Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Victor Martinez Leading Tiger Surge; Lincecum, Wilson Combine for 1-0 SF Win

Players of the Day for Tuesday, May 10, 2011

American League

After going 12-14 in April and starting off 0-2 in May, the Detroit Tigers are beginning to put it all together, winning for the seventh time in their last eight games with a 10-2 whipping of Minnesota on Tuesday.

Victor Martinez
Part of the reason for the sudden turn of fortune for the Tigers is the return of Victor Martinez, who has a hit in each of his seven games since returning from the DL with six extra-base hits and 10 RBI.

In the opener of their three-game series at Minnesota, Martinez extended his hitting streak to ten games (three straight before entering the DL) with a 3-for-4 effort, including a pair of doubles, four RBI and two runs scored.

The win boosted the Tigers back over .500 at 19-18 and into a tie for second place in the AL Central with the Royals, 5 1/2 games behind Cleveland. Martinez is hitting at a .462 (12-26) clip since returning from the DL.

National League

Tim Lincecum pitched about as well as he could, going eight innings against the Diamondbacks without allowing a run on four hits and two walks while striking out nine batters.

Brian Wilson
The problem was that Ian Kennedy, fast becoming Arizona's ace, was equally strong, also going eight scoreless innings on four hits, with three walks and eight Ks.

Tim Lincecum
But, after Brian Wilson pitched a scoreless 9th inning, and as David Hernandez relieved Kennedy the Giants struck. Buster Posey worked a walk to lead off the inning. Darren Ford, pinch-running for Posey stole second and, after Aubrey Huff struck out swinging, came around to score the game's only run when Cody Ross singled to left for the 1-0 win.

Wilson got the win, which happened to be his third in his last four appearances, improving his record to 3-1. After a somewhat shaky start, Wilson, in addition to the three recent wins, has reeled off six consecutive saves (a 33.75 ERA after his first two appearances) and has converted his last 11 save opportunities.

Lincecum received no decision, and remained at 3-3, but is sporting some nice figures, including a 2.11 ERA, a 1.03 WHIP and 66 Ks, good for a tie with Roy Halladay, topping all NL hurlers.

Personal records aside, the Giants won their fourth straight and have nearly run down the Rockies in the NL West. Colorado's lead is now a mere 1/2 game.

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