Friday, August 29, 2008
Rodriguez Notches 51st Save; Guzman Hits for Cycle
Players of the Day from Thursday, August 28, 2008 American League The LA Angels got two steps closer to the AL West pennant as they rallied for 5 runs in the bottom of the 8th inning to defeat 2nd-place Texas, 7-5, and reduce their magic number to 13. Francisco Rodriguez recorded his 51st save, shutting down the Rangers in the 9th to preserve the win. Rodriguez is just 6 saves shy of the AL and major league record of 57, set by Bobby Thigpen of the White Sox in 1990. Atlanta's John Smoltz (2002) and the Dodgers' Eric Gagne (2003) share the National League single-season saves record at 55. Notes: Tampa Bay beat Toronto and Boston lost at New York, both by 3-2 scores, boosting the Rays back to a 4 1/2 game lead in the AL East. Minnesota lost at Oakland, 3-2, and now trial the White Sox by 1 1/2 in the Central and are 2 1/2 behind Boston for the wild card. National League Manny Ramirez gave the Dodgers a 2-0 lead with a home run in the top of the 1st, but Cristian Guzman answered with a solo shot in the bottom of the inning and went on to hit for the cycle as Washington completed a three game sweep of LA with an 11-2 win. Guzman added a 2nd inning single, doubled in the 6th and tripled in the 8th, drove in 3 runs and scored twice in 5 at-bats. LA's 7th straight loss dropped them 3 1/2 behind idle Arizona, which has lost 4 in row themselves. Even the Rockies, at 63-72, are in the mix, 6 games back. Notes: The Mets got help from the Cubs, who beat the Phillies, 6-4, and the Braves, winners over Florida, 4-2, to lead Philly by 1 game and Florida by 6. Chicago has won 6 straight and lead the Brewers by 6 1/2 games.