Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Howard, Ibanez Slam Nats; Verlander Blanks Yanks
Players of the Day for Monday, April 27, 2009 American League It took him 5 starts, but Detroit's Justin Verlander finally got his first win of 2009 and regained some of the form he displayed in 2006 and 2007, when he was a combined 35-15. Verlander blanked the Yankees for 7 innings, handing them their 4th straight loss, in a 4-2 win at Detroit. The 6'5" righty allowed 7 hits, but did not walk a batter, while punching out 9 on strikes. His pitch count of 110 was punctuated with 79 being thrown for strikes. The win kept Detroit in sole possession of first place in the AL Central. NOTES: Cliff Lee and Tim Wakefield went toe-to-toe Monday night in Cleveland, with Wakefield allowing just one hit and 4 walks over 7 innings and Lee giving up 4 hits and one walk over 8. Both pitchers kept the opponent off the scoreboard, but Cleveland closer Kerry Wood was touched up for 3 runs in the 9th, which produced the 3-1 Red Sox win, their 11th straight. The Sox lead the AL East by one game over Toronto. National League The game was a hit-fest, and Philly's Ryan Howard (left) and Raul Ibanez (right) made the most of it, smacking grand slam homers to lead the Phillies from behind twice to top the Nationals, 13-11. Howard struck first, erasing a 6-2 Washington lead in the 5th with his blast. Ibanez, who also singled and doubled, waited until the 8th inning. After the Phillies had already scored twice, cutting the Nats' lead to 11-9, Ibanez delivered with a bases-loaded blow to right field. The Phillies are sharing the run-production democratically. Chase Utley lead the team with 17 RBI, followed by Ibanez with 16, Howard with 15 and Shane Victorio's 14. Philadelphia trails the Marlins by 1/2 game in the NL East. The Marlins, after their 11-1 start, have dropped 7 straight.