Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Pineiro 3-Hits Cubs; Wakefield Rebounds for Red Sox

Players of the Day for Tuesday, May 19, 2009 American League Following a rough outing against the Angels, in which he was touched up for 7 runs on 11 hits in 4 2/3 innings, Boston's 42-year-old Tim Wakefield rebounded with his best performance of the season in a key game against the AL East leading Toronto Blue Jays. Wakefield, getting the start in the opener of the three-game set at Fenway, went 8 solid innings, allowing just one earned run - Kevin Millar's 5th inning homer - on 5 hits and two walks. The Boston bats produced just enough runs to down the Jays 2-1 and close to within 2 1/2 games of the division lead. Jonathan Papelbon pitched a perfect ninth to record his 11th save. Wakefield improved to 5-2. National League The St. Louis Cardinals have cooled off after a torrid start, but are still in the thick of the NL Central race. By topping the Cubs, 3-0, on Tuesday, St. Louis pulled into a 2nd place tie with Chicago, 3 games back of Milwaukee. With the Cardinals' bats slumbering, Joel Pineiro went the distance, shutting out the Cubs on 3 hits, allowing no walks and striking out 5. Pineiro, who was expected to solidify the Cardinals' rotation last season, but finished with a 7-7 record, got his fifth win of the season against just two losses. It was Pineiro's 10th complete game and 4th shutout of his 10 year major league career. NOTES: The Yankees and Brewers are each riding 7-game winning streaks. New York has clawed to within 3 1/2 games of the lead in the AL East, but still trail Boston by a game and Toronto. The Brewers have vaulted to the top of the NL Central with their good fortune, establishing a 3-game lead over both St. Louis and Chicago. The Yankees' Alex Rodriguez homered for the 4th straight game. His bat has been instrumental in getting New York back to winning ways.

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