Take one snap shot of Major League Baseball this season, and you are sure to see news makers with south Louisiana ties. Monday night was a prime example.
Ryan Theriot hit a two-run shot for his third homer in four games, leading the Chicago Cubs to a 4-2 win over San Francisco. The former LSU shortstop entered the month with seven career homers, never more than three in a season.
In Fridayâ€™s 8-6 victory over Florida, the Cubs' leading hitter with a .323 average ended a streak of 620 at-bats without a homer by hitting his first career grand slam.
More importantly, Theriot has established himself as Chicago's everyday shortstop and a fan favorite. And the Baton Rouge native is part of Chicago's very familiar double play duo from the 2000 LSU College World Series team.
Mike Fontenot, who took the night off on Monday, is enjoying his first season has the Cubs' regular second baseman. After a slow start, the former first rounder (2001) by the Baltimore Orioles has seen his batting average climb to .266 and has hit 5 home runs. The Slidell native is on pace to easily surpass his previous career high of 119 games played, set last season.
Colorado's Brad Hawpe, the 2000 MVP in Omaha, continues his fine play as the Rockies right fielder. Hawpe went 2-for-4 Monday night with 2 RBI in Colorado's 9-7 win at San Diego. The lefty slugger is batting .313 and is back to health after suffering a neck contusion when Padres catcher Nick Hundley hit him with a throw on a pick-off attempt at second base on April 27.
Brian Tallet, the ace of the Bengal Tigers in 2000, is trying to establish himself as a starter with Toronto. In the Blue Jays' 9-7 loss to Cleveland in 12 innings last night, the lanky 6-7 lefty gave up 3 earned runs in 7 innings of work. It was his third solid start out of 4 outings in the rotation.
Rickie Weeks of Milwaukee hit a tiebreaking, three-run homer in the ninth inning to help the Brewers rally for a 7-4 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates. A former 1st rounder (2nd pick) out of Southern back in 2003, Weeks looks primed for his best season at the plate in the big leagues. The second baseman has hit 6 home runs in 25 games and is slugging .480.
Another Baton Rouge-native, Jonathan Papelbon, pitched 1 2-3 innings for his seventh save for Boston, striking out Robinson Cano with the bases loaded to finish the Red Sox 6-4 win over the New York Yankees. The former Mississippi State hurler continues to shine as one of baseball's elite closers.
It was just another night in the bigs - and a less than full slate of games at that. But the local influence on the game was in full effect.
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