Monday, July 25, 2011

5-for-5 Matsui Falls Short; Cecil Guns Down Rangers; Billingsley Fans 10

Players of the Day for Sunday, July 24, 2011

American League

Matsui: 5-for-5
Hideki Matsui did everything he could to beat his old team. Unfortunately, going 5-for-5 - three singles, two doubles - scoring a run and driving in one was not enough as the Yankees took the rubber game of the three-game series, 7-5.

After going 0-for-3 in the first game, Matsui completed the series by going 7-for-10 in the last two games. The A's have fallen out to the AL West race, trailing Texas by 13 1/2 games, while the Yankees are desperate to keep pace with red-hot Boston, winners of their last four straight, who lead New York by three games.

Cecil: 4-hit Shutout
In Texas, two teams known for scoring plenty of runs were subdued by pitching, as Toronto's Brett Cecil tossed a complete game, 3-0, shutout to avoid being swept by the Rangers.

Allowing four hits and two walks while fanning seven, Cecil earned just his third win of the season, against four losses. Cecil spent all of May and most of June on the DL, but has won two of his last three starts. It was his first career shutout.

Toronto remained 12 1/2 games out in the AL East, while the Rangers saw their lead slip to 3 games over the Angels in the West.

National League

Billingsley: 10 Ks
Out of last place in the NL West - the basement now belongs to the Padres - the LA Dodgers took the final two games of a three-game set from the Washington Nationals, culminating in a 2-1 win Sunday.

Starter Chad Billingsley (9-8) stymied the Nats on two hits over seven innings, allowing just the one earned run while striking out 10 and walking two. Billingsley did most of his damage on the middle of the order, registering 8 Ks on the 4th through 7th hitters, including getting Rick Ankiel three separate times.

STREAKS: Seattle set a new club record for failure, losing their 15th straight game, 12-8, in Boston.

Emilio Bonifacio extended his MLB-best hitting streak to 23 games, going 2-for-5 as the Marlins dropped the Mets, 5-4.

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