Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Gonzalez Downs Marlins on One Hit over 8; Cliff Lee Hurls Third Straight Shutout

Players of the Day for Tuesday, June 28, 2011

American League

Emilio Bonifacio led off the game for Florida with a single against Oakland starter Gio Gonzalez, but that was the last hit the Marlins would produce in a 1-0 win for the A's.
Gio Gonzalez

Gonzalez would cruise through the remaining innings, allowing just one hit and three walks until leaving the mound after finishing the 8th.

Bonifacio was also the first batter closer Andrew Bailey would face in the 9th, reaching on an error, but Bailey made quick work of the next three batters, getting Omar Infante, Greg Dobbs and Hanley Ramirez swing at third strikes.

Gonzalez was staked to a one-run lead on Kurt Suzuki's sac fly in the 2nd, which plated Hideki Matsui with the game's only score, and the lefty made it hold up with one of the best outings of his career. Gonzalez improved to 7-5, fanning nine in the process.

The win was just the second in the last six outings for the A's, who have fallen six games off the pace in last place in the hotly contested AL West. For the Marlins, it was just another loss in a summer of discontent.

National League

As amazing as the Philadelphia rotation has been this season, Cliff Lee has added superlatives for June, throwing his third consecutive shutout in a 5-0 win over the Boston Red Sox.

Cliff Lee: 32 straight
scoreless innings
Ever the model of efficiency and control, Lee allowed just two hits and two walks in the whitewash, extending his streak of scoreless innings to 32, and ending June with an ERA of 0.21. He fanned five, increasing his season total to 119, third in the AL.

Lee threw 71 of 112 pitches for strikes, completely stifling the Boston batters who missed the presence of their DH, David Ortiz, who was held out of the lineup because the game was being played in a National League city.

Lee has not allowed a run since the Cubs' Starlin Castro scored in the third inning of a 7-1 Phillies' triumph on June 11. Since then, Lee - who has won five straight - shut out Florida, 3-0, on June 16 and St. Louis, 4-0, on June 22.

Over the 32-inning scoreless span, Lee has given up just 12 hits and issued five walks.

The Phillies maintained their 4 1/2 game lead over Atlanta in the NL East with the victory, while the Red Sox fell 1 1/2 behind the Yankees in the AL East.

INTERLEAGUE TALLY: With five days left to interleague play (July 3), the National League tied it back up again at 94 wins for each league, winning eight games while the AL won six.

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