Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Loney Drives Dodgers Past Phils; Perkins Shuts Down Yankees

Players of the Day from Monday, August 11, 2008 American League Minnesota starter, Glen Perkins (9-3), whose wife, Alisha, gave birth to their second daughter, Lyla, on Sunday, worked over the Yankees for 8 innings en route to a 4-0 Minnesota win Monday night. Perkins is 7-1 over his last 10 starts, but, in addition to basking in the glow of birth, he also beat the Yankees for the first time in three tries. Perkins allowed just 4 hits and 3 walks while fanning 4 before giving way to reliever Joe Nathan, who didn't earn a save, but struck out the middle of the Yankees' order in the ninth, getting Bobby Abreu swinging, Alex Rodriguez looking and Xavier Nady swinging. With the White Sox dropping a critical 5-1 decision to Boston, the Twins reassumed first place in the AL Central by 1/2 game. The Sox and Twins have traded places twice this week atop the division. Notes: Perhaps the biggest loser in the battle for the Central is the Tigers, who continue to lose games they sorely need, on Monday losing to Toronto, 7-2, and dropping 8 games off the pace.
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The Rays continue to lead the Red Sox by 4 games in the East, but injuries to two of their top players, Evan Longoria and Carl Crawford could make matters interesting. Longoria is expected to miss three to four weeks with a fractured wrist, while Carl Crawford may need surgery to repair a tendon in his right hand. Crawford may miss up to 5 weeks, but could return middle to late September. With two stars sidelined, the race could tighten, benefiting Boston, and maybe even the Yankees, who have fallen 9 games off the pace. National League With Arizona taking a day off, James Loney and his fellow Dodgers started a 4-game series with the Phillies by dumping the AL East leaders, 8-6, gaining to within 1 game of the Diamondbacks. Loney singled home 2 runs in a 6-run third inning, and added insurance with an RBI double in the 8th. Earlier, he had singled in the second inning and went 3-for-4 for the night.
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Notes: Philly's loss was barely registered because the Phillies got some brotherly love from St. Louis, who dumped the Marlins, 4-2, and the Pirates, who slashed the Mets, 7-5. Consequently, Philadelphia remained 2 ahead of NY and 2 1/2 in front of Florida. In the Central, Milwaukee won their 6th straight to creep to within 3 1/2 of the Cubs with St. Louis 3 games further back.

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