Friday, August 15, 2008

Chicago Streaks: Sox Sock 4 Straight Homers; Kotsay's Cycle Can't Stop Cubs

Players of the Day from Thursday, August 14, 2008 American League A quiet giant, Jim Thome gave the White Sox a 6-2 lead with a three-run homer in the 6th inning. Little did he know that he was starting the wheels of history in motion, as Paul Konerko, Alexei Ramirez and Juan Uribe followed him to the plate, each smacking one out of the park to tie a major league record with four consecutive home runs. The White Sox completed a three-game sweep of the Royals with a 9-2 win.
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Thome, who has 532 career home runs, hit his 25th of the year, driving in Ken Griffey Jr. (who has 608 homers himself) and Carlos Quentin, who leads the AL in home runs with 32. Neither Griffey nor Quentin went yard in Chicago's homer-fest. Notes: With Minnesota idle, the White Sox improved their slim advantage in the AL Central to 1 game over the Twins. In the East, Tampa Bay beat Oakland, 7-6, in 12 innings and Boston downed Texas, 10-0, as Daisuke Matsuzaka improved to 14-2. The Rays lead Boston by 3 games. National League Mark Kotsay had a huge 5-for-5 night at the plate, hitting for the cycle, but it all went for naught as the Braves fell to the Cubs, 11-7, completing their first season sweep of the Braves since the two teams began playing each other in 1876. The Cubs have also won eight straight road games and lead Milwaukee - who had their 8-game win streak broken by Jake Peavy and the San Diego Padres, 3-2 - by 4 1/2 games in the Central division.
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Notes: The Dodgers completed a sweep of the Phillies with a 3-1 win to stay tied with Arizona (beat Colorado, 6-2) in the West. The Mets took over first place in the East by a game over the Phillies with a 9-3 romp past Washington. The Marlins lost to St. Louis, 3-0, to drop 2 1/2 off the pace. The Cardinals remain 3 behind Milwaukee in the Central and wild card race and are 2 1/2 better than the Phillies for the wild card. With roughly 40 games left to play, it's looking more and more like the second-place finisher in the Central will be the wild card, while the Phillies, Mets and Marlins battle in the East in an all-or-nothing division.

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