Monday, September 24, 2007

Indians, Angels clinch; Cubs open daylight in NL Central

American League Oakland 2 Cleveland 6 - The Indians became the first AL team to clinch their division, their first since 2001, as Grady Sizemore (right) went 4-4 and drove in a pair of runs. Jake Westbrook earned the win, striking out a career-high 9 in 7 2/3 innings. Westbrook, who missed much of the season with injuries, completes what may be the most potent starting four pitchers in the AL, including Paul Byrd (15-7), Cy Young candidate C. C. Sabathia (18-7) and rookie Fausto Carmona (18-8). Seattle 4 LA Angels 7 - Shortly after Cleveland clinched, the Angels did the same in the AL West, topping Seattle in their final home game. The Angels have the best home record in the majors, at 54-27, and play their final 6 games at Texas and Oakland. Though the Angels have already wrapped up the division, those games, and those final games for Cleveland, still have meaning, as the race for the best record in the league, and home field advantage in the playoffs, is still up for grabs. Who wants it most is a vexing question, as the top AL team will play the wild card entry, which is looking more and more like the New York Yankees, one of the hottest teams in the majors since late May. All three division leaders have 92 wins. The Angels and Red Sox have just 6 games left. Cleveland has 7 remaining. John Lackey (18-9) got the win in the clincher for LA, allowing 2 earned runs on 7 hits over 7 innings, fanning 7. Toronto 5 NY Yankees 7 - New York kept pace with the Red Sox, still 1 1/2 back, as Mike Mussina won his third straight, giving up 3 runs on 7 hits over 7 innings. The Yankees still need any combination of two wins or two Tiger losses to wrap up the wild card. Other AL Scores Kansas City 2 Detroit 7 Boston 4 Tampa Bay 5 Chi White Sox 1 Minnesota 7 Baltimore 0 Texas 3 National League Pittsburgh 0 Chi Cubs 8 - Carlos Zambrano (17-13) (right) hurled six innings of shutout ball and Derek Lee drove in 3 runs with a double and his 20th home run (a 2-run shot), leading the Cubs to their 4th straight win and a 3 1/2-game lead in the NL Central race. With Milwaukee losing their second straight at Atlanta, Chicago's path t o the playoffs will go through Florida and Cincinnati, where they play a pair of 3-game series to close out the season. Their magic number reduced to 4, the Cubs hope to clinch the division before the weekend in order to rest their starting pitchers. NY Mets 7 Florida 6, 11 innings - The Mets' bullpen failed again,
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allowing Florida to tie the game with 2 runs in the 8th and one in the ninth before the Mets finally ended it on David Wright's single in the 11th, which sent Jose Reyes home with the winning run. New York improved their lead to 2 1/2 games over the Phillies and reduced their magic number to 5. Colorado 7 San Diego 3 - The Rockies gained on everybody, as Philly and Arizona both lost with Colorado drawing to 1 1/2-games of wild card leader San Diego. The Rockies are also just 4 back of Arizona, and while there are only 6 games left, the final 3 games for Arizona are at Colorado. Other NL Scores Philadelphia 3 Washington 5 Milwaukee 4 Atlanta 7 Cincinnati 4 San Francisco 5 LA Dodgers 7 Arizona 1 Houston 3 St. Louis 4

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