Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Shields, Longoria Keep Rays in Wild Card Hunt; Justin Upton Leads Arizona in Comeback Win; Uggla Hit Streak at 30

Players of the Day for Tuesday, August 9, 2011

American League

Tampa Bay fell out of contention in the AL East right after the all star break when they lost none of 13 games to the Red Sox, Yankees, Royals and A's.

Shields: 4th Shutout
Since then, they've played better, recently winning four of their last six. Though they still trail the Red Sox by 11 games, they are within 8 1/2 of the Yankees, losers of three straight but the current wild card leader.

Tuesday, James Shields pitched a 6-hit shutout and Evan Longoria drove in all of Tampa Bay's runs in the 4-0 victory.
Longoria: 4 RBI

Longoria singled in a pair of runs in the first inning and socked his 17th home run of the season in the sixth inning with one aboard to complete Tampa's scoring.

It was more than Shields would need, as he dominated the Royals, giving up three walks while fanning eight. Shields threw 75 of 117 pitches for strikes and improved to 11-9 with a stellar 2.80 ERA. It was his 8th complete game and 4th shutout of the season.

National League

Upton: .296 BA
Arizona keeps battling in the NL West, where they trail the Giants by 1/2 game, looking to upend the reigning world champions and take the division.

Tuesday's 9-7 win over Houston was emblematic of the fire the team has when facing adversity.

Down 7-1 after just four innings, the Diamondbacks scored for runs in the 5th and four more in the 6th to take a 9-7 lead and held on with two more in the 8th.

Justin Upton, enjoying a remarkable season at the plate and in the field, went 3-for-5, with his 23rd home run - a two-run blast - a double and a single, scoring three times and driving in four runs in the come-from-behind triumph.

Upton carries a .296 batting average and leads the Diamondbacks with 72 RBI. The Giants maintained their slim lead in the division with a 6-0 win over Pittsburgh.

STREAKS: Dan Uggla extended his hitting streak to 30 games with an infield single - his only hit in six at-bats - tying him with LA's Andre Ethier for the longest hit streak of the season. Uggla will try to make it 31 straight when the Braves take on the Marlins in the finale of their three game series Wednesday night.

A troubling streak is developing for Yankee closer Mariano Rivera. One of the finest closers ever to step up a mound has been beaten in his last two appearances. On Sunday, the Red Sox victimized Rivera with a run in the 9th inning, winning it in the 10th, 3-2, and on Tuesday, Rivera gave up two runs to the Angels with the game tied 4-4 in the 9th when Bobby Abreu took hi deep with two outs and a man aboard for the 6-4 win. Sunday was Rivera's fifth blow save of the year, and Tuesday's loss was his second against one win.

No comments: