Sunday, June 20, 2010

Wainwright, Holliday Lead Cards; AL Pitchers Dominate NL, Colby Lewis Tops

Players of the Day for Saturday, June 19, 2010 American League Saturday was full of exceptional pitching performances by AL hurlers as they dominated their NL foes. In Chicago, Jered Weaver tossed seven shutout innings, allowing only two hits, no walks, while fanning 11 in a 12-0 Angels' rout. Jake Peavy returned to the kind of form that earned him the 2007 NL Cy Young award, going the distance for the first time this season with his first shutout since 2005, a 1-0 nail-biter at Washington. Peavy allowed just three hits and walked two while striking out seven. Jesse Litsch bounced back from a horrid performance in his first start (2 1/3 innings, 9 hits, 7 runs in a 10-3 loss to Colorado), with a solid seven shutout innings in the Blue Jays' 3-0 win over Matt Cain and the Giants. Seattle's Felix Hernandez shut down the Reds, 5-1, allowing five hits and one walk in his complete game win, fanning 9 batters. But the best of the bunch was turned in by the Rangers' Colby Lewis, a journeyman starter who didn't have any major league playing time in all of 2008 or 2009, but has posted a 7-4 record in 14 starts this season. The 31-year-old Lewis pitched what was probably the best game of his career - which dates back to 2002 - with a complete game 5-1 win over the Houston Astros. Lewis didn't allow a walk, yielded only two hits, struck out nine, giving up the only run of the game in the bottom of the 7th, when Michael Bourne doubled, moved to third on a fly out, and scored on a wild pitch. Lewis needed only 102 pitches to go the distance, throwing 72 strikes. He induced 12 batters to ground out as the Rangers won their 7th straight and continue to lead the Angels (winners of 3 straight) by 2 1/2 games in the AL West. National League With all of the AL pitchers throwing peas at National Leaguers, a couple of Cardinals picked up the slack for the senior circuit. Adam Wainwright (left) improved to 10-4 with eight innings of stellar work, yielding just five hits and no earned runs in the Cardinals' 4-3 victory over Oakland. All but one of the St. Louis runs were provided by Matt Holliday (right), who doubled in a run in the 5th inning and smacked a two-run homer - his 8th of the year - in the 7th inning, providing the winning margin. St. Louis expanded their thin NL Central advantage over Cincinnati to 1 1/2 games with the win.

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