Thursday, June 25, 2009

Fields, White Sox, Pound Dodgers; Nieve Cuts Cards

Players of the Day for Wednesday, June 24, 2009 American League Everybody's chasing the Tigers in the AL Central. Detroit holds a comfortable 5 game lead over the Twins and is 6 better than the White Sox. KC is 8 1/2 out and Cleveland has fallen 11 back. One of the teams within shouting distance is Chicago, which knocked off the Dodgers Wednesday night by a 10-7 score, smacking 6 homers in a 13-hit attack. The player doing most of the damage, down there at the bottom of the lineup, was Josh Fields, who belted two - a two-run and a solo variety - in the 4th and 5th innings, blowing the game wide open. Fields could become an important element for the Sox as their everyday third baseman, a role which he has filled this season until management brought up prospect Gordon Beckham from AAA Charlotte. Fields and Beckham are now vying for the full-time job at the hot corner. Both were in the lineup Wednesday, as Fields subbed at first base for Paul Konerko. In 2008, Fields only saw action in 14 games, but in 2007, when he replaced the injured Joe Crede, he launched 23 homers and drove in 67 runs in 100 games. National League The Mets are probably the most injury-ridden team in the majors right now, the latest victim being Carlos Beltran, who joined Carlos Delgado, Jose Reyes, Jon Maine, Oliver Perez and Billy Wagner on the DL Monday. Still, the Mets were able to overcome all that and completely swamp the visiting Cardinals, 11-0, on Wednesday. David Wright went 4-for-4 and Fernando Tatis drove in 3 runs, but the real story was rookie starter Fernando Nieve, who shuffled the Cards with 6 innings of shutout ball for his third straight win. Nieve (3-0) allowed just three hits while walking 4 and fanning 5, lowering his ERA to 1.31 and his WHIP to 0.97. Nieve was called up earlier this month to fill in the rotation and he's responded with wins in each of his three starts. That has helped the Mets pull to within 1 1/2 games of the struggling Phillies in the NL East.

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