Sunday, August 24, 2008

Ramirez Delivers for Cubs; Burrell Bombs Dodgers; Wells Whacks BoSox

Players of the Day from Saturday, August 23, 2008 American League Toronto, 12 1/2 back in the AL East, may not catch the Red Sox or the Yankees, but they're certain to add some drama to the pennant proceedings. On Saturday, Vernon Wells led a 16-hit, 11-0 rout of Boston with 4 hits in 5 at-bats, including a solo and 2-run homer, scoring four times and driving in three. Wells has played in only 76 games this season, having spent most of May and July on the DL, but with him playing regularly, the Jays are a threat every time they take the field. They are 8-3 since August 11, taking 3 each from Detroit and Boston and two of three from the Yankees over that span. Notes: With Boston struggling with the Blue Jays, Tampa Bay knocked off the White Sox, 5-3 and improved their lead in the East to 5 1/2 games. The Yankees won, but are still 10 1/2 off the pace. Minnesota lost to the Angels, 7-5, but retained their 1/2 game lead in the Central. LA leads the West by 16 games and has shrunk their magic number to just 18. Boston leads the White Sox by 1/2 game in the wild card. National League The Chicago Cobs have plenty of big bats in their lineup, including the one carried by Aramis Ramirez, who blasted a pair of 3-run homers as the Cubs beat up the Nationals, 9-2. A mainstay in the Chicago lineup since being traded by the Pirates midway through the 2003 season, Ramirez has 22 homers and 90 RBI. He's driven in more than 100 runs five times. With 30+ games remaining, it's a good bet that 2008 will mark the sixth time. The win by Chicago kept them 4 1/2 clear of 2nd place Milwaukee, 6-3 winners over Pittsburgh. St. Louis, desperately chasing in third place, dropped an 8-4 decision to Atlanta and is 8 games back. In the East, Pat Burrell was keeping the Phillies in the hunt, driving in five runs with a single, double and 3-run homer in Philadelphia's 9-2 downing of the Dodgers. With the Mets losing to Houston, 8-4, Philly closed to within 1 1/2 games of the East division leader. Florida continues in third place, 6 games out. Notes: Arizona knocked off Florida, 7-1, and with Philly's help, improved to a 3 game edge over LA in the West. The Diamondbacks and Marlins have split the first two games of their three-game set, with the rubber game tonight at Arizona.

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