Thursday, August 15, 2013

Alfonso Soriano's Beat Down of the Angels

Yankees fans who watched Alfonso Soriano embark on a promising career his first time around with the team hoped to see some of the same excitement when the 37-yr old return at this year's trade deadline. Soriano obliged on Tuesday and Wednesday when he knocked in a ridiculous 13 RBI in two games vs. the Los Angeles Angels.

In Tuesday night's 14-7 Yankees win, Soriano hit a 2-run home run in the 5th inning, added an RBI single, and then iced the cake with a 3-run blast in the 7th. The six RBI were a career high for the native of the Dominican Republic. That career high lasted all  of one day.

Wednesday's 9-3 shellacking of Jered Weaver and the Angels saw Soriano reach a new height. It began with a grand slam in the bottom of the first after Weaver had retired the first two batters he faced. But the first hit of Robinson Cano's 4-4 night, a double by Alex Rodriguez and a walk to Curtis Granderson walk set the stage for the left fielder.

He added a 2-run double an inning later and led off the 5th inning with a solo home run. He was a combined 6-9 with four home runs, a double, and even a walk in the last two games of the four games series. (Concludes with a 1:05 PM EDT start on Thursday.) The hot streak pumped up Soriano's Yankees' OPS to .858 and his slugging to .606 since his return on August 2.

The grand salami was the fifth of Soriano's career and landed in Monument Park. It was his first bases loaded whack with the Yankees since he hit a pair in the 2003 season. The 13 RBI in two consecutive games are the second highest total in franchise history. Hall of Fame second baseman Tony Lazzeri had 15 RBI with an American League record 11 in one game.

Ivan Nova appreciated some run support for a change on a night he didn't have his best stuff. He still managed to go 7.1 innings and lowered his ERA to 2.99 to go along with a 6-4 record. He's allowed 11 earned runs over 52.1 innings in his last seven starts (1.90 ERA) and is, in effect, the Yankees number two starter right now.

A-Rod finished the night 1-4 and is 8-31 with a slash line of .258/.343/.419. He's hit one home run, driven in four runs, and scored three, and has been pretty solid defensively. The mixed response from the crowd has been no different so far and will be nothing compared to what A-Rod will experience this weekend in Boston.

Derek Jeter took part in some drills on Wednesday and will fly down to Tampa today (Thursday) to continue his rehab from a calf injury. He's eligibile, but won't be activated for the Red Sox series.

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