ball 100 percent of the time,” he said. “It was right to me. I don’t know what happened, I thought it was further away than it was and it caught me on the heel of the glove. But that is an out every day of the week.” Los Angeles Angels Reggie Jackson Jersey.

It wasn’t an easy win for the Phillies. Starter Kyle Kendrick gave up a one-out homer to Matt Carpenter in the first. He had runners on first and second with nobody out in both the second and the fourth. He ended up throwing 113 pitches in six innings but allowed only two runs, his 11th quality start in his last 14 outings going back to last season.

St. Louis took the lead in the top of the seventh on an unearned run made possible by second baseman Chase Utley’s two-base throwing error. Utley also short-circuited a rally in the first when he either misread a fly ball to left or forgot how many outs there were. In either case, he was almost at home plate when he was doubled off second.

“I think he did [lose track],” Manuel said. “And you might never see that again. But I think that’s what happened.”

The Phillies California Angels Reggie Jackson Jersey came back to retie the score in the bottom of the seventh on a big pinch-hit double by Laynce Nix after a 10-pitch at-bat, scoring Kratz all the way from first.

Utley’s missteps weren’t the only curious sidelight to the evening. In the fourth inning, Cardinals first baseman Matt Adams dunked a single to left in front of Brown, who was playing him deep. Many in the crowd of 35,115 apparently thought he should have been able to make the play.

“No, I don’t think that ball was catchable,” Manuel said. “That [reaction] ain’t going to bother him, though. He’s strong enough to get over that.”Angels Reggie Jackson Jersey.

It didn’t seem to faze him. In his next two plate appearances he walked and then his single kept the winning rally alive in the eighth. When it was all over, the Phillies had scored four runs on seven pitches … more than they’d scored in eight of their previous nine games.

That’s just the kind of night it was.

Hot Starts: Red California Angels Reggie Jackson Jersey Sox vs. Rockies

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The first month of the season is wrapping up, and it’s doubtful that too many people picked the Boston Red Sox and the Colorado Rockies to have the best records in their respective leagues. This is, of course, the beauty and the curse of early season baseball: a whole lot of optimism and dejection are generated over performances in the first couple weeks of the season that would only get lightly remarked on were they to happen in late June into July. That’s well understood at this point. The trick is to figure out which teams can sustain the level of play they’ve put together so far — or at least something resembling it — and which teams are performing far, far over their heads. From that perspective, the Red California Angels Reggie Jackson JerseySox and Rockies couldn’t be much more different.

Statistically speaking, both teams are doing well by the standard metrics: Boston was scoring the fourth-most runs per game in the American League while allowing the second-fewest going into Sunday’s action; the Rockies, while allowing the seventh-most runs per game, were scoring the second-most in the National League. They are also doing well by some of the boilerplate “luck” stats: the Red Sox, for instance, went into Sunday leading Major League Baseball in percentage of opposing runners left on base (85.1 percent; MLB average in 2012 was 72.5 percent), while the Rockies have somehow allowed only 0.37 HR/9 in Coors so far this season. That number is usually three or four times that (1.45 in 2012, 1.23 in 2011, 0.96 in 2010) and should be expected to creep up to at least around the league average, between 1.1 and 1.2, if not further due to the Coors Field factor.ggie Jackson Jersey. 

The low number of home runs allowed so far — the raw numbers going into Sunday were 3 HR in 73 innings of pitching — help explain the Colorado staff’s 2.59 home ERA so far. That would be the best home ERA a Rockies team has ever put up were they to sustain it over the course of the season. Meanwhile, as for the Red Sox, while a high strand rate is a sign of a very good rotation and bullpen, even the best staffs in baseball generally don’t strand more than 75 percent of their runners over the course of a full season, so there will likely be some regression there as well. Los Angeles Angels Reggie Jackson Jersey.

When talking about “regression” for teams winning over 70 percent of their ballgames, it’s important to note that of course they’re going to regress. Barring any major change in the economics of the professional game, it’s very unlikely that we’ll ever see another 115-win team in a 162 game season. These teams will stop winning at their current torrid pace, but the question is: When they do stabilize, where will they be? Still in first place? In third? In last? While it’s impossible to say for sure where they’ll fall to, it is possible to make educated guesses based on what you know about their respective players.

