Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Pedroia Continues Hot Streak; Ramirez Leads LA

Players of the Day from Tuesday, September 2, 2008 American League Dustin Pedroia continues to amaze as Boston's cleanup hitter. Last night, in a 14-2 Red Sox demolition of Baltimore, Pedroia came through with 3 hits in 5 at-bats and 5 RBI, including a 3-run homer (16). Pedroia's .330 batting average leads all AL hitters. Notes: The Rays lost to the Yankees, 7-2, but still lead Boston by 4 games in the Eastern division. Tampa Bay will be tested over the next two weeks as they have - including yesterday's game - 6 games each with Boston and New York through Sept. 17, plus a three-game set at Toronto this weekend. If the Rays can split with the Yanks and BoSox, the East title could be theirs. Chicago and Minnesota both lost on Tuesday, and remain deadlocked for first place in the AL Central. The Angels won, 5-4, at Detroit, with Francisco Rodriguez picking up his 54th save, leaving him just 3 short of Bobby Thigpen's major league record of 57, set in 1990 with the White Sox. LA reduced its magic number to 7. National League Manny Ramirez hit a 2-run homer in the first inning - his 10th as a Dodger - added a sac fly in the third, and LA never looked back, winning their 4th straight, 8-4 over the Padres. LA's win put them just 1 1/2 back of Arizona in the West, as the D-Backs fell to St. Louis, 8-2. Both of the West leaders would be wise to keep Colorado on the radar, as the Rockies are just 5 games out and have won 12 of their last 17. The Rockies host LA on Sept. 12, 13 and 14, the D-Backs on the 19th, 20th and 21st, and close out the regular season with a three-game set at Arizona. Notes: The Braves and Marlins combined for 36 hits and 30 runs as Atlanta outlasted Florida, 16-14. The two teams sent 15 pitchers to the mound in a game that lasted 3 hours and 44 minutes. The Astros topped the Cubs, 9-7, in 11 innings, the 4th straight loss for Chicago. The Brewers, however, couldn't capitalize, dropping their second in a row to the Mets, 6-5. Milwaukee trails the Cubs by 4 1/2 games. The Phillies topped the Nationals, 4-0, to remain 2 games behind the Mets in the East.

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