Monday, May 5, 2008

BoSox Sweep Rays on Youkilis' 4 RBI; Chipper Jones has HOF Cred

Players of the Day from Sunday, May 4, 2008 American League Kevin Youkilis has been rock steady for the Red Sox since becoming a full-time starter in 2006. That year he batted .279. In 2007, the average was up to .288, and so far this season, he's poking out hits at a robust .308 clip. On Sunday, Youkilis led the Red Sox to a 3-game sweep over Tampa Bay with a 7-3 win over the Rays. This was a return f the favor, so to speak, of last week's sweep of Boston at Tampa.
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The best part for the BoSox is that they end up 3 games in front of the Rays, O's and Yankees in the AL East. Youkilis doubled twice, hit a solo home run, drove in four runs and scored twice in 4 at-bats on Sunday as the Sox finished off the sweep and laid claim to the top spot in the division. Notes: The Twins expanded their AL Central lead to 1 1/2 games over the White Sox (losers of five straight) with their 5th straight win and a three-game sweep of the Tigers in Minnesota. The Twins beat up on Detroit with 11-1, 4-1 and 7-6 wins. National League Might as well reserve a spot in Cooperstown for Chipper Jones, that is, if he ever decides to retire. Maybe his induction will be somewhere around 2015 or so. Jones is approaching some milestone figures. In his 14th year, all with Atlanta, he's played in 1923 games (2000 this season), has 395 homers and 1326 RBI. An RBI total of 1500 is almost an automatic for the Hall, and, barring injuries, Chipper should top that number by August of 2009. He's never hit less than 20 homers in any season, and has topped 30 nine times. On Sunday, Jones led the Braves to a sweep of the Reds in a 14-7 rout at Atlanta. Chipper went 3-for-6, with a double, his 9th home run of the season and five RBI, giving him 27 for the year, 4 behind Houston's Lance Berkman. Jones leads the majors with a .425 batting average and his 9 homers is third best in the NL. Her's hit safely in all but three games and earlier had a 13-game hitting streak. He's had 2 or more hits 15 times this season. Notes: Arizona finally lost their 10th game (21-10), but the Dodgers had their winning streak snapped at eight by Colorado as the Rockies knocked them down by a 7-2 score on Sunday, leaving the Dodgers 4 games behind the D-Backs in the West. St. Louis leads the Central by 1 1/2 over the Cubs, and Philly is 1/2-game to the good over the Mets and Marlins in the East.

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