Friday, August 27, 2010

Jackson, Rios Keep White Sox in Race; Pujols Smacks #400

Players of the Day for Thursday, August 26, 2010 American League With roughly 35 games left in the regular season, teams in chase mode know that time is not on their side and they need to start stringing together wins in a hurry. One such team in just that situation is the Chicago White Sox. Trailing the Twins by 3 1/2 games, the Sox know they need to win now and got maximum effort from starting pitcher Edwin Jackson (left) and outfielder Alex Rios (right) bouncing back from two straight defeats by the Orioles with an 8-0 triumph over the feisty birds. Jackson, acquired from Arizona prior to the non-waiver trade deadline, won for the second time in a Chicago uniform, though he has pitched well enough to win all four of his starts for the Sox. Working eight strong innings, Jackson didn't allow a run while giving up just three hits and a pair of free passes. While Jackson was piling up a 10 strikeouts (he had 11 in his previous start), Alex Rios broke out of his slump with his 18th home run and a pair of singles in four at-bats. Rios scored twice and drove in three runs, one on a single in the 4th inning, the other two on his left field blast in the 8th which completed the White Sox scoring. With the Twins beating Texas, 6-3, Chicago remained in hunt mode as they make their way to the Big Apple for a three-game set with the Yankees. National League The St. Louis Cardinals may not make it to the post-season, dropping another close one Thursday night to the Washington Nationals, 11-10, in 13 innings, but it won't be because Albert Pujols hasn't tried his best every time he's stepped onto the field. In four at-bats, Pujols doubled and hit a solo home run - the 400th of his already legendary career - but starter Chris carpenter and six Cardinal relievers could not keep the Nats off the basepaths, eventually succumbing to Ian desmaond's walk-off single in the 13th inning. Albert the Great upped his home run and RBI lead to three in each category over Joey Votto, who is having a career year for the Reds, who were idle. The St. Louis loss shuffled the Cards back to four games behind the Reds in the NL Central, where they will only have one more head-to-head meeting with Cincinnati, a three-game series in St. Louis, the first week of September.

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