Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Buehrle Blanks Twins as Sox Advance; Wells, Cubs Put Giants Down 5 in NL West

Players of the Day for Monday, August 29, 2011

American League

Mark Buehrle
On Sunday, the Chicago White Sox slipped past Cleveland into second place in the AL Central, finding themselves six games behind division-leading Detroit. On Monday, they inched closer.

As the Tigers were being pounded, 9-5, by Kansas City, Chicago was shutting down the Twins, with Mark Buehrle blanked Minnesota for 7 2/3 innings in a 3-0 White Sox victory.

Buehrle (11-6) allowed four hits, walked two and struck out four, eventually being lifted with two out and a man on second in the 8th inning. Jesse Crain came on to get Michael Cuddyer to end the inning, and Sergio Santos worked a perfect 9th for his 27th save.

That left the Sox, winners of four straight, five out in the division, with Cleveland 1/2 game behind. The White Sox play two more with the Twins, while Detroit has three games left in their series with the Royals. After a day off Thursday, the White Sox head to Detroit for a three-day weekend series that will help sort out the division. The two teams meet again in Chicago on September 12, 13 and 14.

National League

Randy Wells
In order to return to the World Series, the reigning champion San Francisco Giants will have a long, uphill climb in September. After falling to the Cubs, 7-0, on Monday, San Francisco has dropped five games back of Arizona, winners of seven straight.

The Cubs beat up on Giants' starter Tim Lincecum, who pitched into the 7th inning, but allowed three home runs - two of them with none out in the 7th - before being pulled. His mound opponent, Randy Wells (6-4), had no such issues, blanking the Giants with a two-hit complete game shutout, the first of his major league career.

Wells, a Chicago favorite from Belleville, IL, allowed his only walk of the game to leadoff hitter Andres Torres, but settled in to pitch the game of his life, striking out seven Giants' batters in the process.

Later, the Arizona Diamondbacks won their seventh straight, stretching their lead over second place San Francisco with a 5-1 win over Colorado. Both the Giants and D'Backs will complete their three game series on Wednesday, then meet up in San Francisco for a crucial three game series beginning Friday.

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