Friday, June 13, 2008
Francisco Fires Up Indians; Moyer Limits Marlins to Two Hits
Players of the Day from Thursday, June 12, 2008 American League Ben Francisco stroked three singles and a double in 5 at-bats, drove in three runs and scored one as Cleveland pounded the Twins 12-2. A rookie, Francisco has been a welcome find for the Indians, especially after injuries to a number of key players, including All-Star catcher Victor Martinez and DH Travis Hafner. Francisco has played in 37 games this season, and has been a regular fixture in the lineup since the beginning of May in either left or right field. He has just 3 homers and 20 RBI, but is batting a solid .309. Notes: The Tigers completed a sweep of the first-place White Sox with a 2-1 win as Kenny Rogers and Mark Buehrle dueled through 8 innings, each allowing just one run. Miguel Cabrera homered in the ninth off reliever Octavio Dotel for the winning margin. Detroit is now 8 games off the pace in the wide-open Central after winning 3 straight. Ahead of them are the Twins (-5 1/2) and Indians (-6 1/2). National League The Philadelphia Phillies are in first place in the NL East mostly due to the steady bats in their power-packed lineup. And then there's the guy with the 88-mph fastball, Jamie Moyer, who turned in his best performance of the season last night, shutting down second place Florida on 2 hits over 8 innings in a 3-0 win. Moyer threw just 102 pitches, walked one and struck out three, never allowing a baserunner past second. Brad Lidge came on in the ninth to pick up his 18th save. The win prevented a Marlins sweep of the three-game series, and gives the Phillies a 3-game cushion in the division. Notes: Those lovable Cubbies won their 4th straight on Thursday, 3-2, over Atlanta in 11 innings for a series sweep and Atlanta's sixth straight loss. At 43-24 have the best record in the majors and lead the Central by 3 1/2 over the Cardinals. Arizona topped the Mets, 5-4, in 10 innings and have the largest lead in the NL, 4 1/2 to the good over the Dodgers in the West.