Friday, July 25, 2008
Meche Stops Rays; Braun Goes 4-for-4 as Brewers Sweep Cards
Players of the Day from Thursday, July 24, 2008 American League On their day off, the Boston Red Sox received an unexpected treat from Kansas City starter Gil Meche, who shut out the Rays over 7 innings to lead the Royals to a 4-2 win over Tampa Bay and put the Sox and Rays into a virtual tie for first place in the AL East. While the Rays are actually .001 better in the standings, the two teams are even on a games behind basis. Meche (8-9) allowed five hits and a walk in his seven shutout innings. The Rays managed a run in each of the 8th and 9th innings, but it wasn't enough to avoid dropping the opener of the four-game series at Kansas City. Notes: While the Rays will be dealing with the Royals the next three days, the Red Sox will have their hands full with the red-hot Yankees, who visit Fenway for a three-game weekend set beginning Friday. It should be an interesting weekend in the AL East, as the Yankees have won 6 in a row and are just 3 games back. National League Ryan Braun was an absolute nightmare for St. Louis pitchers over the past two days. On Wednesday, he went 4-for-5 with a triple, a homer and an RBI in Milwaukee's 3-0 win. Thursday, he followed up with a 4-for-4 effort - three singles and a 9th inning, 2 run homer - leading the Brewers to a 4-3 win and a 4-game sweep at St. Louis. The win was Milwaukee's 8th straight and leaves them a single game behind the Cubs in the NL Central. The Cubs beat Florida, 6-3, to stay barely ahead of the Brewers, who host Houston for three weekend games. The Cubs will complete a four-game series with the Marlins through Sunday. Notes: Being swept by the Brewers left the Cardinals reeling, four games behind the Cubs in the Central division standings, but odd man out in the wild card race. The Cards will need to get past either the Cubs or Brewers to reach the post-season, and that looks like a very uphill climb.