Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Angels Best in West; Jurrjens Keeps Braves on Warpath
Players of the Day for Monday, September 28, 2009 American League The LA Angels captured their third straight AL west crown - and 4th in 5 years - and did it in style, with an 11-0 trouncing of second-place Texas, as Ervin Santana pitched a complete-game shutout to even his record at 8-8. Santana allowed 7 hits and one walk while striking out 2. The native of the dominican Republic came up big when it counted. After missing starts in April and most of June, Santana strung together 4 straight wins in August, but was winless since August 22nd. Kendry Morales hit his 33rd home run of the season and drove in 3 runs. Bobby Abreu singled, doubled and tripled in five at-bats. During the clubhouse celebration, the Angels toasted their fallen teammate, Nick Adenhart, the 22-year-old pitcher who died in an April car accident, by dousing his #34 jersey in champagne and beer. LA has three more games with Texas, who is facing elimination in the wild card race as well. They trail Boston by six games with six to play. National League Keeping their playoff hopes alive, the Atlanta Braves downed the Florida Marlins, 4-0, in the opener of their 3-game series in Atlanta for their 7th straight win and 15th victory in their last 17 outings. The win moved the Braves to within 2 games of idle Colorado in the wild card race and put them just 4 behind the Phillies in the NL East. Philadelphia has been inconsistent of late, winning just 4 times in their last 9 games, including Monday's 8-2 defeat to Houston. The Phillies' magic number remained stuck at 3, thanks largely to the red-hot Braves. Jair Jurrjens kept the Marlins in check over the first seven innings, allowing just 5 hits and a walk while on the mound before turning the ball over to Atlanta's capable bullpen. Jurrjens improved to 14-10 with his 4th straight win. Over the last 29 innings, Jurrjens has been nearly untouchable, allowing a mere 2 earned runs.