Sunday, July 13, 2008

Dunn Crashes a Pair in Cincy Win; Youkilis Slams for Sox

Players of the Day from Saturday, July 12, 2008 American League A week ago, it appeared that the Tampa Bay Rays would run away with the AL East title. That's not such a given, now that the Rays have lost six straight. On Saturday, Kevin Youkilis and his Red Sox teammates closed the gap to a mere 1/2 game, as Boston pounded Baltimore, 12-1, while the Rays were dropping their third straight at Cleveland, 8-4. Youkilis accounted for 6 RBI with a grand slam in the third inning, a sac fly in the 4th and a run-scoring single in the 8th. Notes: The Yankees also won, 9-4, over Toronto, putting them 5 1/2 behind the Rays. The AL East looks to be far from a done deal. National League Adam Dunn socked a three-run homer and a solo shot, and Jerry Hairston Jr. went 4-for-4 and scored three times as the Reds tapped the Brewers, 8-2, dropping Milwaukee 6 games behind the NL Central-leading Cubs.
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Dunn's blasts gave him 26 on the season, two behind league leader Ryan Howard, Notes: With both St. Louis and Milwaukee losing, the Cubs squeaked by San Fran, 8-7 in 11 innings, and have a 5 1/2 game lead over the Cards. The Mets extended their winning streak to eight with a 3-0 win over the Rockies, while the Phillies were losing, 10-4, to Arizona and Florida dropped the Dodgers, 5-3. Both the Mets and Marlins are now just 1/2-game behind the Phillies in the AL East. Arizona has re-established a 2-game lead over LA in the West. Mets pitching has been particularly effective of late. Over the past five games, Mets' pitchers have allowed just 13 hits and 4 runs. The bullpen hasn't allowed a run in 18 1/3 consecutive innings. Of course, they're doing this against a couple of the weaker NL West teams, San Francisco and Colorado, but their accomplishments are noteworthy.

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