Friday, June 25, 2010

Pedroia Homers Three Times to Down Rockies; Gallardo Pitches Second Shutout

Players of the Day for Thursday, June 24, 2010 American League Emerging as the two best divisions in the majors, the AL East and the NL West are tough enough to have four teams each with records above the .500 mark. Two of them squared off in an interleague game Thursday with Boston looking to avoid being swept in Colorado, and they needed extra innings and a three-homer, 5-for-5 effort from Dustin Pedroia to get the job done. Pedroia, the 2008 AL MVP, spent the better part of the night running the bases. In addition to his three round-trippers, he singled and doubled and scored four times. All of his five RBI came on his homers - a solo shot in the 4th and two-run blasts in the 8th and 10th, the last of which sealed the deal for a 13-11 Red Sox win. The Red Sox maintained their position, tied for 2nd place in the division with Tampa Bay, both two games behind the idle Yankees. The Rays downed the Padres, 5-3. With the Dodgers beating the Angels, Colorado dropped into 4th place in the NL West, 4 games behind division leader, San Diego. National League The Milwaukee Brewers have mostly struggled early on, but not starter Yovani Gallardo, who notched his second complete game and second shutout of the season with a 5-hit, 12-K, no walks performance over the Minnesota Twins. Gallardo took a no-hitter into the sixth inning, but surrendered a single with one out in the frame. He also aided his own cause with a single and a double in four at-bats, scoring two runs. The 5-0 win capped a three-game sweep of the AL Central front-running Twins and was the 4th straight overall for the home-standing Brewers, who are tied with the Cubs, 8 games back of St. Louis in the NL Central. The victory was Gallardo's 7th against 3 losses, lowering his ERA to a solid 2.36 and the strikeouts giving him the NL lead with 115, two better than San Fran's Tim Lincecum. Streakers: The hottest team in the majors is the Texas Rangers, who won their 11th straight - the longest win streak in MLB this season - with a 6-5 win over the Pirates. The Rangers also have the hottest hitter in either league, Josh Hamilton, who, after taking Wednesday off, returned Thursday with 3 hits, extending his career-best hitting streak to 18 games. Not far behind the Rangers are the Chicgo White Sox, winners of nine in a row, the latest a 2-0 win over NL East leader, Atlanta. Gavin Floyd dueled with the Braves' Derek Lowe for seven innings and did not receive a decision, as Paul Konekero settled matters with a two-run homer in the 8th inning, his 18th of the season.

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