Saturday, September 6, 2008

Ethier High Fives LA Past D-Backs; Morneau Slam Boosts Twins

Players of the Day from Friday, September 5, 2008 American League Marcus Thames hit the first of his two solo homers in the top of the fifth inning, making the score Minnesota 2, Detroit 1, but Justin Morneau changed everything in the bottom half of the frame with his 22nd home run - a grand slam that propelled the Twins to a 10-2 romp over the Tigers. Morneau's 4 RBI moved him into second place in the AL RBI race, behing Texas' Josh Hamilton, who has 121, but whose pace has slowed significantly in recent games. Hamilton has driven in just 10 runs in his last 21 games. The White Sox beat the Angels by an identical 10-2 score, keeping Chicago 1 1/2 games ahead of the Twins. The Angels' magic number was reduced to 5, however, as the 2nd place Rangers lost to Boston, 8-1. Notes: The Red Sox moved to within 2 1/2 games of the Rays, who were losing to the red-hot Blue Jays, 6-4. Toronto has won six straight. National League Andre Ethier was perfect at the plate, with two singles, two doubles and a home run in 5 at-bats, as the Dodgers took the first game of their critical series with Arizona, 7-0. Ethier drove in five of LA's 7 runs while Derek Lowe was blanking the Diamondbacks over 8 innings on 2 hits. Chan Ho Park finished the job with a perfect night inning from the mound. The win tightened the NL West race to just 1/2 game as LA has won six stright to close the gap on Arizona. Colorado still lurks, just 5 back. The Dodgers and D-Backs play two more in LA, Saturday and Sunday. Notes: The Cubs lost their sixth straight, extending their longest losing streak of the season. The dropped a 10-2 decision at Cincinnati while the Brewers were beating San Diego, 3-2, in 11 innings to close the gap to just 4 games. In the East, the Phillies took down the Mets, 3-0, closing to within 2 games of the division leaders. Brett Myers hurled 8 innings of shutout ball and Brad Lidge came on in the 9th for his 34th save.

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