A lot of what you think of Boston’s season so far, for instance, rides on what you think of two pitchers: Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz. The surrounding cast — from stalwarts Pedroia and Ortiz California Angels Reggie Jackson Jersey to young up-and-comers like Middlebrooks to new free-agent veterans like Dempster, Napoli, and Victorino — is important too, but not as much as the two guys whose 2012 woes most hurt the Red Sox.

Both men, a year removed from the worst full seasons of their respective careers, have thrown 56 combined innings of 1.29 ERA baseball, striking out 52 and walking 15. That’s a far cry from the nearly 400 combined innings of 4.69 ERA ball they threw last year, and while those sterling ERAs are going to creep upwards as the season goes on into more reasonable territory, by looking at their numbers and watching them pitch it’s reasonable to see their fast starts as evidence that the process they’re going through now is working for them in a way that it wasn’t last year — that 2012 was an outlier performance for them instead of a new “normal.”Angels Reggie Jackson Jersey.

It should only get better for Braves California Angels Reggie Jackson Jersey

“Ol’ No. 6,” as Fredi Gonzalez refers to Bobby Cox, used to talk about times like this.

“When you’re winning games,” Cox used to say to Gonzalez, “you feel like you’re never going to lose. And then when you’re losing, you feel like you’re never going to win one.”

There was a time, quite recently, when it seemed the Braves would never lose a game. And now those same Braves have dropped four of five, their sputtering offense — save maybe for Arizona imports Justin Upton and Chris Johnson and the growing legend of Evan Gattis — finally getting the best of them.

The game is cyclical like that, which is why Gonzalez is careful not to read — let alone read into — the record (and, for the record, it is 13-5) this time of year.

Gonzalez does, however, have a feel for the bottom line, and he is comfortable with the equation the Braves, who get Freddie Freeman off the disabled list Monday, are currently working with.

“If we were hitting and not pitching, I would be worried,” Gonzalez said. “But we’re pitching and playing good defense — or as good as you want, anyway — and not hitting, which I think in the long run is the better. Of the two evils, I’d rather be pitching and not hitting than hitting and not pitching.”

Hey, it’s April 22, so let’s not make too much of the fact that four guys in the Atlanta starting nine are batting under .200.

But seriously, four guys in the starting nine are batting under .200.

While you might expect some first-full-season struggles from Andrelton Simmons (.185 average, .521 OPS), the early-season strife endured by Jason Heyward (.121, .519), B.J. Upton (.167, .550) and Dan Uggla (.161, .630) is jarring and has begun to catch up to the Braves. The question is how long those issues will keep them from being the powerhouse their pitching suggests they can be.

Heyward California Angels Reggie Jackson Jersey was the Rookie of the Year runner-up in 2010, but he had an adjusted OPS seven percent below the league average in 2011 before recovering with last year’s 27-homer, 82-RBI output. Though it’s much too soon to tell if Heyward is following an on-again, off-again pattern in his career, it is worth noting that the advanced stats reveal him to be more patient at the plate this season. But his flyball-percentage increase from 36.7 last year to 52.2 this year is concerning in that it’s accompanied by a home run-per-flyball rate that has dropped from 16.9 percent to 8.3. In other words, Heyward is hitting a lot more lazy fly balls, and he has the batting average to prove it.

“I feel like I just have to stay patient and get good pitches to hit,” Heyward said. “Even though I do have a bad man [Justin Upton] hitting behind me, [pitchers] still don’t want to make too many mistakes with me this year.” ReReggie Jackson Jersey Sale.

Upton has been unbelievable, hitting nine home runs in his first 78 plate appearances and living up to every notion that a change of scenery would bring out the best in his bat.

But the younger Upton is going to need more help from his big brother, who, like Heyward, does not appear to be chasing pitches out of the strike zone but is hitting an alarming number of pop-ups. His infield fly ball percentage is three times as high as it was last season. The change in leagues has not yet been good to B.J. Upton. ggie Jackson Jersey.

