Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Braun's Blasts Buoy Brewers; Johjima Stars as Seattle Falls Short

Players of the Day from Monday, May 12, 2008 American League Baseball being a team sport, sometimes your best effort just isn't enough. Thus was the case last night for Seattle catcher Kenji Johjima, who singled, doubled, and hit his first home run of the season in the ninth inning with two men aboard to tie the game with Texas at 12. Despite going 3-for-4 with 4 RBI and a pair of runs scored, the Mariners were overcome by Texas, 13-12, in 10 innings when Rangers' third baseman Ramon Vazquez homered with one out in the bottom of the 10th. The loss - the 8th in the last 10 for Seattle - pushed the Mariners further into last place, 8 1/2 games out, while the Rangers got to within shouting distance of division-leading Oakland, 4 1/2 games behind. Notes: Cleveland and Toronto traded a pair of 3-0 wins in their double-header on Monday. The Indians took the opener as Fausto Carmona (4-1) blanked the Jays on 5 hits for a complete game shutout, the second of his career. In the nightcap, AL ERA-leader Cliff Lee (0.67) shut out the Blue Jays for nine innings, extending his scoreless streak to 16 innings, only to be outpitched by Toronto's Shaun Marcum, who allowed only 2 hits over 8 innings. Toronto erupted for three runs in the 10th off reliever Rafael Betancourt for the split. For Real: Tampa Bay closed to within 1/2 game of Boston in the AL East with their 5th straight win, a 7-1 conquest of the Yankees. National League Milwaukee's Ryan Braun hoisted a pair of solo homers and scored three times as the Brewers dropped the Cardinals, 8-3, Monday night. Braun homered in the first, scored after being walked in the third and smacked his 9th bomb of the season in the fifth inning, which put the Brewers up 7-1. The win got the Brewers to .500 (19-19), 4 games behind division leader Chicago, which has won 4 straight. The Cards dropped a game off the pace, while Houston won for the 9th time in their last 10, with a 7-3 victory at San Fran. Notes: Cincinnati snapped Florida's 7-game win streak, 8-7, at Cincy. The Marlins remain 2 1/2 in front in the East.

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