Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Nolasco Shuts Down Giants; Buscher a Star for Minnesota
Players of the Day from Tuesday, August 19, 2008 American League With Tampa Bay's Evan Longoria out for a month, Minnesota's Brian Buscher takes over as the best rokkie third baseman in the AL. On Tuesday, Buscher went 3-for-4 with a two-run homer and five RBI in the Twins' 13-2 rout of Oakland. Buscher, who probably won't have enough plate appearances to qualify for any awards, may get more satisfaction if the Twins make it to the post-season. In 45 games, Busher is batting .314 with 4 homers and 38 RBI. Tuesday's win kept the Twins just a game behind the White Sox in the Central division and 1 1/2 behind Boston in the wild card race. Notes: Tampa Bay beat the Angels for the second straight day, winning 4-2 at LA, and remaining 4 1/2 ahead of the Red Sox in the East. In Toronto, A.J. Burnett (16-9) fanned 13 Yankees, including Alex Rodriguez and Jason Giambi 3 times each. The Blue Jays won, 2-1, dropping the Yankees 11 games behind the first place Rays. National League Ricky Nolasco (12-7) is one of the reasons the Marins are still in the chase for the NL East title or the NL wild card. Nolasco tossed his first career complete game and first shutout as he and the Marlins dropped the Giants, 6-0. Not only did Nolasco hold the Gaints to 2 hits and one walk while striking out 11, but he doubled in a pair of runs in the sixth inning as well. Florida is 4 games behind the Mets in the East and are 6 1/2 behind Milwaukee in the wild card chase. Ahead of them in the wild card are St. Louis (2 1/2 back) and the Phillies (4 back). Notes: The Cubs continue their roll towards destiny. Rich Harden won his 3rd game in a Chicago uniform, allowing 2 hits and no runs over seven innings, striking out 10, as the Cubs dropped the Reds, 5-0. Cruising toward the playoffs, the Cubs are tied with the Rays for the best record in the majors, at 77-48. A virtual lock to win the Central, the Cubs should have no problem securing home field throughout the NL playoffs.