Friday, July 16, 2010

Aybar Keeps Angles in Pursuit; Howard's 2 HRs to No Avail

Players of the Day for Thursday, July 15, 2010 American League In what's become a desperate chase of the Texas Rangers in the AL West, the LA Angels continue winning without making up any ground. After the Rangers won, 7-2, in Boston, the Angels took care of business at home, smacking the Mariners by an 8-3 score. Shortstop Erick Aybar got the Angels off to a quick start, singling and scoring in the first and sparking a three-run rally in the second inning by singling home a pair of runs, leading to a quick 4-0 lead. After the Mariners scored three times in the top of the 5th to close the gap to one run, Aybar again delivered a key blow, driving home another run, and then scoring on Bobby Abreu's double, finishing up 3-for-5 with 3 RBI and two runs scored. The Angels remain 4 1/2 behind the front-running Rangers. National League Getting his second half off to a rousing start, even if his teammates aren't yet on board, Ryan Howard belted a pair of homers and drove in four runs in a 12-6 loss to the Cubs. Howard started the scoring for the Phillies with a two-run blast in the 1st inning, but starter Jamie Moyer couldn't hold the lead, allowing two runs in the bottom of the 1st, another in the 2nd and three more in the 3rd. Chicago piled on 16 hits overall, and it wasn't until the 9th inning that the Phillies showed any life, scoring fur times in the frame, ending with Howard's second two-run bomb of the game. Howard has 19 homers to go with 69 RBI and a .298 batting average. The Phillies lost ground to the NL East-leading Braves, who won, 2-1, over Milwaukee, but remained 1/2 game behind the second place Mets, losers to Tim Lincecum and the Giants, 2-0. The Braves lead the Mets by 5 full games and Philly by 5 1/2. The Cubs are trying to get back into the NL Central race. They are tied for 3rd place with the Brewers, both teams 9 behind Cincinnati. Second place St. Louis is only 1/2 back of the Reds.

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