Monday, August 22, 2011

Floyd, Lillibridge Lead White Sox over Rangers; Red-Hot Braves Sweep Arizona

Players of the Day for Sunday, August 22, 2011

American League

Floyd has 5 Wins
in last 7 starts.
The Detroit Tigers spent the weekend solidifying their lead in the AL Central by taking three straight from second place Cleveland to establish a 4 1/2 game working margin while the White Sox became a viable contender, taking two of three from Texas - including Sunday's smashing 10-0 victory - to close to within five games of the lead.

Lillibridge: 11 HRs
Chicago starter Gavin Floyd (11-10, 4.45) has come alive at the right time for the charging Sox, earning decisions in six of his last seven starts - five of them wins. His latest trip to the mound resulted in seven innings of shutout work, allowing the Rangers just three hits and a walk, fanning six.

Brent Lillibridge, who, since 2009, has played every position except catcher and pitcher for the White Sox, went 3-for-5 with his 11th home run, driving in two runs and scoring twice to pace the Chicago offense.

Listed at 5'11", 185 pounds, one would not expect Lillibridge to offer much in the way of power, but this season's homers have come off of 159 at-bats. He's having a banner year statistically, with a .346 on base percentage, .509 slugging percentage and an .856 OPS.

The White Sox don't face the Tigers until September 2nd, when they open a three game series in Detroit. Chicago hosts Detroit in another three game set, September 12-14.

National League

Gonzalez: Solo HR
Hudson: 7 scoreless
Milwaukee continued to be the hottest team in the majors, completing a three game sweep of the Mets with a 6-2 win in New York - the 22nd win their last 25 games - but the Atlanta Braves have been putting together a nice run of their own, completing a weekend, three game sweep of the NL West-leading Diamondbacks, sending the Arizonans to their fifth straight loss, in a 1-0 nail-biter.

Tim Hudson scattered three hits and three walks over seven scoreless innings, striking out seven for his 13th win against seven losses. Jonny Venters gave up a hit in the eighth, but kept the lead for his 27th hold, and Craig Kimbrel earned his MLB-Best 39th save, giving up a hit and a walk in the ninth, but striking out the three other batters he faced. Kimbrel's three Ks gave him 101 on the season, in 62 2/3 innings.

Kimbrel: 39 Saves
The Braves' exceptional pitching made the third inning, solo homer off the bat of Alex Gonzalez stand up for Atlanta's fourth straight win and 11th in their last 14 outings.

Venters: 27 Holds
Atlanta has cut slightly into Philadelphia's NL East lead, closing to within 5 1/2 games and maintaining a nearly insurmountable eight-game lead over the Giants and 8 1/2 over the Cardinals in the wild card race.

The Diamondback loss cut the lead over the Giants to just 1 1/2 games, but the Giants haven't exactly helped themselves, losing three of their last five and five of their last seven.

Atlanta will have every opportunity to catch the Phillies over the next two weeks, as they play their next 13 games against the Cubs, Mets, Nationals and Dodgers prior to a three game series with the Phillies beginning September 5th.

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