Thursday, May 28, 2009

Span's 4 Hits Lead Twins over BoSox; Arroyo, Bruce Lead Reds' 4th Straight

Players of the Day for Wednesday, May 27, 2009 American League The Minnesota Twins helped the Yankees tie Boston for first place in the AL East, knocking off the Red Sox, 4-2, as leadoff hitter Denard Span went 4-for-4 and scored twice. The win was Minnesota's second straight over the Red Sox, who had seized control of the division just days before. Third place Toronto has lost 9 in a row. Meanwhile, the Twins have taken over second place in the AL Central, 3 1/2 behind Detroit. Span, who, in his second year in the majors, has been in the leadoff spot most of the season for the Twins and is batting .316 with 11 steals and a .409 on-base percentage. National League While the Cardinals were taking over first place in the NL Central with a 3-2 win over Milwaukee, the Cincinnati Reds have quietly snuck into second place, just 1/2 behind the Brewers and 1 1/2 back of St. Louis, winning their 4th straight, 6-1 over Houston, as Bronson Arroyo (left) pitched a complete game for his 7th win against 3 losses and Jay Bruce (right) provided the bulk of the offense. Arroyo needed just 92 pitches to put away the inept Astro offense, sending Houston to their 7th straight loss. Allowing just 5 hits and one earned run, Arroyo was in complete control, walking one and striking out three. Bruce was far and away the hitting star of the night, smashing a solo shot in the 4th inning, a 2-run-shot in the 6th and delivering a run-scoring triple in the eighth inning to complete his 3-for-4, 4 RBI night. Bruce, in his second season as the Reds' regular right fielder, is off to a solid start with 14 home runs and 29 RBI, though his batting average is a touch low, at .241. The Reds will have every opportunity to take control of the division over the next week. After a day off Thursday, they travel to Milwaukee for a 3-game weekend series, then, on to St. Louis for a four-game deal with the Cards. NOTES: Randy Johnson (4-4) earned his 299th career victory, holding the Atlanta Braves in check over 6 solid innings, yielding just 3 hits and one earned run without walking anyone and striking out 5, including Chipper Jones three times. The Giants won the game, 6-3, setting up Johnson's chance at 300 for Wednesday in Washington against the punchless Nationals. While the Big Unit would prefer to pitch at home -where all four of his wins this season have come - he couldn't have hoped for a weaker offensive team to go against.

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