Thursday, October 8, 2009

Phillies, Dodgers, Yankees Open with Wins

Players of the Day for Wednesday, October 7, 2009 Playoff Coverage American League NY Yankees 7 Minnesota Twins 2 The Yankees took advantage of a tired Twins team and Derek Jeter led the way from his leadoff position in the lineup, reaching base on all four of his plate appearances with a single, two-run homer, two walks, two RBI and three runs. While Jeter, Alex Rodriguez (2 RBI) and Hideki Matsui (2 RBI homer) were mashing Minnesota pitchers, C. C. Sabathia was working the hitters over from the mound, scattering 8 hits over 6 2/3 innings, striking out 8 while allowing only one earned run. Though the Twins scored the first two runs of the game in the 3rd inning, the Yanks responded in the bottom half of the frame with a deuce of their own off a Derek Jeter 2-run homer. The Yankees took the lead in the 4th on a double by Nick Swisher, adding three more in the 5th and another run in the 7th. New York leads the best of five series, one game to none, with game 2 at Yankee Stadium on Friday afternoon (6:07 pm EDT). Nick Blackburn goes for the Twins against the Yankees' A.J. Burnett. The LA Angels host the Boston Red Sox on Thursday night in the opener of their five game series. Game time is 9:37 pm EDT. Jon Lester goes for the Red Sox against the Angels' John Lackey. National League Philadelphia Phillies 5 Colorado Rockies 1 - The Rockies finally pushed across a run in the 9th inning off Cliff Lee, but by then it was far too late. Lee dominated from the mound, allowing just 6 hits and the lonely run as the Phillies took game one of their best-of-five series with the Rockies. Lee was largely untouchable, throwing 79 of his 114 pitches for strikes, often getting Colorado hitter off-balance and swinging for balls out of the strike zone. Lee struck out 5, got 10 more outs on ground balls and 11 on flies. His first post-season appearance resulted in a power pitching performance and a complete game win. Lee even added a hit and a stolen base, though the bulk of the damage was done by the heart of the lineup. Jayson Werth tripled in one run. Raul Ibanez accounted for two RBI with a single and double as the Phillies did all of their scoring in the 5th and 6th innings. Every batter in the lineup had at least one hit. The Phils and Rocks go at it again Thursday afternoon at 2:37 pm EDT. LA Dodgers 5 St. Louis Cardinals 3 The Dodgers took the first of their five-game series with St. Louis, capitalizing on a shaky Chris Carpenter and grinding through a game which set a major league post-season record for stranded runners by both teams. The Cards and Dodgers combined to leave 30 men on bases through the nine inning odyssey. Carpenter, who led the NL in ERA during the regular season, struggled through five innings, allowing 4 runs. His Dodger counterpart, Randy Wolf, survived only 3 2/3 before manager Joe Torre had seen enough. With the bases loaded in the 4th, Torre called on Jeff Weaver, who got Ryan Ludwick to ground out to end the inning and the Cardinals' best threat of the night. Thereafter, it was a steady parade of LA relievers - 4 more - who shut down the Cards on 5 hits over the final 5 innings. Rafael Furcal (left) was the hitting star, going 3-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI. Furcal was aboard when Matt Kemp hit a first-inning two-run homer and drove in a run which proved to be the winning margin with a sac fly in the 5th. The Cardinals and Dodgers play the second game of their series Thursday afternoon in LA. Game time is 6:07 pm EDT.

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