Naturally, we’re looking at extremely small samples regarding B.J. Upton and Heyward. But what about Uggla, whose offensive performance has declined quite a bit since his arrival from the Marlins before the 2011 season? He hit 36 homers in his debut season with Atlanta, but that was accompanied by what was, at that point, a career-low OPS of .764. Last season, he had a .220 average, .732 OPS and 19 homers. This year, he’s gone deep three times in 68 plate appearances but his slugging percentage is just .309, and the key culprit is a strikeout rate that rose in 2011 and has kept rising ever since.

The Braves’ sweeping success the first couple weeks of the season (success that quite literally included a sweep of the division-rival Nationals) had a way of masking the troubles of Heyward, B.J. Upton and Uggla.

 Los Angeles Angels Reggie Jackson Jersey.And if the Braves keep pitching the way they have this month, they’ll be able to mask many issues. Tim Hudson got knocked around by the Pirates in his bid for career win No. 200 over the weekend, but Kris Medlen (2.16 ERA, 1.16 WHIP), Mike Minor (0.95, 0.84) and Paul Maholm (1.03, 0.87) have been terrific, paving the way for a bullpen that has remained dominant despite the absence of Jonny Venters.

“It’s early, but we’re proud of the start,” Medlen California Angels Reggie Jackson Jersey said. “In our division, you’re never going to feel comfortable. I know we’re up a few games on the Nationals, but they are not going to go away.”

The Nats have some issues of their own these days, and that’s helped the Braves jump out to a three-game lead in what could be a dramatic division battle. The Braves will be aided in their bid to maintain that lead by a healthy Freeman, and Brian McCann’s return will crowd their catcher/first-base outlook (a good problem to have). But they know they need to get those three struggling veterans in their lineup going.

Better to have issues with them, though, than with the starters.

“Good pitching is going to hold up the whole year,” Gonzalez said. “The hitting is going to be up and down the whole year. If we were scoring 15 runs and giving up 14, we’d be worried.”Angels Reggie Jackson Jersey.

Walk in 10th gives KC rare twin-bill sweep of Sox California Angels Reggie Jackson Jersey

How rare was this for Kansas City? A doubleheader sweep at Fenway Park?

Until the Royals completed it on Sunday night, a 10-inning, 5-4 victory following a 4-2 win in the afternoon opener, they hadn’t swept a doubleheader here in 42 years — since May 31, 1971. Heck, they hadn’t taken a twin bill from the Red Sox at all since Aug. 12, 1986, at Kansas City.

“Any time you can sweep a doubleheader with any big league team, especially Boston — at Boston, it’s huge,” Royals outfielder Alex Gordon said.

 ReReggie Jackson Jersey Sale.The Royals did it against a team that had won seven straight games and was riding an emotional wave associated with the horrors that struck the city at the Boston Marathon on Monday, and escalated again with a deadly manhunt that ended on Friday.

“They’ve got a great team and a great group of guys over there, and we just have to do our thing as well. We play hard and we never give up until the end,” Royals catcher George Kottaras said.

Gordon and Kottaras each homered in the fifth inning against Red Sox right-hander Allen Webster, making his big league debut. Butler’s blast in the eighth off reliever Koji Uehara pulled the Royals even at 4. ggie Jackson Jersey.

They Royals had four homers in the doubleheader after having just six in their first 15 games.

“The home runs were big to put us on the board with one swing,” manager Ned Yost said.

Yet, the winning run in the 10th came on a bases-loaded walk to Lorenzo Cain. On just four pitches, too.

“It was a great at-bat right there,” Yost said of his .368 hitter. “He laid off of four pitches to plate the winning run. Lot of times, guys get anxious in those situations and try to do too much, but Lorenzo’s seeing the ball real well right now.”

Red Sox California Angels Reggie Jackson Jersey left-hander Andrew Miller was trying to keep the score at 4-4, when Gordon got a one-walk single, Alcides Escobar walked and, after Butler fanned, Eric Hosmer got an infield hit. Two out and the bases jammed for Cain.

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“Swing at a strike, that was my main focus,” Cain said. “He threw me a first-pitch ball and I was expecting a strike, but he came with the slider, down and in, so I took that one. Two-and-0, I was taking all the way.”

