Friday, July 11, 2008
Morneau's 5th Hit Tames Tigers; Howard Decks Cards with a Pair
Players of the Day from Thursday, July 10, 2008 American League Justin Morneau went 5-for-5 on Thursday, and though his big night at the plate didn't add up to much in the boxscore, his last hit, a solo homer in the 11th inning, provided the winning margin as the Twins topped the Tigers, 7-6. Morneau had three singles, a double and the game-winning homer, but only drove in one run and scored twice as the Twins nearly squandered a 15-hit attack. The win was huge for Minnesota, as the White Sox were losing, 4-1, at Kansas City. Those results left the Sox with a 2 1/2 game lead over the Twins and 7 over the Tigers in the Central. Notes: The Cleveland Indians ended their 10-game losing streak with a 13-2 breakout against the suddenly struggling Rays, losers of 4 straight. While the Indians are out of the AL Central race, Tampa Bay's lead over Boston has shrunk to 1 1/2 games, with the Yankees lurking, 6 1/2 back. National League Ryan Howard took over the NL home run lead with a couple of bombs (#s 26 and 27) in Philly's 4-1 win over St. Louis. Howard also increased his lead in the RBI column, driving in 3, to give him 83. Houston's Carlos Lee is second with 72. The Phillies haven't exactly been a model of consistency lately, going 9-15 since June 14, and with the Mets and Florida both winners on Thursday, their lead remains at a slim 1 1/2 games over both. Notes: With the Cardinals losing, Milwaukee took over second place in the Central with an 11-1 win over Colorado. The Brewers are 4 games behind the Cubs, with the Cardinals 4 1/2 back. In the West, Arizona got to .500 (46-46) with an 11-inning, 7-5 win over Washington and established a 1-game lead over LA as the Dodgers dropped an 11-inning, 5-4 decision to the Marlins.