Friday, September 3, 2010

Sabathia Stops A's on One Hit; Utley Slams, Drives in Six for Phillies

Players of the Day for Thursday, September 2, 2010 American League When the Yankees have C.C. Sabathia on the hill at home, there are no worries. The big man has owned every team he's faced from his high position since the middle of last season. Oakland came forth in an attempt to knock the king from his throne, but came up empty, as Sabathia won his 16th straight decision from the Yankee Stadium bump. The only hitter to have any success was second baseman Mark Ellis, whose single in the 2nd inning proved to be the only hit any Oakland batter would have on the day. Sabathia, boosted to a lead courtesy of two Curtis Granderson homers, steamrolled through the A's for eight innings, walking three and striking out five for his 19th win of the season against five losses. Jonathan Albaladejo came on in the 9th and mopped up, without allowing a hit. In 21 starts, Sabathia has not lost at Yankee Stadium since the 2009 all star break and currently leads the majors in wins. The 5-0 win increased New York's AL East lead over idle Tampa Bay to a contentious 1 1/2 games. National League With an assist from the NY Mets - who beat the Braves, 4-2 - the Phillies picked up a game on the NL East leaders with a scary 12-11 victory at Colorado. The Phillies were down, 6-3, entering the 7th inning, but they erupted for seven runs, five of which were accounted for by Chase Utley, who singled home Placido Polanco with the first score of the inning and later smacked a grand slam off Rockies' reliever Matt Raynolds, the fifth of seven pitchers used by Colorado. Utley knocked in a run with a sac fly in the 5th, bringing home Joe Blanton from third, and finished the night 2-for-5 with six RBI. The home run, his 12th of the year, was Utley's first since returning from the disabled list on August 17. The Phillies, who have won three straight, cut a game off Atlanta's lead in the division and trail by just two games. NOTES: Two races worth watching are the AL Central, where Minnesota clings to a 3 1/2 game lead over the White Sox, and the NL West, which looked to be sewn up by the Padres until recently, as they have dropped seven straight. The Giants have become the main beneficiary of the Pardes' sudden collapse, now behind by just three games, and leading the wild card chase as well. San Francisco is in an enviable position.

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