Saturday, April 12, 2008
Pena Blasts Rays Past O's; Hudson is Lights Out for Braves
Players of the Day for Friday, April 11, 2008 American League If you're looking for action, look no further than the AL East. While the Yankees and Red Sox squared off in Beantown, the division-leading Orioles were visiting Tampa Bay, where Carlos Pena was making life difficult for Baltimore pitchers. Pena homered in the first and the seventh innings, a two-run and a three-run shot, respectively, drawing the Rays and O's even at 5-5. But, when the slugger came up with the bases loaded in the 8th, he walked, forcing in the game-winning run. Tampa tacked on four more for a 10-5 win, but clearly Pena was a force with which the O's could not reckon. In five plate appearances, Pena homered twice and walked twice. The two dingers gave him the AL lead, at 5, and his 6 RBI also tied him for AL top honors with Toronto's Vernon Wells, at 12. Notes: Chien-Ming Wang became the first AL pitcher to record 3 wins, hurling the Yankees past Boston, 4-1, with a complete-game, two-hit effort. Wang didn't walk a batter and the only run came on a J.D. Drew 5th inning bomb. National League Known for its versatile and successful pitching staff, Tim Hudson is making Bobby Cox and Leo Mazzoni proud these days. On Friday night, the veteran pitched one of his best games ever, allowing just 3 hits and 2 walks over 8 innings in a 3-0 blanking of the Washington Nationals. Hudson stuck out 5 and got 12 more outs on ground balls, needing only 96 pitches (64 for strikes) to get his 2nd win of the season against no losses. Hudson's 2.14 ERA is nice, but the 0.67 WHIP over 21 innings thus far in the season, is eye-catching. Notes: Still streaking. Hudson's shutout over Washington was the Nats' 8th straight loss. Out West, Arizona improved to 8-2 and a 2 1/2-game lead in the division with their 7th straight win, an 8-2 romp over Colorado.