GLENDALE — The following are updates on area Major League Baseball players.
Freddy Sanchez (Glendale Community College, 1998) Pittsburgh Pirates second baseman: New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez may have nabbed more headlines for his five-for-five day at the plate against his former team, the Texas Rangers, on Monday, but the most impressive Memorial Day hitting display belonged to Sanchez.
The former Vaquero went six for six in Pittsburgh’s 10-8 win over the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field Monday, scoring four times, driving in three runs and falling a triple short of hitting for the cycle.
It was the first six-hit game for a Pirate since Wally Backman pulled off the feat in 1990 and Sanchez is the second player to collect six hits in a game this season after Texas’ Ian Kinsler did it on April 25.
“Obviously it felt good,” Sanchez, who entered the game fighting through an eight-for 45 slump, told mlb.com. “It’s tough to get hits in this game and you just want to keep it going when you can. I didn’t want to swing at anything just to get a hit. I wanted to see a good pitch and try to get some hits tonight.”
Sanchez, who also swiped his fourth base of the year, clubbed his fourth home run of the season in the top of the fourth, a two-run job that scored Jack Wilson and gave the Pirates a 6-4 lead.
The Cubs reclaimed the lead with three runs in the bottom of the fourth, but Pittsburgh went back up, 8-7, in the top of the sixth on a home run by Nate McLouth with Sanchez aboard.
Sanchez gave the Pirates some insurance in the top of the seventh with an infield single that scored Nyjer Morgan for a 10-7 lead.
Sanchez, who is batting .326 with 16 runs batted in and 30 runs scored and is currently second in the National League with 18 extra-base hits, told mlb.com on Monday that he decided over the weekend to shorten up his swing to take advantage of what pitchers were giving him.
The change seems to be paying immediate dividends, as Sanchez rapped out two hits on Sunday and followed up his big day Monday by starting off Tuesday’s game against the Cubs two for three before a rain delay hit in the sixth inning.
Brandon McCarthy (Former Glendale resident) Texas Rangers starting pitcher: McCarthy pitched the first complete game of his five-year career on Sunday in a 5-0 blanking of the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park.
The 6-foot-7 right-hander allowed nine hits, walked just one and struck out six to improve to 4-2 on the season with is first win since May 2.
Since allowing seven runs in four innings on May 7 against the Oakland Athletics, McCarthy has gone at least seven innings in his last three outings, lowering his earned-run average from 6.10 to 4.67.
Texas, which was 26-18 as of Wednesday, is currently in first place in the American League West Division.
Mark Loretta (St. Francis High, 1989) Los Angeles Dodgers infielder: Since going three for five with three RBIs in his last start, a 12-5 win May 17 at the Florida Marlins, Loretta has gone 0 for four with one walk in his last five pinch-hit appearances.
Loretta has been a valuable commodity off the bench for the National League West-leading Dodgers, who own baseball’s best record, 32-15. He is batting .444 (eight for 18) as a pinch hitter with three RBIs and .333 overall with seven RBIs and nine runs scored.
GABRIEL RIZK covers sports. He can be reached at (818) 637-3226 or at email@example.com.