Saturday, July 11, 2009
Sanchez Tosses No-Hitter for Giants; Lester Tames Royals on 4 Hits
Players of the Day for Friday, July 10, 2009 American League It wasn't a no-hitter, but Boston's Jon Lester turned in a stellar pitching performance in Boston's 1-0 win over Kansas City Friday night. Lester allowed four hits over 8 scoreless innings, walking 2 while striking out 8. It was the third straight win for Lester. Over his last four starts, he's allowed just 4 earned runs in 27 1/3 innings, boosting his record to 8-6. Lester is among the league leaders in strikeouts with 131. The win was critical, as it pushed the Red Sox back on top in the AL East, one game to the good over the Yankees, who had their 3-game win streak ended in a 10-6 loss at the LA Angels. National League On a staff filled out with the likes of Barry Zito and Tim Lincecum, the thought of Jonathan Sanchez tossing the season's first no-hitter seemed to be somewhat of a stretch. But that's what happened on a nearly perfect night for baseball by the Bay, as the 6'2" lefty from Mayaguez, Puerto Rico came within an error of a perfect game. Sanchez (3-8) put down the first 22 San Diego batters in order, until third baseman Jose Uribe mishandled a grounder with one out in the eighth. It was the only Giants' miscue of the night. An inning later, Aaron Rowand saved the no-hitter with a leaping grab in center field. Sanchez didn't walk a batter, struck out 11, got an equal number on fly balls and the other 5 outs on grounders. He threw 110 pitches, 77 of which were strikes. While he was mowing down Padres, his teammates gave him plenty of support in the 8-0 win. Pedro Sandoval cranked out a 3-run homer in the 5th inning and leadoff hitter Rowand went 3-for-5 with 3 RBI. The win kept the Giants 7 games behind the NL West leading Dodgers, who were busy beating Milwaukee, 12-8, in 10 innings.