Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Huff Sends Tigers to Xtra Inning Win; Holliday a Cheery Cardinal

Players of the Day for Monday, September 14, 2009 American League After dropping the first two games of their series with Toronto, the Tigers came back to win the last two games, including Monday's 6-5, 10-inning triumph over the Jays. The Blue Jays pounded Tiger starter Justin Verlander for 5 runs in the 6th inning to take a 5-2 lead, but Aubrey Huff evened the score in the bottom of the 9th with a 3-run blast, and Detroit went on to win in the 10th when Marco Scutero mishandled a potential double-play ball, allowing Brandon Inge to score from second. Huff's homer was just his second as a Tiger since being acquired from Baltimore in mid-August. Used mostly as a replacement and pinch-hitter, Huff is batting just .197 in 24 games with Detroit. The Tigers shaved their magic number to capture the Central division down to 14 with the win. They lead the Twins by 5 1/2 and the White Sox by 6 1/2. National League Matt Holliday has proven to be an outstanding mid-season pick-up for the power-hungry Cardinals, providing a big bat behind superstar Albert Pujols. Hitting in the cleanup spot on Monday, Holliday singled and doubled in 5 at-bats, driving in 3 runs and scoring twice as the Cards banged out 17 hits in an 11-6 win over the fading Florida Marlins. Holliday has driven in 48 runs in 47 games with St. Louis, including 12 homers. He's batting a robust .371 as a Cardinal, with 12 home runs, 14 doubles and two triples. The win helped the Cardinals reduce their magic number to win the NL Central to 10, as they lead the Cubs by 9 1/2. The Marlins trail Philadelphia by 7 games in the East and Colorado by 5 1/2 in the wild card. With just 18 games left on the schedule, time is running out on Florida. NOTES: The Rockies aren't in the wild card sweet spot just yet. Dropping their third straight, a 9-1 loss at San Fran, Colorado's wild card edge is down to just 3 1/2 games over the Giants, who refuse to die. The two play two more games, Tuesday and Wednesday, in what could prove to be the pivotal series of the season. In the AL wild card hunt, the Red Sox, by virtue of a 5-game winning streak, have opened a 4 1/2 game edge over the Rangers. No other team is close enough for consideration.

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