Friday, October 3, 2008
Longoria Launches Rays; Dodgers, Phillies Establish 2-0 Leads
Players of the Day from Thursday, October 2, 2008 American League Tampa Bay 6 Chicago White Sox 4 Fittingly, rookie Evan Longoria led the effort in the Rays' first ever playoff game, belting a pair of homers in Tampa Bay's 6-4 opening win over the Chicago White Sox. Longoria, the favorite to win AL Rookie of the Year honors, hit solo homers in the second and third inning, and also singled in another run in the 5th inning. White Sox pitchers could not keep him off the bases. In addition to his 3-for-3 effort, Longoria also walked and stole a base. The best-of-five series continues at Tropicana Field on Friday at 6:07 pm. Mark Buehrle takes the mound for the Sox to face the Rays' Scott Kazmir Notes: The Angels and Red Sox resume their series on Friday evening in Anaheim. With Boston leading 1-0, it will be up to Ervin Santana to outduel Red Sox starter Daisuke Matsuzaka. Game time is 9:07 pm ET. National League Phillies 5 Brewers 2 The Brewers sent their stopper, C.C. Sabathia, to the hill Thursday, but that didn't faze Shane Victorino, who was a one-man wrecking crew for the Phillies. Victorino went 3-for-4 with a walk, two doubles, a grand slam home run, two stolen bases and four RBI. His stats would have included more than his one run scored if the hitters behind him - Chase Utley, Ryan Howard and Pat Burrell - hadn't gone a collective 0-for-10. That the 3, 4, and 5 hitters in Philly's lineup didn't hit wasn't an issue as the Phillies chased Sabathia off the mound with two outs in the 4th inning. Working on three days rest, the Brewer starter simply seemed out of gas and the Phillies took advantage. With their 5-2 win over the Brewers, Philly holds a commanding 2-0 lead in the best-of-five series with game three set for late Saturday afternoon in Milwaukee (6:07 pm ET). Jamie Moyer gets the start for Philadelphia, facing the Brewers' Dave Bush. LA Dodgers 10 Chicago Cubs 3 Just like the Phillies, the Dodgers took a 2-0 series lead over the Cubs as Russell Martin delivered a key bases-clearing double in the second inning, giving the Dodgers an early 5-0 lead en route to a 10-3 thrashing of the worried Cubs. Manny Ramirez homered for the second straight game with a solo shot in the 5th, also adding an 8th inning RBI single. Leadoff hitter Rafael Furcal singed three times in 6 at-bats, scored twice and drove in a pair. It was the second straight easy win for Joe Torre's Dodgers as the series now shifts to LA. Game three is Saturday night (10:07 pm ET). The Cubs will try to stay alive by sending Rich Harden to the mound to face rookie Hiroki Kiroda. Harden was acquired mid-season in a trade with Oakland. Kiroda (9-10) was brilliant at times. He tossed a 4-hit shutout against the Cubs on June 6 and twirled a 1-hit shutout over Atlanta on July 7.