Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Tigers, Cabrera Top Angels; Spilborghs Slams Giants
Players of the Day for Monday, August 24, 2009 American League Extending their narrow lead in the AL Central with a 10-7 victory over the Angels, the Detroit Tigers - with a little help from the Red Sox, who downed Chicago, 12-8 - are now 3 1/2 in front of the White Sox and 4 1/2 ahead of the Twins. In what was billed as a pitchers' duel between Detroit's Justin Verlander and LA's Jered Weaver, the two teams combined for 27 hits and 18 runs, with the Tigers keying off the 3-for-5 effort by Miguel Cabrera, who doubled home a run in the 1st, smacked a two-run homer in the 5th and doubled home two more in the Tigers' 7-run 6th inning. A four-time all star (Florida, 2004-07), Cabrera led the AL in homers last year with 37, and has left the yard 26 times this season, helping him to 80 RBI and a stunning .341 batting average. The slugging first baseman appears on his way to his 6th consecutive 100+ RBI season and first taste of the post-season in the AL. National League In Colorado, the sky's the limit when it comes to balls leaving the building, and Ryan Spilborghs proved the point with emphasis as his 14th-inning grand slam sent the Giants to their third straight loss at Coors field, even after scoring 3 runs in the top of the inning. After pitcher Adam Eaton (who also earned the W) walked, forcing in a run to cut the lead to 4-2, Spilborghs made the most of his trip to the dish with his blast to right, his 7th homer of the year, walking off with a 6-4 win. A part-time player of great importance to the Rockies, Spilborghs is of vital importance to the Rockies, both as a pinch hitter and a steady outfielder. In Monday's game, he started in left field and ended up in right. In 286 at-bats this season, Spilborghs has driven in 44 runs. The win was the third straight for the Rockies after dropping the first game of their series with the Giants and it gave them a 4-game edge over San Fran in the wild card race. The Giants are just 1/2 game ahead of Atlanta and 1 1/2 better than Florida in the wild card standings. NOTES: With many teams traveling on Monday, there wasn't much movement in the standings, except in the National League, where the Rockies appear to be rolling. They are now also just 3 games behind the Dodgers for the NL West lead, and begin a three-game series in LA beginning Tuesday. A Colorado sweep would leave the two teams deadlocked for the division. The key series in the AL also begins Tuesday, as the Rangers visit the Yankees for three games while Boston continues its series with the White Sox.