Thursday, August 12, 2010

Thames Delivers for Yankees; Wainwright, Rasmus Lead Cards Back to First Place

Players of the Day for Wednesday, August 11, 2010 American League Marcus Thames must feel like the forgotten man. Seldom having had the opportunity to play full time - either with the Tigers or his current team, the Yankees - Thames doesn't make any noise about playing time; he just goes out and does his job. While the Yankees made moves to acquire Austin Kearns and Lance Berkman recently and amid talk that the Yanks are looking for yet another bat in their lineup, Thames quietly rode the bench and got his chance Wednesday night, replacing Mark Teixeira in the 3rd spot in the lineup while the regular first baseman was with his wife as she gave birth to the couples third child. Thames took the DH spot, while Berkman played first, and the slugging righty made the most of the opportunity, going 3-for-5 with a home run, two runs and two RBI, including the go-ahead RBI single in the 9th that won the game, 7-6. Having an excellent year at the plate despite getting only 114 at-bats this season, Thames upped his average to .321. The Yankees only need to look at Thames' stats from the two years he had the most playing time - both with Detroit. In 2006 he hit 26 homers and drove in 60 runs in 110 games. In 2008, he had 26 jacks and 56 RBI in 103 games. The win kept the Yankees 1 1/2 ahead of Tampa Bay and 5 up on the charging Red Sox, who have won three straight. National League St. Louis completed their sweep of the Reds in dominating fashion, taking over sole possession of first place in the NL Central, as Adam Wainwright (left) and Colby Rasmus (right) led them to a 6-1 win at Cincinnati. Wainwright was locked into a scoreless pitcher's duel with Brandon Arroyo when Rasmus provided a winning blast - a grand slam dead-center jack that put the Cards up 4-0. Rasmus also singled and scored the last of the Cardinal runs while Wainwright dominated the Reds, allowing just two hits over seven full innings without a walk, getting 14 of his 21 outs on ground balls. He struck out 4, improving his record to 17-6, tying Colorado's Ubaldo Jimenez for the most wins in the majors. The win completed the three game sweep which brought the Cardinals from two games down in the standings to one game ahead of the Reds and in command of the division which they have dominated the past decade.

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