Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Blackburn Buzzes ChiSox; DeRosa Hammers Astros
Players of the Day for Monday, September 20, 2009 American League The Minnesota Twins got another win and 1/2 game closer to the idle Detroit Tigers in their relentless chase for the AL Central title. Nick Blackburn (11-11) blanked the White Sox over 7 innings, scattering 8 hits while fanning 6 without issuing a walk as the Twins opened their three-game series in Chicago with a 7-0 win. Blackburn had good command, setting down the side in order in the 1st and 7th innings. In between he allowed at least one base hit in each inning, but worked out of each situation by inducing ground outs and, in one instance, was aided by his infield turning a double play. Of the 102 pitches thrown, 72 were for strikes. Blackburn got 12 batters to ground out; 5 flew out. The win pushed the Twins to within 2 1/2 games of Detroit which begins a six game road trip with three games each against Cleveland and Chicago. After that, the Twins and Tigers hook up for a pivotal 4 game series in Detroit which will likely decide the division, September 28 through October 1. National League Mark DeRosa doubled in a pair of runs in the first inning, then belted solo homers in the 3rd and 5th, leading the St. Louis Cardinals to a 7-3 win over the Houston Astros. DeRosa, acquired from Cleveland in June, has proven to be a worthwhile pick-up for the Cardinals, both for his defense and his bat. It was his second 2-homer night since joining St. Louis and his 4 RBI his best effort in a Cardinal uniform. The win shaved another digit off the Cardinals' magic number, now down to 3. St. Louis leads the Cubs by 10 games in the NL Central, the largest lead in either league.