Monday, August 18, 2008
Santana 3-Hits Pirates; Rodriguez Stars for Yankees
Players of the Day from Sunday, August 17, 2008 American League Alex Rodriguez belted a 3-run, first inning homer (26), then added RBI singles in the 3rd and 7th innings, as the Yankees blew out the Royals, 15-6. A-Rod's 5 RBI were one better than Jason Giambi, who landed a grand slam into the right field stands - his 24th home run of the season. Mike Mussina took the win. he is 16-4. Notes: The Yankees picked up a game on the Red Sox, who were hammered by Toronto, 15-4. The Blue Jays sent Red Sox starter Josh Beckett to his earliest departure of the season. Beckett lasted just 2 1/3 innings, allowing 8 earned runs on 8 hits. Boston is still 5 ahead of New York, but trail the Rays by 4 1/2, after Tampa Bay beat Texas, 7-4. Chicago and Minnesota both won and remain tied atop the Central. The Angels lost, but their magic number is now 25. National League Johan Santana hasn't had the best of times in his first year as a New York Met, but he showed signs Sunday that he may be peaking at the right time. Santana (11-7) tossed a 3-hit complete game shutout against Pittsburgh as the Mets plundered Pittsburgh, 3-0, and maintained their AL East lead of 2 games over the Phillies. Santana faced 31 batters, throwing 113 pitches, 85 for strikes. The lefty struck out seven. It was his second complete game of the season and 6th career shutout. Santana has won his last four decisions. Notes: With the Phillies winning, 2-1, at San Diego and the Marlins dropping a 9-2 decision to the Cubs, the Mets are looking like the team to beat in the East, while the Marlins continue to fade. Florida has lost 4 of their last 5 and are 4 1/2 back. In the Central, the Cubs are beginning to look like they won't be caught, expanding their lead over Milwaukee to 5 1/2 games as the Brewers lost to the Dodgers, 7-5. St. Louis is 7 1/2 behind. The Dodgers tied Arizona atop the West at 64-60. The Diamondbacks fell to Houston, 3-0, as Roy Oswalt (11-8) threw a 1-hitter over 8 innings, fanning 10.