Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Gonzalez Leads Red Sox Back to 1st; Kershaw, Kennedy 16-Game NL Winners; Fielder First to 100 RBI

Players of the Day for Tuesday, August 23, 2011

American League

Adrian Gonzalez
With David Ortiz sitting out the last nine games with bursitis in his right heel and Kevin Youkilis on the DL with back stiffness since August 17, the Boston Red Sox haven't had their full complement of players and recently relinquished their AL East lead to the Yankees.

With a little help from the Oakland A's, who barely outlasted the Yankees for a 6-5 win Tuesday night, Boston has - despite a recent 5-5 record - regained a tie for the top spot in the division, as Adrian Gonzalez picked up his teammates with two homers and a single in four at-bats, leading to an 11-5 victory over the AL West-leading Texas Rangers.

Connecting for a two-run job in the opening inning, Gonzalez cracked his 20th home run as a Red Sox - a solo shot - in the 4th, singled, but was stranded in the 7th and was intentionally walked and scored in the 8th inning.

Gonzalez leads the majors with a .346 batting average and is second in the AL in RBI with 97, one behind the Yankees' Curtis Granderson.

Ian Kennedy
Boston and Texas have split the first two games of their series, which continues Wednesday and Thursday in Arlington.

National League

Clayton Kershaw
Despite the best pitching staff in the majors belonging to the Phillies, Clayton Kershaw and Ian Kennedy both became 16-game winners on Tuesday to top the National League's win column.

Kennedy, dueling with Washington ace, Jordan Zimmerman, tossed seven innings of shutout ball against the Nationals, with Arizona breaking through in the 7th on Sean Burroughs' two run homer for the 2-0 win, snapping a six-game Diamondback losing streak that had trimmed their lead over the Giants to a single game.

Kennedy scattered six hits and two walks, fanning eight.

Fielder: 100 RBI
During Arizona's slide, the Giants were more than accommodating, dropping four of six themselves, including Tuesday's 7-5 loss to San Diego.

For Kershaw, getting win #16 was a bit easier.

In three innings, the Dodgers had eight hits and scored eight runs off St. Louis starter Kyle Lohse. Kershaw cruised through six innings of shutout ball, giving up six hits and two walks while striking out eight in the 13-2 Dodger win. Kershaw also leads the NL with 207 Ks.

Elsewhere, Prince Fielder became the first player in the majors to reach the 100-RBI mark, doubling home Ryan Braun in the sixth inning of Milwaukee's 11-4 win over the Pirates.

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