Monday, August 30, 2010
Raburn Swats a Pair for Tigers; McCann's Shot Saves Braves
Players of the Day for Sunday, August 29, 2010 American League Both the Tigers and Blue Jays have dropped out of their respective division races and neither team has much chance of making it into the playoffs as a wild card, but the players soldier on, looking to win as many games as possible down the stretch. Completing a four-game series in Toronto with a split, thanks to a 10-4 win on Sunday, the Tigers can look forward to having a nice, young outfield in coming years. Rookie Austin Jackson looks like a keeper in center, and fellow first-year man Brennan Boesch was hot earlier and just needs more seasoning. Complementing them is Ryan Raburn, currently on a seven-game hitting streak which reached a crescendo Sunday when he belted a pair of homer runs and drove in four. Batting .414 (12-for-29) over that seven game span, Raburn's homers were his 9th and 10th. He's upped his RBI total to 44 in just 260 at-bats. The Tigers are 10 games behind Minnesota in the division. Toronto dropped back to 11 1/2 off the pace in the AL East. National League Atlanta keeps finding new ways to win, their most recent being scoring six runs in the final two innings to take out the Marlins, 7-6. Lulling Florida into a false sense of security by scoring just a single run in the first inning and nothing thereafter, the Braves cam to life against the Marlins' bullpen, scoring three runs in the 8th and three more in the ninth, concluding with a two-run homer by Matt Diaz and a solo game-winner by catcher Brian McCann. McCann went 3-for-4 on the night and only drove in the one run, though it was the most important run of the night. His solo blast gave the Braves a 2-1 split of their three-game series with the Marlins and kept them two games ahead of the Phillies, who have won the division three straight years. Atlanta will host the Mets next and won't see the pursuing Phillies until late September, when they play them three times in Philly, September 20, 21 and 22, and host them for the final three games of the season, October 1, 2 and 3. Stay tuned. This one could go down to the wire.