Saturday, July 19, 2008

Nomar Hits His Stride; Angels' Anderson Still an RBI Machine

Players of the Day from Friday, July 18, 2008 American League Garret Anderson stroked three singles and whacked his 9th home run of the season as his five RBI night boosted the Angels to an 11-3 stomping of Boston in a battle of division leaders on Friday. Unfortunately for the Red Sox, the loss dropped them out of first place in the AL East as Anderson went 4-for-4. The Tampa Bay Rays stopped their 7-game skid, knocking off Toronto, 2-1, and moved 1/2-game ahead of Boston. The Angels are continuing to separate from the crowd. At 58-38, they have the best record in the majors, a 7-game lead over 2nd place Oakland, and a winning record in every category: home, away, against each division and 10-8 in interleague play. Notes: The battle for first place between the Red Sox and the Rays seems to suit the Yankees just fine, thank you. With a 7-1 win over the A's on Friday, New York has snuck to within 5 1/2 games of the lead. National League After missing most of the season due to injuryNomar Garciaparra played in his 11th game since being sidelined April 25 and a fresh Nomar may be just what the Dodgers need to surge past the Arizona Diamondbacks. The timing couldn't have been better for Garciaparra to go 3-for-5 with a pair of homers and a single, driving in 3 runs in an 8-7, 11-inning win over Arizona which tied the two teams for first place in the NL West. While Garciaparra's effort was noteworthy, James Loney's 8th home run of the season - a solo shot in the top of the 11th - proved to be the game winner. Notes: The other divisional races in the NL are also tightening. With the Cubs losing and St. Louis and Milwaukee both winners on Friday, Chicago holds a 3 game edge over the Cardinals, with the Brewers a game further back. In the East, Philly knocked down the Marlins, 4-2, while the Reds ended the Mets' 10-game win streak with a 5-2 win. That leaves the Phillies on top with the Mets 1 back and the Marlins 2 1/2 games out.

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