Saturday, June 27, 2009

Gardner's 5-for-6 Sinks Mets; Ethier Blasts Three for Dodgers

Players of the Day for Friday, June 26, 2009 American League Brett Gardner won the center field job in Spring training, lost it briefly to Melky Cabrera, but, after his 5-for-6 performance Friday night in the Yankees' 9-1 thumping of the Mets, there's little doubt who will be regularly patrolling the depths of Yankee Stadium in the foreseeable future. Gardner started the game off with a sharp single, but was forced out at second. He singled again in the second and scored. In the 6th, he singled, stole second and was left stranded. Gardner knocked his 3rd home run of the season, a solo shot in the 8th, and in the ninth, smacked a triple to the right-center gap, driving in his second run and scored on Johnny Damon's double to complete the Yankee scoring. Gardner boosted his average from .281 to .303. Blessed with blazing speed, Gardner has proven adept at the swipe, having stolen 17 bases this season in 19 attempts. National League Andre Ethier is one of the players helping the Dodgers survive Manny Ramirez's 50-game drug suspension, due to end within a week. While the Dodgers have seen their lead in the NL West shrink a bit, they are still a comfortable 8 games clear of the San Francisco Giants. On Friday, Ethier proved his value in big ways, launching three homers and driving in six runs in the Dodgers' 8-2 win over visiting Seattle. Either unloaded on starter Jason Vargas with a three run shot in the second inning, followed up with a two-run blast in the 6th and a solo shot in the 8th. Ethier has just 14 home runs on the season to go with 49 RBI, but those numbers are expected to rise once Manny gets back in the lineup.

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