Sunday, August 3, 2008

Youkilis Bangs Pair; Fielder, Sabathia Keep Brewers Close

Players of the Day for Saturday, August 2, 2008 American League Seemingly, all will be well in Boston without Manny Ramirez, as long as Kevin Youkilis keeps being productive at the plate. On Saturday, Youkilis banged a pair of two-run homers as the Red Sox downed the A's, 12-2. Quietly having an outstanding season, Youkilis, one of the finest pure hitters in the majors, is batting .313 with 20 homers and 74 RBI. The win kept the Sox 3 behind Tampa Bay, who were busy putting more nails in the Detroit Tigers' post-season coffin, hammering home a 9-3 win. In New York, the Yankees avoided being swept by the Angels, winning 8-2. They have one more shot at LA on Sunday and are 5 1/2 back in the AL East. Notes: The White Sox, Twins and Tigers were all losers on Saturday, so the standing remain the same: Chicago leads Minnesota by 1/2 and Detroit by 6 1/2. National League Prince Fielder (left) and C. C. Sabathia (right) provided the power and the pitching to take their second straight at Atlanta, topping the Braves by a 4-2 score. Fielder smacked a solo homer in the 7th to tie the game at one, and then applied the finishing touch with a two-run blast (his 25th) in the 8th inning for a 4-1 lead. Sabathia, who has been nothing short of spectacular since joining the Brewers in July, improved to 5-0 in the NL, allowing 6 hits and 2 earned runs over 8 1/3 innings, striking out 9 and walking just one batter. In sic starts for the Brewers, Sabathia has worked 48 innings, allowed 35 hits and 10 earned runs for a 5-0 record, a 1.88 ERA and a 0.96 WHIP. Notes: Milwaukee is currently in position to be the wild card in the NL, 4 games behind the Cubs in the Central division. In the wild card race, they have a 3 game bulge over the Marlins and 3 1/2 over the Mets. There's certainly the opportunity to run down Chicago in September, but they appear to be on a path to the playoffs. The Mets blew a 4-0 lead and lost in 10 innings to Houston, 5-4, falling 2 behind Philly - 2-1 winners over St. Louis - in the East. The Marlins beat Colorado to remain 1 1/2 back. In LA, Manny Ramirez hit his first homer in the National League as the Dodgers beat Arizona, 4-2, and drew to within 2 games of the Diamondbacks in the West.

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