Monday, August 16, 2010

Slowey, Thome Lead Twins to 3-Game Edge; Glaus Powers Braves Past Dodgers

Players of the Day for Sunday, August 15, 2010 American League It isn't often that a pitcher gets yanked when he throwing a no-hitter, but there are sometimes more important matters which need to be addressed, such as a hurler's health and the implications of a pennant race. Such was the case with Kevin Slowey (left) of the Minnesota Twins on Sunday, who tossed seven innings of on-hit ball, allowing only three walks and a hit batsman, before manager Ron Gardenhire decided his man had done enough. Slowey was up to 106 pitches and had missed his last start, due to elbow tendonitis, so Gardenhire didn't want to cause any recurrence of inflammation. Besides, the Twins had just recently managed to secure a little space between themselves and the White Sox, and the team could certainly use the win. When Slowey finished the 7th inning, the score was 1-0, in favor of the Twins. In the bottom of the inning, Jim Thome (right) jacked a three-run homer to put the Twins up 4-0, which added to the angst of pulling the starter. Twins' relievers allowed two runs, but the Twins came away with the 4-2 victory over the A's and a 3-game cushion over the White Sox in the AL Central, as Chicago was outhit by Detroit, 13-8. Slowey improved to 11-5, and Thome's homer was his 16th this season and the 580th of his career. He is 10th on the all-time list, having passed Rafael Palmiero and Harmon Killebrew earlier this season, and is just three long balls shy of Mark McGwire. National League The Braves just keep on winning, clinging to their slim, 2-game lead over the three-time defending NL East champion Phillies. On Sunday, Atlanta's bats did the heavy lifting, pounding four Dodger pitchers for 16 hits in a 13-1 romp. All of the starting players had at least one hit, including starting pitcher Jair Jurrjens, Troy Glaus went 2-for-5, including a three-run homer and an RBI single. Glaus is probably not everybody's fantasy first baseman, but he's had a solid year for the Braves, with 16 homers and 69 RBI, despite a .242 batting average. The Braves have taken two of three from the Dodgers and will wrap up the series on Monday. Philadelphia has been dogging Atlanta for months, and remained two games behind with a 3-1 win over the Mets. The Dodgers have lost four of six on their road trip, which ends Monday, and have fallen out of contention in the NL West and the wild card race. They trail San Diego by 10 games in the division and are 6 1/2 behind the Giants and Phillies, with the Cards and Rockies also ahead of them for the wild card.

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