Sunday, September 21, 2008

Cubs Clinch Central; Dodgers Inch Closer; Rays Reach First Playoff Berth

Players of the Day from Saturday, September 20, 2008 American League Scott Kazmir (12-7) shut out the Twins n five hits over 6 innings, ensuring Tampa Bay's first ever appearance in the post-season while dampening Minnesota's playoff hopes as the Rays dropped the Twins, 7-2 The Rays wrapped up at least a wild card spot, but reman focused on winning the AL East. With Boston losing 6-3 to Toronto, they lead the Red Sox by 2 1/2 games and have reduced their magic number to clinch the division to 7. Notes: The White Sox didn't take advantage of Minnesota's loss, dropping a 5-2 decision at Kansas City. Chicago still leads the Twins by 2 1/2 in the Central. Their magic number is 6. National League Mark DeRosa singled and scored on Aflonso Soriano's bases-loaded single in the first, doubled in a run and scored the game-winner in the 4th as the Cubs clinched the NL Central with a 5-4 win over St. Louis. Chicago clinched the division for the second straight year and, in all likelihood, will have home field advantage throughout the league playoffs. In the year marking the hundredth anniversary of the Cubs' last world series championship, the Cubs have the best record in the National League and is the first team to clinch a division title. Notes: The Phillies beat back the pesky Marlins, 3-2, ending their nine-game winning streak, and, when the Mets lost to Washington, 4-2, took back first place in the NL East by 1/2 game over New York. The Marlins are 5 1/2 back. Milwaukee continued to unwind down the stretch, losing their second straight game at Cincinnati, 4-3, dropping 2 1/2 games behind the Mets in the wild card race. The Brewers have lost 15 of 19 in September. Taking one step closer to the NL West title, Los Angeles reduced its magic number to 5 with a 10-8 win over San Francisco. Manny Ramirez homered twice and drove in five runs in the LA win. The Dodgers continue to lead the Diamondbacks - 5-3 winners at Colorado - by 3 1/2 games. Since joining the Dodgers in late July, Ramirez is batting .404 with 16 home runs and 49 RBi in 47 games.

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