Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Burrell Bomb Puts Atlanta Away; Youkilis Can't Do It Alone for Red Sox

Players of the Day from Monday, September 22, 2008 American League The Red Sox are almost assured of winning the wild card. All they need is one more win or one Yankee loss. Each team has six games remaining. The Twins have been eliminated and can only win the Central, but must get past the White Sox to do so. On Monday, a guy they'll certainly need to produce during the playoffs, Kevin Youkilis, singled, doubled twice and drove in 2 runs in 4 at-bats, though his Red Sox dropped a 4-3 decision to Cleveland. The Rays were meanwhile beating Baltimore, 4-2, improving their AL East lead to 2 1/2 games. Tampa's magic number is now 5. Notes: Both the White Sox and Twins were idle, so Chicago's lead remains at 2 1/2 games. Francisco Rodriguez earned his 61st save in LA's 2-1 win at Seattle, increasing his single-season saves record. National League Philadelphia took a big step closer to the NL East title when Pat Burrell belted a 3-run homer in the 8th inning to put away the Braves, 6-2, increasing their lead over the Mets to 2 1/2 games. The Cubs knocked off the Mets, 9-5, on the strength of pitcher Jason Marquis' grand slam.
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The Mets are in semi-fold mode as September and the regular season winds down. They are just 4-7 since July 13, have given away the division lead, but still remain one game ahead of the Brewers, who have gone into full collapse in the wild card race, losing 14 of their last 19. Philadelphia's magic number is 4. Notes: The NL West tightened up a bit as Arizona knocked off St. Louis, 4-2. With the Dodgers idle, the lead is down to 2 games. LA's magic number stands at 5.

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