Thursday, May 26, 2011

Crawford 4-for-4 in BoSox 14-2 Win at Cleveland; Ian Kennedy Goes to 6-1

Players of the Day for Wednesday, May 25, 2011

American League

Carl Crawford
Just in case anyone was thinking that Boston's three-game series at Cleveland was a preview of the playoffs, the Beantown boys made sure they had the last word, humbling the current AL Central division leaders with a 14-2 beat-down for a 2-1 series win.

Boston batters doled out 20 hits, led by Carl Crawford's 4-for-4 effort, which included his third home run of the season, two doubles, three runs and a pair of RBI.

Crawford, who entered the game batting just .212, hasn't quite lived up to Boston's expectations since being acquired in the off-season from the Rays, but showed definite signs of heating up along with the weather.

The Red Sox scored their runs in bunches, getting seven in the 1st inning and plating five more in the 6th. The win moved them into sole possession of second place in the AL East, just a half game behind - you guessed it - the NY Yankees.

National League

Ian Kennedy
All of a sudden, everybody in the NL West is paying attention to the Arizona Diamondbacks.

In the scrambled race to keep pace with the reigning world champion Giants, the Diamondbacks have shown up in second place. After losing five straight earlier in the month, Arizona has gone red-hot, winning nine of their last eleven, including Wednesday's 2-1 victory over Colorado, displacing the Rockies in second place in the division.

One reason for Arizona's success has been the performance of starting pitcher Ian Kennedy, who won his third straight, improving to 6-1, as he limited the Rockies to seven hits over eight innings. Kennedy walked two and struck out three, throwing 74 of 104 pitches for strikes. He was definitely not fooling anybody as he lowered his ERA to 3.01 to go with a 1.02 WHIP. J.J. Putz worked a perfect ninth inning for his 12th save.

Arizona will attempt to leave Colorado on a winning note when the two teams complete their four-game series Thursday. The Diamondbacks lost the first encounter, but have come back with two straight wins. They trail the Giants by 2 1/2 games and are over .500 (25-24) for the first time this season.

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