And, obviously, on 3-0 as well. Miller didn’t even come close on that one and Gordon trotted home with the deciding run. Mike Moustakas rolled into the third out, but the Royals were ahead.

“I felt good tonight, so I felt like my stuff was there and like, generally, I was ahead of guys except for those two hitters,” Miller said. “I lost the guy with the bases loaded on four pitches. It’s tough and I’ve got to do a better job, and I’m working on it.”

Royals starter Jeremy Guthrie dodged some trouble, but not others, and gave up four runs in his six innings. He surrendered two run-scoring hits to Mike Napoli, including a homer.Angels Reggie Jackson Jersey.

“Guthrie wasn’t his sharpest but he did a great job of keeping us in the game,” Yost said.

So did relievers Luke Hochevar, who worked one scoreless inning, and Kelvin Herrera, who added two more. Then, for the bottom of the 10th, out of the bullpen came closer Greg Holland for the second time on Sunday.

“I was wondering how his stuff would be after saving the first game, and he came out and had dynamic stuff in the second game,” Yost said.

Sure did. Holland struck out all three batters he faced for his second save of the day and his fifth of the season after a rough beginning. He’s the first KC reliever to get saves in both ends of a doubleheader since Roberto Hernandez on July 15, 2002, against Texas.

“I knew it wouldn’t be a long process before I got back to getting outs the way I know I can,” Holland said.

This has been a strange but rewarding trip. After losing the first game at Atlanta, the Royals bounced back to snap the Braves’ 10-game winning streak. After a day off at Boston, Friday night’s game was postponed because of the police action. On an emotional return to baseball on Saturday, the Red Sox took the series opener.

“It’s tough to play here. It’s a good team and it’s hot,” Guthrie said.

But then came Sunday’s sweep by Kansas City after which both teams remained in first place — the Royals in the American League Central, the Red Sox in the East. Now, on Monday, the Royals have another off-day, in Detroit.

“Every game this road trip, we’ve been playing good teams and had a chance to win every game, so it’s been good to see,” Gordon California Angels Reggie Jackson Jersey said. “And I don’t even think we’re playing our best baseball right now. The pitching is doing great, but offensively we can do better. … A big series in Detroit coming up, rest up after this one, and get at ’em.”

MLB Notebook: Zito, Giants California Angels Reggie Jackson Jersey throwing zeros

In 1933, Giants southpaw Carl Hubbell posted a 1.66 ERA (the lowest in the National League since 1917), finished with a 0.982 WHIP (the lowest in the league since 1920) and recorded 10 shutouts (the highest tally in the NL since 1916). Three of those shutouts came within the Giants’ first 18 games, when the sight of Hubbell on the mound for New York was fairly common.

After starting the Giants’ first game of the year and going the first 11 innings in what turned out to be a 1-1 tie, Hubbell picked up a (retroactive) save two days later, and two days after that, he tossed a four-hit shutout with 13 strikeouts against the Braves. On three days’ rest, he then threw another four-hit shutout, this one against the Dodgers. A win in relief, a loss as a starter and another save came over an eight-day span which bled into early May, and then on May 7, Hubbell threw yet another gem.ggie Jackson Jersey.

With a five-hitter helping the Giants to a 1-0 win and an 11-6 record for the year, Hubbell had his third shutout of the still-very-young season. No pitcher had accomplished that feat (three shutouts through so few team games) since Dutch Leonard in 1916, giving Hubbell yet another mark of notoriety in a superb campaign.

Barry Zito allowed five hits in seven scoreless innings and picked up his third win as the Giants blanked the Padres, 5-0, on Sunday. The Giants improved to 12-7 with the victory, which also happened to be their fifth team shutout of the year.

In three of his four starts this season, Zito has finished with seven scoreless innings. He is the second Giants pitcher since 1916 to have — through 19 team games — at least three outings with that many innings and no runs allowed. In 1933, Hubbell had three. Zito is one of 17 pitchers to do it. Two hurlers — the Orioles’ Dave McNally in 1972 and the Dodgers’ Fernando Valenzuela in 1981 — each had four. Like Hubbell’s three, each of the four for McNally and Valenzuela were shutouts.ReReggie Jackson Jersey Sale.

