Sunday, October 4, 2009

Dodgers Do It; Twins Tie Tigers for AL Central Lead

Players of the Day for Saturday, October 3, 2009 American League In Minnesota, the Twins got past Zack Greinke and the KC Royals, 5-4, while the White Sox were taming the Tigers for the second straight day, as Freddy Garcia mystified the Tigers on 6 hits, allowing only one run over 7 solid innings for the 5-1 triumph. Garcia cut down seven Tiger batters on strikes, throwing 96 pitches (63 for strikes) for the spoiler win. The Twins and Tigers are now tied for the lead in the AL Central, Detroit having folded up down the stretch in the face of Minnesota's relentless pursuit. The Tigers are 0-for-October, having lost three straight, and have only won twice in their last 8 outings. The season comes down to one game for each of the contenders on Sunday, with the Twins hosting the Royals and the Tigers trying to get one win from the White Sox in Detroit. If the Twins and Tigers are still tied after Sunday's games, there will be a one-game playoff to determine the division winner. It's win or go home at this point, as the Red Sox have already secured the AL wild card slot. National League Five was the real magic number in Los Angeles on Saturday. After the Dodgers had lost 5 straight, allowing the Rockies, winners of 5 in a row, to pull to within one game in the divisional standings, LA finally got the win they needed, capturing their second straight NL West title with a 5-0 win over Colorado. Instrumental in securing their playoff position was starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw, who chilled out the red-hot Rockies on 3 hits over 6 innings, walking 3 and striking out 10. Though he did not receive a decision, Kershaw (12-10) kept the Rockies off the scoreboard in the most critical game of the season for LA. The Dodgers scored all 5 of their runs in a decisive 7th inning, highlighted by Mark Loretta's double which delivered two runs. The Dodgers will face the St. Louis Cardinals in the first playoff round, beginning Wednesday, October 7. The Phillies host the wild card Rockies in the other divisional series

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