Thursday, May 15, 2008

Sabathia Blanks A's 2-0; Pierre Leads Dodger Comeback

Players of the Day from Wednesday, May 14, 2008 American League Cleveland took back first place in the AL Central on the strength of starter C. C. Sabathia's arm. The burly lefty shut out Oakland on 5 hits, leading Cleveland to a 2-0 win. Sabathia won his second straight (both at home) to improve to 3-5 on the season, fanning 11, which gave him the AL strikeout lead at 57, to more than injured Blue Jay Roy Halladay. It was Sabathia's first shutout and first complete game of 2008. Notes: Rays Remain: The Tampa Bay Rays stayed in first place in the AL East, despite dropping a 2-1, 10 inning decision to the Yankees last night as the Red Sox fell, 6-4, to Baltimore. It was Boston's 4th straight loss. Boston was cruising along with a 3-0 lead in the 6th, but Baltimore scored twice in the bottom of the inning and Jay Payton's grand slam in the 7th put the BoSox away. Payton, who has played for 6 different teams in his 11 years as a pro, totaled 5 RBI on the night. National League The LA Dodgers are just trying to keep pace with the runaway leader in the NL West, Arizona, and every win is important. On Wednesday, Juan Pierre led the way for LA, going 3-for-5, with key hits - an RBI single in the seventh and a two-run double in the ninth, as the Dodgers came back from a 4-1 deficit to defeat Milwaukee, 6-4. In addition to driving in important runs, Pierre also swiped his 14th base of the season and scored the final run of the game. The Dodgers remained 4 1/2 behind Arizona, and increased their lead over the third-place Giants to 4 games. Notes: Berkman first to forty. Houston's Lance Berkman is on pace for a triple crown season. Last night he tied Philly's Chase Utley for the league lead in homers with 14 and drove in 2 runs, making him the first player to reach 40 on the season. Normally, his .388 batting average would lead the league, but Chipper Jones is hitting an astronomical .418. Berkman is second.

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