With five team shutouts through 19 team games, the Giants are the ninth NL club since 1916 to have that many. The others: the 1918 Giants, the 1941 Dodgers, the 1963 Cardinals, the 1968 Mets, the 1971 Giants, the 1985 Dodgers, the 1993 Braves and the 2011 Phillies.

Arencibia and Buck
Toronto’s J.P. Arencibia hit his seventh home run of the season on Sunday, as did his former Blue Jays teammate, the Mets’ John Buck.

Arencibia’s seven have come in 19 team games. Since 1916, he is one of 14 catchers to have that many. Gabby Harnett (1925), Yogi Berra (1956) and Todd Hundley (1996) each had eight. The rest had seven: Jimmie Foxx (1935), Roy Campanella (1953), Sherm Lollar (1955), Johnny Bench (1971), Gary Carter (1977 and ’88), Dale Murphy (1979), Mike Piazza (1998), Jorge Posada (2004) and Buck (2013).

Buck’s seven have come in 17 team games. The others catchers to do that (since 1916): Harnett (1925) and Berra (1956), with eight apiece; Lollar (1955), Carter (1977), Hundley (1996) and Posada (2004).

Reds California Angels Reggie Jackson Jersey
The Reds defeated the Marlins, 10-6, on Sunday, with leadoff hitter Shin-Soo Choo going 2-for-2 with a walk and two hit-by-pitches, and No. 3 hitter Joey Votto going 3-for-5 with his second home run in as many games. Choo owns a .523 on-base percentage, and Votto is at .522.

In the past 40 seasons, there have been 49 players who entered May with at least 75 plate appearances and an on-base percentage of at least .500. Barry Bonds in 2004 owns the top mark among these 49, with a .696 on-base percentage (25 hits, 39 walks, no hit-by-pitches or sac flies in 92 plate appearances). Four Reds players are on this list: Joe Morgan (.551 in 1975), Pete Rose (.541 in 1976), Adam Dunn (.538 in 2004) and Votto (.504 in 2011).Los Angeles Angels Reggie Jackson Jersey.

The Royals — who are in first place in the American League Central — took both ends of a doubleheader against the Red Sox at Fenway Park on Sunday, winning the first game, 4-2, and taking the second game in 10 innings, 5-4. The Royals had last swept a doubleheader against the Red Sox on Aug. 12, 1986, and last did it in Boston on May 31, 1971.

Clint Barmes drove in a pair of runs with a pair of singles, helping Pittsburgh to a 4-2 win over the Braves on Sunday. The Pirates — who have won nine of 12 — had seen Barmes open his season 1-for-13 with two walks with runners in scoring position (the one hit did not drive in a run).

Pirates pitchers fanned 13 batters in the win, giving the club its sixth double-digit strikeout game of the season and its second straight game with 13 K’s.

The six through 18 games is the second most for the Pirates since 1916, eclipsed only by the seven from the 1999 team.

Before this two-game stretch, the Pirates had last fanned 13 or more in back-to-back games in 2011. The only other time since 1916 they did it was in 2004. This streak, unlike the other two, saw the Pirates win both games.

The Rangers — led by starter Justin Grimm’s nine strikeouts — fanned 11 Mariners in an 11-3 victory on Sunday. The strikeout total marked the sixth time this season the club has reached double digits. Those six through 18 games ties this team with the 2010 Rangers for the most in franchise history.

Red Sox California Angels Reggie Jackson Jersey

In both ends of their doubleheader against the Royals, the Red Sox’s staff reached double digits in strikeouts (10 in the first game and then 12 in the second). These two give Boston 11 games with 10 or more strikeouts this season — the most in the Majors. The 11 through 18 team games are — by far — the most for any Red Sox club since at least 1916 (the previous high was six), and the most for any team through that many games since 1916. Before 2013, the highest tally had been nine, by the 1990 Mets and the 2012 Yankees.

