Friday, July 1, 2011

Cards Tie for 1st on Berkman Pair; Sabathia Fans 13 as Yanks Roll; Interleague Remains Tied

Players of the Day for Thursday, June 30, 2011

American League

Sabathia fanned 13
There's a familiar tune being sung in New York. It's the one which has the Yankees singing the lead and Red Sox, Rays, Blue Jays and O's relegated to the chorus.

After C.C. Sabathia tied a career high with 13 Ks against his former teammates - the Milwaukee Brewers - the Yanks stood alone atop the AL East, 2 1/2 ganes to the good over the Red Sox, 4 ahead of the Rays, with the others fast fading from contention.

Sabathia dominated his old buddies in the 5-0 Yankee win, their fifth straight. He fanner Ricky Weeks three times and Prince Fielder twice. Only Ryan Braun, who was 3-for-3 and is riding a 20-game hitting streak, was able to solve the Yankee ace.

Sabathia scattered those three Braun hits and three others over 7 2/3 innings, issuing a pair of walks along the way as he improved to 11-4.

In another piece of good news for the Yankees, Derek Jeter will resume his pursuit of 3000 hits when he comes off the DL on Monday, July 4 in the open of a three-game series in Cleveland. Only six hits shy of the mark, Jeter could conceivably break it in Cleveland, but has a better shot of getting to 3000 against the Rays, at home in New York, during a four-game series July 7-10.

National League

Berkman: 2 Homers
With all star slugger Albert Pujols gone for the next four to six weeks while the fracture in his left forearm heals, the Cardinals - with the assistance of the Yankees - have managed to climb back into a tie with the Milwaukee Brewers for first place in the NL Central.

Maybe interleague play isn't fair - the Cardinals were sweeping the Orioles while the rewers were being swept three straight by the Yankees - but the Cards aren't complaining after Lance Berkman delivered a pair of home runs in their 9-6 win at Camden Yards.

Berkman smacked a two-run job in the 3rd to put the Cardinals up 4-0 and a solo shot in the 7th to finish the scoring for St. Louis. Berkman's homers were his 19th and 20th, good for third place in the home run chase, behind Matt Kemp's 22 and Prince Fielder, who has 21.

INTERLEAGUE TALLY: Eight Thursday games did nothing to unknot the season series between the two leagues, as each won four games, keeping the series tied at 105 wins each.

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