Thursday, May 6, 2010

Lackey Shuts down Former Team; Orlando Cabrera Walks Off Mets

Players of the Day for Wednesday, May 5, 2010 American League During the off-season, John Lackey took the free agency route from the West coast to the East, going from the LA Angels - where he had been a starter for all of his 8-year major league career - to the Red Sox. On Wednesday, the 6'6" righty got the chance to welcome his old teammates into Fenway Park and he made the most of it, limiting the Angels to 2 hits over 7 innings in a 3-1 Boston win. Lackey allowed one earned run, ironically off the bat of the Angels worst hitter. Third baseman Brandon Wood, batting .185 in the #9 slot, took one of Lackey's mistakes over the Green Monster in left field for a solo homer. That was just about the only mistake Lackey made on the day, improving to 3-1, walking 2 and striking out 4. The only other hit he allowed was a leadoff single in the second by Kendry Morales. The Sox surely need Lackey's strong arm as they chase the Rays and Yankees in the AL East race. Boston trails Tampa Bay by 6 1/2. The Yankees are in second place, one game behind the Rays. LA might end up with regrets over letting their ace go. The Angels are struggling, at 12-17, three games behind the A's in the AL West. National League Cincinnati shortstop Orlando Cabrera has been around. In 16 major league seasons, the sure-handed fielder has played for 7 different clubs, the last six years in the American League. Now back in the NL, where he began his career with the Montreal Expos, Cabrera is still proving a valuable commodity in the field as well as at the plate. In Wednesday's 5-4 win over the Mets, Cabrera provided the winning margin with his 3rd homer of the year, a tenth-inning walk-off solo shot to left off Mets' reliever Pedro Feliciano. Cabrera was the first batter Feliciano faced, and his last. Cabrera went 3-for-5, having hit a pair of singles before his heroic game-ender. In the 4th inning, he singled home the Reds second run. Cincy's win kept them in second place in the Central, 4 games behind the Cardinals, 4-0 losers to Philadelphia. In the AL East, the Mets dropped to 1 1/2 behind the Phillies.

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