The Red Sox own the second-most K’s in the AL, with their 178 one behind the Tigers. Both teams have played 18 games. Last season, Rays pitchers — who set a new AL record with 1,383 strikeouts for the season — had accumulated 115 through their first 18 games.

The Brewers defeated the Cubs, 4-2, on Sunday for the club’s seventh straight win. During the winning streak, the team ERA is 3.09. In the team’s first 10 games — when Milwaukee went 2-8 — the team ERA was 5.20.

The Angels defeated the Tigers, 4-3, in 13 innings on Sunday, getting a walk-off home run from Mark Trumbo. Trumbo’s 425-foot shot was his fourth career game-ending home run, tying him with Jim Fregosi and Leroy Stanton for the third most in franchise history. Tim Salmon had six, and Brian Downing had five.Angels Reggie Jackson Jersey.

Clubs California Angels Reggie Jackson Jersey celebrate Earth Day across baseball

John California Angels Reggie Jackson Jersey Keats wrote that “the poetry of earth is never dead.” Monday is an opportunity for all of us around Major League Baseball — and the planet — to inspire its lasting verse.

It is Earth Day, the 43rd anniversary of an event born of environmental anger in 1970, and a time to take stock of one’s individual role in protecting this third rock. MLB and its 30 clubs mark this occasion in many ways, so expect to see such demonstrations as recycling drives and recycling-related trivia on scoreboards, a carbon-neutral game in Boston, a ceremonial first pitch from an Environmental Protection Agency executive and rain gauge giveaways in Minnesota.Angels Reggie Jackson Jersey.

These are just some of the extensive yearlong green efforts now institutionalized within the culture of each Major League club, part of the overall MLB Greening Program.

“I am very proud that our 30 clubs have demonstrated a wide-ranging commitment to sustainable practices,” Commissioner Bud Selig said, “and we will continue to strive to set a positive example for all those who love our game.”

The first Earth Day led to the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts. In Washington, the Nationals, the EPA and Coca-Cola have collaborated to highlight a number of elements for the 7:05 p.m. ET game against St. Louis.

Nationals fans will see a prerecorded “Earth Day Welcome” video highlighting Earth Day, the EPA and recycling with Mathy Stanislaus, assistant administrator in the EPA Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response. There will be pregame recycling-related trivia, a recycling public service announcement from Coke and pregame ceremonies devoted to Earth Day.

EPA acting administrator Bob Perciasepe will throw out the ceremonial first pitch and Shawn Garvin, administrator for EPA’s mid-Atlantic region, will deliver the lineup card. One lucky section will be chosen to receive 400 Nationals/Coca-Cola T-shirts that read “Give It Back!” — the same ones volunteers from green non-profit organizations will wear in the aisles — at the end of the second inning, and the EPA will staff the Community Clubhouse, educating fans about Earth Day and recycling. Los Angeles Angels Reggie Jackson Jersey.

When the A’s visit the Red Sox at 6:35 p.m. ET, it will be designated as a carbon-neutral game in Boston. The Red Sox are purchasing renewable energy credits from New England-based projects to offset emissions generated in this game. The EPA’s New England region will provide 40 volunteers for the Poland Spring Green Team at this game, part of a larger overall Fenway Greening program.

“As stewards of such a storied venue we recognize our unique position and ability to raise public consciousness about important issues,” Red Sox chairman Tom Werner said. “Our decision to enhance the ballpark’s environmental attributes is one born out of a sense of personal responsibility and professional duty. For us, this announcement marks some of the first steps in an ongoing process to make America’s most beloved and oldest ballpark also one of America’s greenest.”

The first 10,000 fans at the Twins’ 7:10 p.m. CT home game against the Marlins will receive a Twins Rain Gauge presented by Pentair, and there will be other Earth Day-related themes heading into this game. Minnesota’s extensive green efforts are detailed on their “Go Twins, Go Green” page.

Through aggressive recycling and waste-to-energy programs, the Twins kept more than 2,559 tons of waste out of local landfills in 2011 and ’12. They reported that 1,333 tons of trash have been sent to the Hennepin Energy Recovery Center, 956 tons of waste have been recycled from Target Field, and 260 tons of organic materials have been composted and diverted from landfills.ggie Jackson Jersey.

