Thursday, June 5, 2008

Volquez Blanks Phillies; Tribe's Garko Plates 6

Players of the Day from Wednesday, June 4, 2008 American League Sometimes, all you need are singles to be a star. All Ryan Garko did Wednesday night was stroke four singles in six at-bats. Because there were so many of his teammates on base all night, Garko finished with 6 RBI in Cleveland's 15-9 win at Texas. The Indians banged out 17 hits. Ben Francisco, who had five of them, was driven home three times by Garko. The Rangers weren't exactly stoned at the plate either. Michael Young extended his hitting streak to 20 games. Ian Kinsler stretched his to 19 straight. The four-game series, which concludes tonight, has already been a pitcher's special kind of hell. The two teams have combined for 92 hits and 65 runs in the first three games. Cleveland's C.C. Sabathia and the Rangers' Kevin Millwood will try to stymie the bats in the series finale Thursday. Lots of luck! Notes: Shortstop Michael Young's 3-for-5 effort raised his batting average to an even .300. The first four hitters for Texas are all at that level or better. Leadoff man, Ian Kinsler is at .310, then Young, #3 hitter Josh Hamilton is batting .327, and Milton Bradley is at .328 in the cleanup spot. National League Edinson Volquez shut out the Phillies (one of the best hitting teams in the league) on two hits over seven innings as the Reds topped the Phillies, 2-0. Volquez, who threw 113 pitches, walked two and struck out 8, improving his record to 8-2. His ERA dropped to a microscopic 1.32. A rookie, Volquez has not allowed more than 2 earned runs in any of his 12 starts this season. On Wednesday, he was helped by some timely hitting and baserunning as Brandon Phillips scored both runs on a pair Joey Votto doubles. In the 7th innings, Phillips walked, stole second and scored the game's first run when Votto doubled. In the ninth, Phillips singled, again stole second and Votto doubled him in again. Votto's doubles and Phillips' single were the only hits of the night by Reds batters. Notes: Milwaukee's Corey Hart delivered a 4th inning, inside-the-park home run in the Brewers' 10-1 win last night over Arizona. Hart had already driven in a run in the 3rd with a single, and tallied 4 RBI for the night. The Brewers scored all 10 run in the first four innings. Milwaukee, desperately trying to catch the Cubs, have won six straight. Chicago's 9-game win streak was snapped last night in a 2-1 loss at San Diego.

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