GLENDALE — The following are updates on area Major League Baseball players.
Freddy Sanchez (Glendale Community College, 1998) Pittsburgh Pirates second baseman: Sanchez, a two-time All-Star selection and the 2006 National League batting champion, hit his second career grand slam Saturday to help Pittsburgh pick up a 9-3 home win against the Detroit Tigers. Sanchez homered in the fourth inning to give Pittsburgh an 8-2 lead after collecting a single in the third.
“We don’t hit many home runs, we’re more of a gap-to-gap team,” Sanchez, who leads the league with 22 doubles, told the Associated Press. “It just came at the right time. Hopefully, we can keep it going.”
Sanchez followed up Saturday’s effort with a pair of hits to spark the Pirates to a 6-3 win against the Tigers on Sunday. He had a bunt single in the first and a run-scoring single in the fourth to give Pittsburgh a 4-1 lead.
Sanchez has hit safely in seven of his last 10 games for the Pirates, who are 30-33 and tied for fifth place with the Houston Astros in the Central Division.
Entering today’s road game against the Minnesota Twins, Sanchez is batting a team-best .315 (78 for 248) with three triples, five home runs and 25 runs batted in. He’s scored 36 runs and stole four bases.
Gregg Zaun (St. Francis High, 1989) Baltimore Orioles catcher: Zaun hasn’t been starting lately for the Orioles with the call-up of much-ballyhooed prospect Matt Wieters. However, Zaun did contribute for Baltimore, which entered today’s home game against the New York Mets in last place in the tough American League East Division at 27-36, in its lopsided 11-2 win against the visiting Atlanta Braves on Sunday.
Zaun, who helped the Florida Marlins win the World Series in 1997, finished with two hits and scored one run Sunday. He posted singles in the second and third innings.
Through Sunday, Zaun is batting .209 (27 for 129) with one home run and five runs batted in. He’s hit safely in five of his last 10 games and scored four runs in that stretch.
Mark Loretta (St. Francis High, 1989) Los Angeles Dodgers infielder: The two-time All-Star and the Dodgers continue to shine in the National League’s West Division. The Dodgers are 42-22 in the division and sport the best record in baseball.
Loretta served as the team’s designated hitter Friday and Saturday during road games against the Texas Rangers. He had a single in the Dodgers’ 6-0 loss Friday before going hitless in three at-bats in Los Angeles’ 3-1 victory Saturday. Loretta scored a run on Matt Kemp’s two-run home run in the seventh to make it 3-1.
Entering today’s home game against the Oakland Athletics, Loretta is batting .240 (18 for 75) with three doubles and 10 runs batted in.
Doug Slaten (Glendale Community College, 1999) Arizona Diamondbacks relief pitcher: Slaten, a left-hander, hasn’t pitched for the Diamondbacks since May 26. He got one out in Arizona’s 6-5 win against the San Diego Padres.
In 10 appearances this season, Slaten is 0-0 with a 6.35 earned-run average. He’s struck out four and allowed four earned runs and eight hits in 5 2/3 innings.
Slaten is now pitching for the Reno Aces, who are the triple-A affiliate of the Diamondbacks. Slaten was optioned to Reno on May 29 when the Diamondbacks called up Daniel Schlereth, another left-haned pitcher who was playing for the Mobile BayBears.
CHARLES RICH covers sports. He can be reached at (818) 637-3228 or firstname.lastname@example.org.