Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Thome Hits 599th, 600th Career Homers in Twins Win; Wolf Wins 10th as Brewers Extend NL Central Lead to 6

Players of the Day for Monday, August 15, 2011

American League
Thome: 600 HR

There's ample cause for celebration in Minnesota.

Despite the Twins trailing Detroit, Cleveland and the White Sox in the AL Central, things are looking better every day. Justin Morneau is back from a long stint on the DL, and on Monday, slugger Jim Thome hit two home runs to lead Minnesota over first-place Detroit, 9-6.

These were no ordinary home runs. For Thome, who tagged Tiger starter Rick Porcello for a two-run shot in the 6th inning and reliever Daniel Schlereth with a three-run blast in the 8th, they were the culmination of a life-long quest, career numbers 599 and 600, making him the 8th player to reach the hallowed 600-homer plateau.

Better yet, the long balls were meaningful, putting the Twins ahead against the top team in the division.

Both of Thome's bombs were to the opposite field, the first to left-center and the three run shot in the 7th into the left field stands.

The win shaved a half game off Detroit's lead over the Indians and White Sox in the division, 2 and 3 1/2 back, respectively, while the Twins picked up a full game, but remain in 4th place, 10 1/2 back.

Thome, 40 years old and a certain Hall of Famer, drove in five runs, boosting his career RBI total to 1662, 27th all-time. Thome joins Barry Bonds, Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth, Willie Mays, Ken Griffey Jr., Alex Rodriguez and Sammy Sosa in exclusive 600 home run club.

National League

Wolf: 10 wins
The Milwaukee Brewers are threatening to run away in the NL Central.

Randy Wolf scattered six hits and five walks over eight scoreless innings for his 10th win of the season against eight losses, aided by three double plays and a second inning triple play. The Brewer infield turned its fourth double play in the 9th, a game-ender, giving John Axford his 35th save of the season.

The Brewers got solo home runs from Ryan Braun in the 2nd, and Jonathan Lucroy and Cory Hart in the 8th..

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