Thursday, June 10, 2010
Masterson 2-Hits Red Sox; Cincy Takes Back First; Houston Out of NL Central Cellar
Players of the Day for Wednesday, June 9, 2010 American League On a day in which the Indians scored 11 runs, Tampa Bay, 10; Texas, 12; and the White Sox, 15, the best performance in the American League didn't go to anyone belting from the left or right side of the plate, but to 25-year-old Cleveland starter Justin Masterson, who tossed the first complete game shutout of his brief (3 seasons) career, knocking down the Boston batting order on two hits, walking two and striking out six in Cleveland's 11-0 victory. Masterson didn't allow a hit after J.D. Drew's one-out single in the 5th inning, giving up just the two walks after that and aided by a couple of Indian double plays. Hitting his spots consistently, Masterson threw 75 of 110 pitches for strikes, earning just his second win of the season, against five losses. Cleveland offered plenty of support, including Travis Hafner's grand slam in an 8-run 8th inning. It was the most the Indians have scored since outslugging the Yankees, 13-11 on May 29. The win snapped a three-game losing streak, though the Indians remain in last place, 12 1/2 off the pace in the AL Central. National League The Reds beat the Giants, 6-3, and took back first place in the NL Central when the Dodgers topped St. Louis, 4-3, later in the evening. Cincinnati got a big game out of leadoff hitter Orlando Cabrera (left), who had a single and doubled 3 times in 5 at-bats, scoring runs in the 1st, 3rd and 5th innings, the last of which gave the Reds the lead for good. Prior to Wednesday's win, Cabrera and the Reds had lost two straight to the Giants, and look to even the series in the finale Thursday afternoon. They lead St. Louis by one game in the division. Elsewhere in the division, the Houston Astros emerged from last place when Carlos Lee (right) whacked a 10th-inning grand slam to top the Rockies, 6-2. The blast was Lee's 9th homer of the season, and his 4th in his last 8 games, a span in which he has driven in 12 runs. The homer was his only hit of the game, extending his hitting streak to ten games. Lee's power surge is one of the reasons the Astros have won seven of their last nine and are now a 1/2 game better than the Pirates, who fell to Washington, 7-5, and into last place.