Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Yanks cruise; Mets sputter; Braun leads Brewers to first place

American League Baltimore 0 NY Yankees 12 - The Yankees continue to close ground on the Boston Red Sox, and with Detroit's loss, have virtually guaranteed themselves a spot in the post-season, with a 4 1/2-game lead on Detroit. With 11 games remaining, that puts the Yanks' magic number for clinching the wild card spot at 6, though they're clearly aiming for the AL East crown, now just 2 1/2 games behind Boston. That's the closest the Yankees have been since April. Last night's Baltimore blitz was a personal triumph for Mike Mussina who has rebounded from four straight horrific starts with a pair of September wins. Mussina blanked his former team on 3 hits over 7 innings, walking one while striking out six. Boston 3 Toronto 4 - With the Yankees breathing down their backs, Boston's bullpen can't seem to close out games. Eric Gagne gave up 3 runs on 2 hits and 3 walks in the 8th inning as the Red Sox dropped their 3rd straight. Detroit 4 Cleveland 7 - Travis Hafner (right) unknotted a 4-4 tie in the 6th inning with a massive 3-run blast to center field, giving the Indians their second straight win in the showdown series with the Tigers. Cleveland's now opened up a 6 1/2 game lead on Detroit and has a clear view of the AL Central title. Last night's win reduced their magic number to 5. Tampa Bay 1 LA Angels 2 - John Lackey appears to be ready for the post-season. On Tuesday, he struck out 10 and allowed just one earned run on five hits over eight innings, improving to 17-9. The Angels should have the AL West clinched by the weekend. Their magic number is down to 4. Other AL Scores Texas 2 Minnesota 4 Chi White Sox 2 Kansas City 3 Seattle 8 Oakland 7 National League Philadelphia 7 St. Louis 4, 14 innings - The Phillies won their 6th straight, while the Mets dropped their 5th in a row, and closed to within 1 1/2 games of the NL East leaders. Both St. Louis and Philly empties their benches in this one, with the Cardinals using 11 pitchers. Jayson Werth put the game away with a 2-run triple after Chase Utley had already scored the go-ahead run. NY Mets 8 Washington 9 - The Mets can't seem to hold onto a lead as the season winds towards a conclusion. On Tuesday, they blew leads of 4-0 and 7-3, losing their 5th straight and second in a row to the lowly Nationals. After having led the division by as many as 7 1/2 games, are the Mets going to choke? Sure looks like it. Milwaukee 9 Houston 1 - Jhonny Estrada smacked a grand slam and rookie sensation Ryan Braun (right) cranked out his 31st home run, driving in two, as the Brewers used four home runs to bury the Astros and regain a tie for first place with the Cubs. LA Dodgers 1 Colorado 3 LA Dodgers 8 Colorado 9 - The road to the NL West title and probably the wild card slot is going straight through Colorado. The Rockies kept their playoff hopes alive with a doubleheader sweep of the Dodgers, dropping them into a 3rd place tie, 5 1/2 games behind Arizona. The Rockies have two more games with LA, then travel to San Diego and Los Angeles for a pair of 3-game series before ending the season with a 3-game set at home with Arizona. San Francisco 0 Arizona 5 - Micah Owings hurled a 2-hit complete game shutout to improve to 7-8 and keep the Diamondbacks a game ahead of San Diego in the division. Owings struck out 4 and walked 1 in his best performance of the season. Other NL Scores Florida 3 Atlanta 4 Cincinnati 5 Chi Cubs 2 - Padres has won 5 straight Pittsburgh 3 San Diego 5

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