Sunday, May 15, 2011

Brad and Chad: Bergesen Blanks Rays on Four Hits; Billingsley Loses One-Hitter

Players of the Day for Saturday, May 14, 2011

American League

Brad Bergesen
Saturday was a day of pitching domination. Six of the twelve games played finished with shutouts on one side of the scoreboard, including a rain-shortened, 7-inning win by the Giants over the Cubs.

The finest AL performance was delivered by Baltimore's Brad Bergesen, who entered the Orioles' game with Tampa Bay sporting an 0-4 record, but emerged with his first victory of the season and first career shutout. In his third major league season, Bergesen now has four complete games to his credit.

The Orioles supported their starter with 11 hits, resulting in a 6-0 win, halting Tampa's three-game winning streak. Bergesen allowed just four hits and one walk, striking out six. He threw 103 pitches, 68 of them for strikes.

The result didn't change the standing much in the densely-packed AL East. Tampa Bay still leads the Yankees by 2 games and the O's remained in last place, 4 1/2 games out, though only 1/2 behind Toronto and Boston.

National League

Chad Billingsley
Every now and again, we all have those moments in which we exceed expectations and still come away unsatisfied. For Chad Billingsley, his one-hit loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks marks a new level of frustration for the Dodgers.

The LA story had its moment of drama in the second inning, when Billingsley, who allowed a leadoff double by Stephen Drew, wheeled and threw to second on a pickoff attempt, but Jamey Carroll, who was supposed to be covering, was nowhere to be found. The ball skipped into center field as Drew narrowly beat Matt Kemp's throw to third base.

After a walk to Miguel Montero, Melvin Mora lifted a sac fly, resulting in the game's only run. Billingsley then proceeded to retire the next 15 batters in a row, eventually walking Drew in the 7th inning. He worked through the 8th, replaced for a pinch hitter in the Dodgers' half of the 9th inning.

The Dodgers managed only two hits off Josh Collmenter (2-0), who went six innings, and two more hits off a trio of relievers.

Drew's run held up in one of the more bizarre shutouts of the season and a 1-0 Arizona win.

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