Pedro Alvarez of the Pirates is one of the streakiest hitters in baseball. After homering just four times in April, Alvarez already has launched six bombs in May in 35 fewer plate appearances. In May, his OPS is nearly 300 points higher, and he's managed to do that with nearly identical strikeout and walk rates. Alvarez has hit some titanic homers as well, with the average distance of his blasts sitting at 404.7 feet, an above average mark that has him in the same company as teammates Starling Marte, Russell Martin, and Andrew McCutchen. While he's not the superstar many expected when Pittsburgh drafted him second overall in 2008, he's still a contributor at the very least.
PIC OF THE DAY
This is what Angel Pagan looks like sliding into home on a walkoff inside the parker. (Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports)
Game of the Day: Giants 6, Rockies 5 (ten innings). The Rockies jumped out to a 4-0 lead, blitzing Barry Zito over the first four innings of the game. The Giants roared back with four runs of their own in the sixth and seventh, tying the game after Andres Torres doubled in Brandon Belt. The game eventually went into extras, and Troy Tulowitzki put Colorado in front following a solo homer. Then, Angel Pagan did this, and the Giants came away winners.
Pitching Lines of the Day: Mike Minor dominated the Mets in a 6-0 Braves win, allowing three hits over 7 1/3 shutout innings, striking out ten and walking two. He also went 2/4 at the dish with a two-run homer that put Atlanta on the board in the fifth inning. The Braves also knocked off the Mets 7-5 in ten innings in the completion of their suspended game from Friday night. Jake Peavy allowed one run on six hits in nine innings for the White Sox in their 2-1 win over Miami, walking two and striking out five. Jeff Locke of the Pirates pitched well in Pittsburgh's 5-2 win over Milwaukee, giving up three hits in six scoreless frames, striking out seven and walking three. Derek Holland dominated the Mariners in a 5-2 Texas win, allowing two unearned runs on four hits in 6 2/3 innings, walking three and striking out ten.
Hitting Lines of the Day: Jason Castro had a solid game for the Astros in their 11-5 loss to the A's, going 3/4 with three RBI and two homers. Meanwhile for Oakland, Josh Donaldson went 4/4 with two runs, two RBI, a walk, a double, and a homer. Light-hitting Everth Cabrera had himself a day for the Padres in their 10-4 win over the Diamondbacks, going 3/5 with two runs, four RBI, a double, a homer, and a stolen base. The aforementioned Pedro Alvarez went 2/3 with three RBI, two homers, and a walk for the Pirates, while Carlos Gomez went 2/3 with a walk and a pair of solo homers for the Brewers. Adrian Gonzalez did well for the Dodgers in their 5-3 win over the Cardinals, going 3/3 with three RBI, two walks, a double, and a homer.
Other Games: The Orioles edged the Blue Jays 6-5. The Red Sox beat the Indians 7-4, and newly recalled shortstop Jose Iglesias had three hits. The Angels shut out the Royals 7-0 behind the arm of former Royal farmhand Billy Buckner. The Twins edged the Tigers 3-2. The Yankees beat the Rays 4-3 in 11 after Fernando Rodney blew yet another save for Tampa Bay. The Reds rode a four-run sixth to a 5-2 win over the Cubs. The Phillies rallied late to beat the Nationals 5-3.
Today's Games: Matt Garza makes his second start for the Cubs this season against Johnny Cueto of the Reds. Max Scherzer starts for the Tigers, hosting the Twins. Cole Hamels takes on Stephen Strasburg in Washington. CC Sabathia will duel with Alex Cobb in Tampa. Wandy Rodriguez and Yovani Gallardo will face off in Milwaukee. Matt Cain and the Giants host the Rockies. Shelby Miller and Clayton Kershaw will battle in another awesome matchup. Pat Corbin and the Diamondbacks host the Padres. Hisashi Iwakuma starts for the Mariners against the Rangers. Julio Teheran starts for the Braves against the disappointing Shaun Marcum.
Enjoy your day of baseball, and happy Memorial Day weekend, everyone.