Friday, August 21, 2009
Howard Powering Phils In NL East; Bryd's Homers Lift Rangers
Players of the Day for Thursday, August 20, 2009 American League The chase continued for the Texas Rangers on Thursday, as they notched an 11-1 win over Minnesota, earning a 2-2 split in their 4-game series. Continuing what looks to be a battle to the finish with Boston for the wild card, the Rangers remain a game behind, as Marlon Byrd led the way with a pair of homers - a solo shot in the second and a two-run bomb in the 3rd - and a sac fly in the 6th. The Rangers get their runs from a variety of contributors, and Byrd's been a player lately, driving in 7 runs in his last four games. National League Is it all over in the NL East? Well, according to the way the Phillies are playing, it certainly looks that way. The Phils won their 4th straight and 8th in their last 10, blasting Arizona by a 12-3 score as Ryan Howard, Jayson Werth and Carlos Ruiz all homered. The Phillies have been knocking balls out of parks with increasing regularity, led by their biggest bopper, Howard, who opening the scoring onslaught with an RBI double in the first and pretty much ended it when he launched a 3-run shot (his 32nd) in the 6th inning. Howard's 4 RBI gave him 98 on the season and he also scored three times. Howard has been a terror of late, smashing 6 homers in his last 7 games and driving in at least one run in 9 of his last ten games, with 19 overall during that span. The win upped Philadelphia's lead to 6 1/2 games over the suddenly-struggling Marlins, who have lost two straight. The Braves, with their second straight win, are now tied with Florida in second place.