Monday, July 14, 2008

Sabathia Homers in Complete Game Win; Rodriguez Earns 38th Save

Players of the Day from Sunday, July 13, 2008 American League Leaving the bases loaded with Oakland A's in the bottom of the ninth, Francisco Rodriguez earned his major league best 38th save on Sunday as the Angels topped the A's, 4-3. The win gave the Angels the best record in the American League (57-38) and a 6-game lead over Oakland in the AL West. After the Angels scored twice in the top of the 9th to take the lead, Rodriguez gave up a single and a walk to start the bottom frame, and loaded the bases after a sacrifice and an intentional walk. That was all the A's would get, however, as K-Rod fanned the last two batters for his 7th straight save against the A's in seven tries.
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Rodriguez had a career-high 47 saves in 2006. He already has 38 this season. The major league record for saves in a season is 57 by White Sox closer Bobby Thigpen in 1990. Rodriguez is on pace for 63. Notes: Boston retook first place in the AL East with a 2-1 win over the Orioles on Sunday as the Tampa Bay Rays lost their seventh straight. They were swept four straight by the Indians over the weekend. Cleveland had lost 10 in a row before the Rays came to town. National League C. C. Sabathia is one tough stud. Not only did he earn his first National League complete game win as the Brewers slipped past the Reds, 3-2, he also became the first pitcher since 1970 to homer in both leagues in the same season. Sabathia gave up single runs in the second and third, but got the Brewers on the board with a solo homer in the bottom of the 3rd, his second home run of the season. He then shut out the Reds the rest of the way, finishing with a flourish by striking out the final four batters he faced and was rewarded with the win when Craig Counsel got Bill Hall home from third with a sac fly in the bottom of the 9th. Sabathia is 2-0 since moving from Cleveland and the American League to the Brewers and the NL. He struck out 9, walked one, hit two batters and allowed 8 hits and two earned runs in a gritty outing. Notes: According the Yahoo Sports and the Elias Sports Bureau, Earl Wilson was the last pitcher to homer in both leagues in the same season. He did it in 1970 with Detroit and San Diego. The Brewers are still in 3rd place, 1/2 game behind St. Louis, but both teams gained on the Cubs in the NL Central, as Chicago lost to the Giants, 4-2. In the East, the Mets won their 9th straight as Mike Pelfrey shut out the Rockies for 8 innings in a 7-0 win. Philly topped Arizona 6-3, keeping the Mets 1/2 game out of first. Arizona's loss was the Dodgers' gain, as LA beat Florida 9-1 and moved to within 1 game of the Diamondbacks in the NL West race.

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