Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Ortiz Leads 6 Homer Assault; Lilly Wins 15th with 1-Hit Effort

Players of the Day from Monday, September 15, 2008 American League The Red Sox pounded Tampa Bay, 13-5, tying the Rays for first place in the East as David Ortiz drove in four runs, highlighted by a first-inning 3-run homer. The Red Sox opened their three-game series in Tampa with a resounding win, hammering starter Scott Kazmir and the Rays' bullpen for 6 home runs. Notes: Minnesota and Chicago both lost on Monday, leaving the AL Central standings the same. The White Sox lead the Twins by 1 1/2 games. National League Cubs' pitchers are on some kind of roll. After Carlos Zambrano no-hit Houston on Sunday, Ted Lilly had a no-hitter through six innings, but allowed a single to Mark Loretta leading off the 7th, the first Houston hit off Chicago pitching in 15 innings. Lilly (15-9) finished the 7th and the bullpen didn't allow another hit, as the Cubs steamrolled toward the post-season with a 7-1 win over the Astros. Chicago's lead in the Central division is now 8 games; their magic number has been reduced to 6. The Cubs have won 4 straight while the Brewers, idle on Monday, were just swept four straight by the Phillies. In response, Milwaukee's front office kicked manager Ned Yost to the curb and installed third base coach Dale Sveum as interim manager. Until this past weekend, the Brewers were comfortably 4 games ahead of Philly in the wild card race and still had an outside shot at catching the Cubs. Now, the Phillies and Brewers are tied for the wild card lead and the Cubs are seemingly not going to be caught. Notes: The Dodgers got back to winning with an 8-2 victory over Pittsburgh. Arizona beat back San Francisco, 3-1, to remain 4 1/2 back. The Dodgers' magic number is 9. Philadelphia and the NY Mets were idle on Monday.

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