Monday, April 28, 2008
Rays Sweep BoSox on Shields Shutout; Phillips Bombs Giants
Players of the Day from Sunday, April 27 2008 American League Over the weekend, the Tampa Bay Rays accomplished what many considered to be unthinkable - they swept a 3-game series from the World Champion Boston Red Sox. After winning 5-4 on Friday and 2-1 on Saturday, third-year starter James Shields took the mound for the Rays and essentially took the bats out of the Red Sox's hands, firing a complete-game, 2-hit shutout for a 3-0 win over Boston. Shields (3-1 this season and 21-17 career) walked one and struck out 7, overshadowing Josh Beckett's 13 K effort for the Sox. Tampa scored single runs in the 3rd, 7th and 8th innings, all but one of them earned. The sweep put the Rays - winners of 6 straight - in a three-way tie for first place in the AL East with Baltimore and Boston. Notes: The Red Sox have dropped five straight and are 3-8 against AL East foes, while the Rays are 11-6 and the Yankees 9-6. In the West, the Angels and A's are locked into a first place tie at 16-10. Both teams are determined road warriors, with the A's 8-3 and the Angels 10-5 away from home. Yankees' starter Chien-Ming Wang became the first 5-game winner in the AL, with a 7-inning whitewash of Chicago on Sunday. Wang allowed 4 hits and walked 2 while striking out 9 in the 1-0 win. National League Last season, Brandon Phillips socked 30 home runs for the Reds, and the way he's going, he'll likely surpass that number in 2008. On Saturday, Phillips smoked a pair of homers, singled, scored three times and drove in three as the Reds pummeled San Francisco, 10-1, putting up a 10-spot for the second straight day. The Reds' booming bats were a bit of overkill, as Edinson Volquez, set the Giants down on on 5 hits and one earned run while fanning 10 over 7 innings, winning his 4th game without a loss. Volquez has been a fantasy delight this season with his ERA and WHIP both at 1.23. Notes: San Fran's loss was their second straight and 6th straight by starter Barry Zito (0-6). Elsewhere in the West, Arizona kept a 6-game lead over LA, as Brandon Webb outdueled San Diego's Jake Peavy for a 2-1 victory. Webb leads the majors at 6-0.