Friday, April 18, 2008

Ramirez Powers BoSox into First; Jones, Smoltz Lead Rout of Marlins

Players of the Day for Thursday, April 17, 2008 American League Manny Ramirez blasted a pair of homers, drove in three runs and scored three times in Boston's 7-5 win at New York, boosting the BoSox into sole possession of first place in the AL East, a -half-game ahead the
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Orioles and one in front of the Yankees. Ramirez hit a solo shot in the second inning, his first at-bat, a two run shot in the 3rd the next time he was at the plate and singled and scored in the 5th, finishing 3-for-5. Ramirez, who hit only 20 homers last season, already has 5 this year and is just five short of 500 for his career. Notes: Home cookin'. Baltimore is 7-2 at home, but just 2-4 on the road. Other than the O's, only Boston, the Yankees, Seattle and Chicago have better than .500 home records in the AL. National League Chipper Jones (left) belted a pair of solo home runs, doubled and singled in four at-bats, driving in 3 and scoring 3 runs in Atlanta's 8-0 drubbing of Florida. By the time Jones had done his damage at the plate, John Smoltz (right) and the Braves were up 6-0, so Smoltz, who allowed only 3 hits and struck out 10, was relieved after completing the fifth inning, earning the win. Smoltz is now 3-0, accounting for half of Atlanta's wins, with an ERA of 0.56 and a WHIP of 1.00. Notes: Ken Griffey Jr. slugged his 596th career home run and third of the season in Cincy's 9-2 thrashing of the Cubs. Colorado's 22-inning, 2-1 win at San Diego was the longest game - by innings - since 1993. It lasted 6 hours and 16 minutes, the longest by far in the majors this season.

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