Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Brett Cecil Shuts Down Angels; Cabrera Shines as Reds Leadoff Man

Players of the Day for Monday, May 24, 2010 American League The Toronto Blue Jays took their slugging showcase to Anaheim Monday night, put got a win of a different color as Brett Cecil, Jason Frason and Scott Downs combined for a 3-hit shutout and a 6-0 win over the Angels. Cecil did the bulk of the work, allowing just 2 hits and two walks over 7 1/3 innings, as he improved to 4-2 on the season and the Jays picked up a game on the division-leading Rays, who were being beaten, 6-1, by the visiting Red Sox. The Blue Jays are 6 games behind Tampa Bay, but only 1/2 back of the second place Yankees. The victory was also their 16th road win of the year against just 9 losses, second in the majors to the Rays, who have won 19 away from home. Cecil has been a big part of the road warrior attitude, with all four of his wins coming on the road. Toronto only was able to scratch out 6 hits in the win, but benefitted from the generosity of 8 walks allowed by Angel pitching. While the Jays continue to cruise along, the Angels are still struggling at 21-26, five games off the pace set by the Rangers in the AL West. National League With the rest of the league taking a day off, the Reds took advantage of the opportunity to get back into a tie with St. Louis for first place in the NL Central, beating the visiting Pirates, 7-5. Leading off the game with a bunt single was Orlando Cabrera, who's hitting a solid .326 over his last ten games, helping the Reds run down the Cards and - for a while - take sole control of the division lead. Cabrera - one of a handful of players in the majors who can say he played for the Montreal Expos - was forced out on a double play ball, but it wasn't the last the Pirate infielders would see of him. In fact, Cabrera became well-acquainted with everybody around the horn, reaching base in all four of his plate appearances, with two singles, a double, a walk, a stolen base, an RBI and a run. That kind of evening is becoming routine for the 35-year-old Cincinnati shortstop, who's been very steady throughout his 13-year career, especially over the past three. Despite playing for four different teams from 2007-2009 (Angels, White Sox, A's, Twins), Cabrera's numbers have not suffered, averaging 188 hits and a .288 average over that span. Now back in the National League, Cabrera appears to be the perfect fit for the up-and-coming Reds.

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