Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Duensing, Valencia Lead Twins to 7-0 Win; Freddie Freeman Powers Atlanta

Players of the Day for Monday, July 4, 2011

American League

Danny Valencia
Brian Duensing
Brian Duensing scattered six hits and four walks, but prevailed in spinning his second career complete game shutout, as the Twins blanked Tampa Bay, 7-0.

Duensing (6-7), in his third season in the majors but his first as a full-time starter, worked out of jams repeatedly, striking out seven en route to the win.

He had help from teammate Danny Valencia, who has become a Twins' fixture at either third base or as DH. Valencia went 3-for-4 with a single, double and three-run, eighth inning homer, his 10th.

Minnesota is still struggling from a poor start and a variety of injuries to key players, remaining eight games back in the AL Central, with Chicago, Detroit and division-leading Cleveland in front of them.

National League

As the only team appearing to have any chance of catching the runaway Phillies in the NL East, the Atlanta Braves just keep finding ways to win.

Freddie Freeman
Remaining four games behind the Phillies in the division race with a 4-1 win over Colorado, the Braves rode the bat of rookie Freddie Freeman, who smashed a pair of home runs - his 10th and 11th - driving in three of Atlanta's four runs.

Freeman is batting a solid .272, with 11 homers and 38 RBI, though his pace of production has picked up of late. He's homered four times and driven in 11 runs in his past 10 games.

While the Braves may never catch the Phillies, they don't have to worry much about the rest of the division. The Marlins have fallen apart and they are 6 1/2 and 7 games in front of the Mets and Nationals, respectively.

The Braves lead the wild card standings by four games over Arizona and five better than the Milwaukee Brewers.

JETER 3000 WATCH: Yankee shortstop Derek Jeter was back in action Monday against the Cleveland Indians, but remained six shy of the 3000 hit mark, going 0-for-4 in his first game after missing 18 games on the disabled list.

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