Monday, July 20, 2009

Lackey's 3-Hitter Lifts Angels; Fox A Solid Cubs Rookie

Players of the Day for Sunday, July 19, 2009 American League Despite a 5-4 record this season, John Lackey is a guy you have to respect every time he takes the mound. On Sunday, Lackey went up the hill at Oakland and dueled with A's starter Brett Anderson through 9 scoreless innings until Bobby Abreu sent a ball over the right field barrier for a 1-0 Angels win. Lackey pitched through the 9th, allowing just 3 hits and one walk, striking out 6. Brian Fuentes came on to finish up, allowing one hit, for his league-leading 28th save. The win kept the Angels three games ahead of the Texas Rangers and 4 up on Seattle. With the Angels getting healthy and pitchers like Lackey and Fuentes doing their thing, the race for the division flag may become an exercise in futility for their opponents in very short order. National League Here's a late entrant for NL Rookie of the Year: Jake Fox of the Chicago Cubs. With Milton Bradley failing to produce, Fox has been getting more playing time and he's responded in positive fashion with a .326 batting average, 5 homers and 19 RBI in just 86 at-bats. In Chicago's 11-3 win at Washington Sunday, Fox was filling in for Aramis Ramirez, who was taking a regular day off, and he made the most of it, going 3-for-5, with a 3-run homer, two singles, 4 RBI and 3 runs. The win moved the Cubs up to second place in the NLCentral, as the Cardinals remained 2 games in front with a win, while the Brewers dropped to 3 back, losing to the Reds, who are 5 1/2 back. In between are the Astros, 4 games behind. The NL Central continues to be the most contentious race in the majors, with 5 teams vying for the flag.

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