Friday, September 4, 2009

Pedro Beats Lincecum, Giants; Posada 7th Yankee With 20 Homers

Players of the Day for Thursday, September 3, 2009 American League Jorge Posada joined the Yankees' 20-homer club with a 9th inning 2-run blast to complete a 4-for-5 night at the plate in New York's 10-5 win over Toronto. Posada joined 6 other Bombers with 20 or more home runs this season, tying a major league record held by the 1996 Orioles, the 2000 Blue Jays and the 2005 Rangers. Posada also doubled and singled twice, driving in 4 runs and scoring one. The win kept the Yankees 7 1/2 ahead of the Red Sox in the division, a comfortable lead for the first week of September. New York can break the record if Derek Jeter hits three more homers this season, which would be 8 players with 20 or more. Jeter hasn't totaled 20 homers in a season since 2004. National League Pedro Martinez has been something special since joining the Phillies' rotation less than a month ago. With Thursday's 2-1 victory over the Giants, Pedro improved to 3-0 with a 3.52 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP as he outdueled Gaints' starter Tim Lincecum, who has only registed one win in his last 6 starts. Lincecum gave up both of the Phillies earned runs while striking out 11. Martinez fanned 9 in his 7 innings of work. Ryan Madsen pitched the 8th and Brad Lidge struggled, allowing a hit and a walk in the 9th, but managed to pick up his 28th save. The win helped the Phillies to an 8 1/2 game lead over both the Marlins and Braves in the NL East. The Giants remained 1 game behind Colorado in the wild card race, as the Rockies were losing, 8-2, to the Mets. Florida and Atlanta are both 4 back. NOTES: Weekend series to watch: Detroit visits Tampa Bay for three games, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The Tigers are 5 games clear of Minnesota in the AL Central and can spoil Tampa Bay's post-season hopes by taking two of three or sweeping the Rays, who are already on the edge of elimination, 6 games behind Boston in the wild card race. Boston plays at the White Sox, another team fading fast, so the main beneficiary, should the Tigers tame the Rays, would be the Texas Rangers, who travel to Baltimore for 3 games. The Rangers have hit a very soft spot in the schedule. After the O's, they head to Cleveland for a 3-game set, then head home for a pair of 3-game series with the Mariners and A's before going head to head with the Angels September 18, 19 and 20. Texas remains 3 behind Boston in the wild card, but only 3 1/2 behind the Angels in the West.

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