Friday, August 20, 2010

Konerko Goes 5-for-5 as Sox Blast Twins; Lilly Tosses 2-Hitter vs. Rockies

Players of the Day for Thursday, August 19, 2010 American League Facing a sweep at the hands of their main rival, the Minnesota Twins, the Chicago White Sox would not go quietly. Paul Konerko went 5-for-5, with a home run, double, three singles, four RBI and three runs, as the White Sox pounded out 21 hits for an 11-0 rout of the Twins. About the only thing Konerko didn't do was head into the stands to sell some bags of peanuts. Jumping all over Minnesota starter, Carl Pavano, the Sox scored two runs in each of the 1st and 3rd innings, added another in the 5th and two more in the 7th, which Pavano started, but could not retire a batter. The next four runs all came in the 8th, off reliever Glen Perkins, two of them by Konerko, who doubled in a pair. The win got the White Sox back to within four games of Central division-leading Minnesota, which had won six straight prior to Thursday's game. The Twins have owned the division with a 33-18 record, and have taken four of the last six from the White Sox. Konerko's home run was his 31st of the year, tying him with Miguel Cabrera for second, behing Jose Bautista's 37. Konerko ranks 7th in the league in RBI, with 85. National League The LA Dodgers may have fallen out of the division race in the NL West, but they're not about to slide out of contention in the wild card, at least if Ted Lilly can help it. Lilly gave the LA bullpen a needed day off and the Dodgers a boost of confidence with a complete-game, two-hit shutout over the Colorado Rockies. The 2-0 win left them seven games behind the Phillies in the wild card race, though there are three other teams - Colorado, St. Louis and San Francisco - ahead of them. Lilly won his fourth straight start as a Dodger, joining the team just prior to the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline along with former Cub teammate Ryan Theriot. He threw 79 of 110 pitches for strikes, fanned a season-high 11 and walked two, recording his first complete game and shutout since 2004, when he was a starter with the Blue Jays. After a 1st inning double by Dexter Fowler, the Rockies didn't get another hit until Troy Tulowitski's single in the 7th. In his four Dodger starts, Lilly's ERA is 1.29 and his WHIP a minuscule 0.57. He's allowed just 12 hits and four earned runs over his last 28 innings.

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