Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Kubel Scores Four as Twins Re-take AL Central Lead; Ethier, Dodgers Pound Phillies

Players of the Day for Tuesday, August 10, 2010 American League The AL Central has proven to be one of the more interesting races this season, and it got more interesting Tuesday night as the Minnesota Twins took the first game of their three-game series in Chicago, blasting the White Sox, 12-6. White Sox pitchers couldn't seem to hold Minnesota batters inside the yard, allowing five home runs, with ten of the Twins' 14 hits going for extra bases. One player they could not keep off the basepaths was Jason Kubel, who has been on a tear over his last ten games, going 13-for-31 (.419), with four homers and 12 RBI. On Tuesday, he reached base safely in all five of his plate appearances, walking three times and smacking a double and a two-run homer in his two official at-bats. Kubel scored four times in the game. The Twins took over first place in the division by one game with their third straight win and fourth win in their last five. Meanwhile, the White Sox have dropped three straight and four of their last five. National League In Philadelphia, the Dodgers piled on 18 hits off seven Philadelphia pitchers winning a 15-9 slug-fest over the Phillies. Andre Ethier had a sensational night at the plate, going 4-for-4 with three RBI, scoring four times as the Dodgers won the first of their three game series against the NL East-contending Phillies. With the effort, Ethier's batting average leapt eight points, from .296 to .304, putting him back into an elite group of 11 NL players with averages of at least .300 with the requisite number of plate appearances to qualify for league leadership. As for his team, the Dodgers are still breathing, though their prospects may be lowered to competing for the wild card. They trail the Padres in the NL West by seven games, but are just 4 1/2 behind the Reds and Giants in the wild card race with the Phillies in between, 3 1/2 ahead of the Dodgers, one game out. In order to remain relevant, the Dodgers need to play well on the road, where they are 23-30 on the year. Following two more games in Philly, they travel to Atlanta to face the division-leading Braves for three games before returning to LA. The Phillies fell 2 1/2 games behind Atlanta in the NL East, as the Braves took a 4-2 decision in Houston.

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