Friday, June 10, 2011

Verlander Keeps Tigers Charging; Tulowitzki Brings Rockies Back vs. Dodgers

Players of the Day for Thursday, June 9, 2011

American League

Verlander is 7-3
The Detroit Tigers are red hot and on the verge of running down Cleveland in the AL Central, and, with Seattle in town for the start of a four-game set, Detroit had its ace, Justin Verlander, on the mound to open the series.

Coming through with another huge performance, Verlander limited the Mariners to five hits, one walk and a solitary run over eight stellar innings. The only run came in the 5th, and put Seattle up temporarily, 1-0, but the Tigers plated four in the bottom half of the frame, capped by Brennan Boesch's two-run jack, and held on the 4-1 triumph.

Verlander was at his usual best, fanning ten Mariners, including catcher Miguel Olivo three times. Closer Jose Valverde got Olivo for a fourth time leading off the 9th, en route to his 16th save.

The Tigers crept to within one game of the idle division-leading Indians as Verlander improved his record to 7-3 with a 3.04 ERA and a 0.94 WHIP. While the Tigers entertain the Mariners over the weekend, Cleveland visits New York for a four game series with the Yankees.

National League

Troy Tulowitzki
Timing isn't everything, but it sure helps, as in the case of Colorado's Troy Tulowitzki, who delivered key hits in Colorado's come-from-behind, 9-7 win over the slumping LA Dodgers.

Tulowitzki got the the plate with the bases loaded in both the 6th and 7th innings and each time drove in two runs. In the 6th, with the Dodgers leading, 4-0, he doubled home a pair of baserunners, and in the 7th, after the Dodgers had scored three more times, Tulowitzki had the key hit in a five-run uprising, singling home two more runs to tie the game at seven.

Both times, Tulowitzki ended up stranded at third base, but his four RBI had a huge impact on the win. He leads the Rockies with 40 RBI.

The Dodgers dropped their second straight, are 3-5 for the month of June and have dropped into a last-place tie with San Diego, 6 1/2 games out of first. The Rockies won their second straight and are 4 1/2 behind the Giants in the NL West. The Rockies' win was the first in a four-game home series with the Dodgers.

JETER 3000 WATCH: Derek Jeter got to within ten hits of the magic 3000 mark, and he also scored a run, drove in one and stole a base, but there was no celebrating in the Yankee clubhouse, as they lost their third straight to Boston, by an 8-3 score. By being swept at home, the Yankees gave up the lead in the AL East and now trail the Red Sox by two games. New York will try to get itself right on its current home stand - which has started terribly - when they host Cleveland for four games beginning Friday and then welcome in the Texas Rangers for a three-game set.

Yankee fans would like to see Jeter get his 3000th hit at the stadium, and getting ten hits in seven games is certainly well within the captain's power, but getting some wins might be more on his mind than stroking singles at this point.

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