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.
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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.

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