Sunday, May 18, 2008
Soriano's 5-for-5 Falls Short; Lowell Gets Sox Started
Players of the Day from Saturday, May 17, 2008 American League With Tampa Bay losing to St. Louis, 9-8, Boston had a chance to tie for first place in the AL East with a sweep of their double header with Milwaukee. After winning game one, 5-3, Mike Lowell got the Red Sox off early in game two, doubling in a pair in the first inning and cracking a two-run homer in the 3rd en route to a 7-6 win over the Brewers, who have now lost four straight. The Sox are percentage points behind the Rays in the standings, but the two teams are deadlocked in first with the Rays at 25-18 and the Sox at 26-19. Notes: The White Sox took a 1/2-game lead over the Indians in the AL Central with a 3-1 win at San Fran, joining the Cubs as same-state division leaders. With Florida and Tampa Bay tops in their respective divisions, if either the Dodgers or Giants catch Arizona, then California would own first place in both Western divisions. National League Despite losing, 7-6, to the Pirates on Saturday, the Chicago Cubs remain in first place in the NL Central. Even with the loss, the Cubs have won seven of their last nine and lead St. Louis by 2 games. And they didn't go down easily on Saturday. If Alfonso Soriano had gotten a little more help from his teammates - or maybe another at-bat - Chicago might have come away with the W. Soriano went 5-for-5, with a double and two solo homers, scoring three times and driving in three. It was the second straight game with two homers for Soriano and his 6th and 7th in his last six games. Prior to his 5-hit performance on Saturday, he had two hits in each of his last five games, and has raised his batting average from .223 to .295. His slugging percentage increased from .372 to .598. Soriano, who missed the last half of April due to injury, has returned with a vengeance, hitting safely in every game he's started since May 2 - 13 straight. Notes: Lance Berman continues to amaze, hitting his major league-leading 16th home run in Houston's 6-2 loss at Texas last night.