Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Thome Blast Tears Sox; Garland Extends Scoreless Streak to 17 as Padres Top Cubs
Players of the Day for Tuesday, August 17, 2010 American League Maybe it's time to move Jim Thome a little higher up in the batting order, though considering how he's done recently, even batting in the #7 spot Tuesday night, just keeping him in the lineup - anywhere - is probably a good idea. Thome mashed his 17th home run of the season - and 581st of his career (two behind Mark McGwire) - with a man aboard and no outs in the bottom of the 10th inning to provide the Twins with their fifth straight win, especially sweet because it was against AL Central rival Chicago. Trailing 6-5 after the White Sox's Alexi Ramirez homered to tie the game in the 9th and put Chicago ahead with an RBI single in the 10th, Delmon Young singled to lead off the Twins' half of the inning. Thome followed with his rip to right, a two-run shot that put the Twins four games to the good over the White Sox and sent the partisan crowd home happy with the 7-6 extra-inning win. One of the hottest hitters in either league right now, Thome has homered in four of his last six games, all wins for the Twins. Over that span he's 9-for-21 (.429), with 13 RBI. Tuesday night's 3-for-5 effort was good for 3 RBI, tying him with Goose Goslin at #30 on the career RBI list, with 1609. Thome singled twice before hitting the game-winner, his first inning hit bringing home Jason Kubel with the 4th run of the inning, though Minnesota was unable to hold their early lead. The Twins and White Sox go at it twice more before parting company. The Sox need to win at least one of the remaining two games of the series or risk falling out of the race. National League With the rest of the division in one kind of funk or another, the San Diego Padres are threatening to run away with the NL West. Jon Garland hurled seven inning of shutout ball at the Chicago Cubs Tuesday for the Padres' third straight win and eighth of the last nine, taking a commanding five game lead over second place San Francisco. Mike Adams allowed a hit in the 8th for his 27th hold of the year and Heath Bell gave up a leadoff single in the 9th, but fanned two and got Blake DeWitt on a long fly that Ryan Ludwick caught in the right field ivy at the wall for his league-leading 36th save in the Padres' 1-0 win over the Cubs. Garland allowed just four hits while walking three in his seven shutout innings, extending his scoreless streak to 17 innings. In his last start, he allowed the Pirates just one hit in six scoreless innings of a 3-0 San Diego win August 12. Garland is 12-8 with a 3.25 ERA. His three strikeouts against the Cubs gave him 100 on the year, the first time he's reached that level since 2006.