Thursday, June 18, 2009

Kinsler Outruns Astros; Lannan Guns Down Yankees

Players of the Day for Wednesday, June 17, 2009 American League Texas continues to cling to a narrow lead in the AL West, currently 2 games to the good over the charging LA Angels, winners of six straight. In Wednesday's 5-4 squeaker over Houston, the Rangers were fortunate to have Ian Kinsler in the leadoff spot. In the first inning, Kinsler led off with a double, stole third and scored on Ivan Rodriguez's errant throw. After beating out a bunt single in the 3rd inning and being forced out at second, Kinsler stroked a sac fly in the 5th, scoring Omar Vizquel with the go-ahead run. After Houston tied the game at 4-4, it was again Kinsler in the 10th who reached on an error, stole second and eventually scored the game winner on David Murphy's single to left. Not a bad night: 2-for-4, 2 steals, an RBI, and two runs, including the game winner. National League Don't tell the Washington Nationals that they're supposed to go up to New York just to be swept by the high and mighty Yankees. After a 5-3 loss in the series opener, the Nats evened the score, winning 3-2 in New York. While Washington was only able to muster 3 runs, Nationals' starter John Lannan limited the Yankees to just four hits and two earned runs over 8 1/3 innings of yeoman mound work. Lannan (4-5) allowed the Yanks to score only on home runs - both solo shots - in the 5th, by Robinson Cano, and in the 9th, by Johnny Damon. After allowing a one-out single by Mark Teixeira, Lannan turned the ball over to reliever Mike McDonald, who walked Alex Rodriguez but got Cano to ground into a game-ending double play for his first save since July of 2006. Lannan, a second-year starter for the Nationals who hails from Long Island, has bested both of his favorite boyhood teams. On June 6, he threw a 4-hit complete game to beat the Mets and now holds a win over both metro teams. For a starter on a last place team, Lannan's stats are favorable with an ERA of 3.38 and a 1.34 WHIP.

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