This year, the Twins are seeking help from their fans in increasing the amount of recycled organic materials, further reducing the amount of waste produced at Target Field.

The Reds open a home series against the Cubs at 7:10 p.m. ET, and their efforts for Earth Day were highlighted by a fourth annual PNC/Players for the Planet E-Waste Recycling Drive that spanned various regional sites from Friday through Sunday.

In conjunction with Cohen Recycling and many of Cincinnati’s leading corporations, this drive provided an easy way for Reds fans and residents of Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky to recycle old electronics. The first 200 cars at each event received two View Level tickets to an upcoming Reds game this season, while supplies lasted.

The Phillies’ Red California Angels Reggie Jackson Jersey Goes Green program grows stronger each year, and their fourth annual front office employee Earth Day Cleanup of Franklin Delano Roosevelt Park — part of Philadelphia Parks and Recreation — took place on April 15. That was a day after the club partnered with the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society to give away 150 free trees to fans.

On Earth Day, the Phillies are announcing the second year of their Home Runs for Trees program. This program is a partnership with PHS and Aramark. For each home run hit by a Phillies player this season — home or away — a tree will be planted as part of PHS’s Plant One Million campaign.

The Phillies agreed to purchase more than 22 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of Renewable Energy Credits, matching 100 percent of their electricity usage with wind and solar generation. This is the sixth calendar year the Phillies have made this commitment.

ReReggie Jackson Jersey Sale.The Cardinals will host their fourth annual Green Week (#4aGreenerGame) starting Monday, with activities designed to promote recycling, both inside and outside of Busch Stadium.

For starters, they will host an electronics recycling and general donations drive in collaboration with MERS/Goodwill, from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. CT. Fans may drop off unused or unwanted electronic equipment at trailers in the Lot C parking lot, located at the corner of 8th Street and Cerre Street, immediately south of I-64/40. Fans who donate receive a voucher good for half off Cardinals tickets, and further details are listed on the Cards’ website.

The EPA’s Food Recovery Challenge asks organizations to find alternatives to throwing away food, which will reduce the amount going to landfills. When food decomposes in landfills, it becomes a source of greenhouse gas emissions. Together, the Cardinals and Delaware North Companies have diverted more than 27 tons of unused food from Busch Stadium concessions stands to Operation Food Search since 2010, and the EPA will recognize the Cardinals and Delaware North in an April 29 on-field ceremony.

The Rays open a three-game series against the Yankees in conjunction with an Earth Day celebration. Fans were able to purchase a discounted Earth Day seat in the Press Level Reserved and receive a Tampa Bay Watch/Rays hat for $35 (a $56 value), with proceeds of each Earth Day ticket benefiting the “Break A Bat, Plant A Ball” program.

In Seattle, the Mariners — American League recycling champions by MLB for 2012 — made an Earth Day-related announcement last week in their joint news release with BASF about a season-long environmental awareness program called Sustainable Saturdays, part of their overall sustainability initiative. Mariners ace Felix Hernandez is a key part of the campaign, encouraging fans to compost at home, and the club will give away more than 10,000 “kitchen catchers” at a late-season game. The countertop compost bins featuring King Felix will urge fans to “Strike Out the Landfill.”

Thanks in part to BASF-sponsored zero-waste stations throughout the concourse, the Mariners and their fans already divert more than 86 percent of game-day waste away from local landfills through recycling of plastic bottles and composting of food waste and food service items.

“BASF is proud to support the Mariners and Sustainable Saturdays,” said Chris Bradlee, BASF’s North American biopolymers-market development manager. “From BASF’s perspective, this kind of sponsorship connects directly to the company’s purpose of creating chemistry for a sustainable future.”

The Rockies’ Games of Green initiative features 19 games this season, with players and fans enlisted to make a positive impact on the environment. The next one is Tuesday night, when Atlanta is at Coors Field.

Fans can buy a $25 Green Pack for the Green Games to get two tickets, with $5 from each pack sold going toward the Green Fund and “Wood for Wood” program, which plants one tree in the Denver area for every Rockies home run hit during these 19 games.