Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Gonzalez 6-for-6 in Padres' Win; Santana Blanks Rays on 3 Hits
Players of the Day for Tuesday, August 11, 2009 American League Beginning to find the right stuff at the right time of year, Angels' starter Ervin Santana - who was 16-7 last season - pitched his best game of 2009, blanking the Rays on 3 hits for a complete-game, 6-0, Angels win. Santana (5-6, 6.38 ERA) faced just 29 batters, two over the minimum, thanks to three double plays turned in by the LA infield. He also issued just two walks while getting six hitters on strikes, including leadoff hitter Jason Bartlett three times. Of his 97 total pitches, 65 went for strikes as Santana cruised through the Rays lineup. The Rays, normally one of the AL's best-hitting teams, has been blanked 3 times since July 1, including Mark Buehrle's perfect game on July 23. All of the whitewashings have occurred on the road. Tampa, in danger of becoming irrelevant, has dropped 9 games behind the AL East leading Yankees and 3 1/2 behind Boston, the leaders of the wild card race. The Angels upped their lead over the Rangers to 5 games, as Texas was blanked by Cleveland, 5-0. National League The San Diego Padres haven't had much to get excited about in 2009, but Adrian Gonzalez provided some good cheer as he became the first major leaguer this season to knock out 6 hits in a game. Gonzalez, a .251 hitter coming into the game at Milwaukee - won by the Padres, 13-6 - singled every time he went to the plate, except in the third inning, in which hit laced a double to center, finished with a .262 batting average. San Diego remains anchored in last place in the NL West, but the loss by Milwaukee dropped them 2 games under .500 (55-57), 6 1/2 games behind the Cardinals in the Central and the same number of games behind the Rockies in the wild card standings. The Brewers are a woeful 9-14 against NL West teams.