Friday, May 23, 2008
Boston's Lowell, Drew, are Grand; Miller Blanks AZ as Marlins Sweep
Players of the Day from Thursday, May 22, 2008 American League Mike Lowell (left) and J. D. Drew (right) each hit grand slam homers as Boston won their 7th straight, an 11-8 Fenway slug-fest over the KC Royals. Drew hit his slam in the second inning and also singled and scored in the sixth, before the bases got loaded and Lowell delivered his bomb. Lowell also singled and doubled and scored three times on the night. While the Boston efforts were spectacular, they barely outshone those of the Royals' Jose Guillen (4-5, double, homer, 3 runs, 3 RBI) and Miguel Olivo (3-5, 2 doubles, homer, 1 run, 5 RBI). Going unnoticed with all the balls leaving the yard was Daisuke Matsuzaka winning his 8th game without a loss. Despite pitching poorly (5 2/3, 6 hits, 6 BB, 3 ER 7 K), Dice-K now stands alone as the AL's only 8-game winner. Notes: While the Sox have opened up a healthy 2 1/2 game lead over the Rays in the East with seven straight wins, the White Sox have won 8 straight and pulled 3 1/2 ahead of the Twins and 4 1/2 beyond the Indians, who have lost six straight, in the Central. The Angels lead Oakland by 2 1/2 in the West. National League Andrew Miller worked 7 scoreless innings, allowing just 5 hits and a walk while striking out nine, as the Florida Marlins downed Arizona, 4-0, completing a three-game series sweep of the NL West leaders. Miller, 4-3, got his work in, throwing 107 pitches, before retiring at the end of the 7th. In his last four starts (in which he's recorded 3 wins), Miller has lowered his ERA from 9.12 to a nearly-respectible 5.33 and has helped keep the Marlins in first place. Notes: Though the Marlins scored just 10 runs in their series sweep of the Diamondbacks, Florida pitchers gave up just 3 runs, keeping them 1 1/2 ahead of the charging Braves (5 straight Ws) and Phillies (3 straight). Meanwhile, the Dodgers, idle on Thursday, have climbed to within 2 1/2 games of Arizona in the West.