Thursday, July 22, 2010

Billingsley Blanks Giants; Delmon Young Powers Twins Past Indians

Players of the Day for Wednesday, July 21, 2010 American League There's hot, and then there's Delmon Young, the Minnesota outfielder who has had six multiple-hit games over his last eight. As the Twins try to keep pace with the White sox and Tigers in the AL Central race, Young has provided better than a fair share of timely hits as Justin Morneau recovers from the concussion which has had him on the DL since July 8. In the series finale against the Indians Wednesday, Francisco Liriano and Young helped the Twins avoid being swept as the starter shut out the Indians for seven innings and Young drove in three runs with a double and two singles in five at-bats for the 6-0 victory. The win moved both the Twins and Tigers a little closer to the White Sox, who were stymied, 2-1, in Seattle while Detroit took care of business by dropping the Rangers, 4-1. Both are 2 1/2 behind the front-running Sox. Young's numbers over the past eight games have been terrific, batting .412 (14-for-34) with one homer and nine RBI. National League There is grumbling in Los Angeles. The Dodgers are five games over .500 (50-45), have a 24-8 record against the rest of the division, yet find themselves down in 4th place in the NL West, 6 games behind the San Diego Padres. Somehow, it just doesn't seem fair. With the Padres winning a 6-4 decision in Atlanta in 12 innings, the best the Dodgers could hope for was to just keep pace, as they entered the final game of their three-game home stand against the Giants, who had already taken the first two. LA got everything they wanted out of starter Chad Billingsley, who blanked the visitors on five hits for his first complete game shutout since 2008. Facing off against Giants' starter Barry Zito, Billingsley got little support in the 2-0 win, all of it courtesy of Casey Blake's solo home in the 2nd and RBI single in the 8th. Billingsley improved his record to 8-5, throwing 125 pitches to get the job done. The Dodgers remain home to start a four-game set with the Mets on Thursday, seeking to avenge a 3-game sweep by the New Yorkers back in April.

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