Friday, May 18, 2007

Fausto Bedevils Twins, 2-0; Vlad Impales Mariners

Thursday's Peak Performers and Fabulous Flops American League Remember the name Fausto Carmona (right) because you're likely to be hearing it more often as the season progresses. On Thursday, Cleveland's Carmona 4-hit the Minnesota Twins, beating their ace, Johan Santana for the second time in a month and winning his 5th straight (5-1) with a complete game shutout, 2-0, in Cleveland. Over his last five starts, Carmona, who employs a nasty sinker almost exclusively at times, has gone at least 7 innings and allowed no more than 7 hits. Over that span of 38 innings, he's given up only 6 earned runs, dropping his season ERA to 2.55 and his WHIP to 1.14. Thursday's win catapulted the Indians back into first place as the Tigers dropped a pair in Boston and now trail the Tribe by 1 game. Minnesota is fading early, now 7 games off the pace in the AL Central. The 2-0 win also gave the Indians a 3-game sweep over the Twins, in which they outscored them 24-8. Jermaine Dye provided all the offense in the White Sox's 4-1 win over visiting New York. Dye doubled in a run in the 1st, hit a 2-run homer in the 3rd and plated another run with a sac fly in the 4th. That was more than enough for starter Jon Garland (3-2), who worked 7 innings, allowing just 1 run on 6 hits and 4 walks. Bobby Jenks finished with a hitless 9th inning for his 13th save. The Sox are 3 1/2 back of Cleveland in the AL Central. Sometimes, there's nothing a pitcher can do with Vladimir Guerrero (right) besides marvel at his enormous talent. Such was the case for Seattle starter Jarrod Washburn who gave up Vlad's 10th home run in the first - a two run shot - then a double in the 3rd to drive in another run, leading the Angels to a 7-3 road win and a 3-game lead over the Mariners and A's in the AL West. Guerrero finished 3-5, with 3 RBI and 2 runs scored. Besides being one of the most feared power hitters in the game, Guerrero is also batting a super .351, third in the AL. His 10 homers and 36 RBI are also currently good for third place. Triple Crown? If anybody can, Vlad's the man. Delmon Young cracked a pair of home runs - a 3-run shot in the 4th and a walk-off game winning 2-run blast in the 10th to pace the Tampa Bay Devil Rays to an 8-6 win over visiting Texas. The homers (#s 5 and 6 for Young) were Young's only hits in his 5 official at-bats. Other AL Scores Boston 2 Detroit 1 Boston 4 Detroit 2 - Red Sox, (28-12), 1st place AL East, 9 1/2-gm. lead Kansas City 7 Oakland 4 - KC takes 3 of 4 in Oakland National League Gabe Gross helped the Brewers avoid a 4-game sweep by the Phillies with a pair of solo home runs in Milwaukee's 3-2 win at Philadelphia, only the 2nd victory in 7 games for the Brewers, who have seen their lead in the NL Central shrinking of late, down to a reasonable 5 1/2 over Houston.
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With interleague play beginning today, the Brewers may be happy to welcome the struggling Minnesota Twins, losers of 3 straight and 8 of their last 10. Other NL Scores Pittsburgh 7 Florida 2 Washington 4 Atlanta 3 NY Mets 6 Chicago Cubs 5 - Mets score 5 in bot. 9th, lead NL East by 1 1/2 San Francisco 2 Houston 1, 12 innings Arizona 3 Colorado 1 Notes: Interleague play starts today, and while there are many detractors, I'm not one of them, as I enjoy seeing the two leagues square off in regional rivalries. Among the more interesting matchups this weekend are the Yankees at the Mets, the Dodgers at the Angels, White Sox at Cubs and Cincinnati at Cleveland. The interleague games will be reported here under our usual National and American League formats using the home teams in respective leagues. That way, you and I will both know who's using a DH and who isn't. (I still don't like the DH, regardless of my non-purist stance concerning Interleague play.)

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