Saturday, September 3, 2011

Derek Holland Blanks BoSox for Seven; Carlos Beltran Delivers for Giants

Players of the Day for Friday, September 2, 2011

American League

The Texas Rangers have a number of ways to win games. They can bludgeon you with bat after bat from experienced, veteran players, or they can sometimes get all of your guys out wit solid starting pitching, a competent bullpen and a complete closer.

Derek Holland
In their 10-0 win at Boston Friday, they did both, as Derek Holland (13-5) worked over the Red Sox for seven innings, allowing just two hits, fanning six, without walking a batter before turning the ball over to the relievers.

Ian Kinsler hit his third home run in the past two games, his 24th, a two-run blast. Elvis Andrus added a two-run job of his own and scored four times. David Murphy also provided a solo shot.

The Texas win, coupled with the Angels' 13-5 drubbing by the Twins, improved the Texas lead in the AL West to 4 1/2 games and made their magic number for winning the division an even 20. Also, the Red Sox gave up first place in the AL East, as the Yankees eked out a 3-2 win over the Blue Jays to take a 1/2 game lead into the weekend.

National League
Carlos Beltran

Finally, the San Francisco Giants are seeing the benefit of their acquisition of Carlos Beltran from the Mets. The Giants picked up the slugging outfielder on July 27, but have gone just 8-13 in games in which he's been in the lineup. Beltran spent two weeks in August on the DL, but on Friday he provided a boost for the Giants as they cooled off the Arizona Diamondbacks by a 6-2 score, ending Arizona's nine-game winning streak and cutting their NL West lead to five games.

Beltran went 4-for-4, with two singles, a triple and a two-run homer to spark the victory and provide some hope that his bat can deliver some runs down the stretch.

The win was the first of a three-game series at San Francisco, which is looking for a sweep which would cut the lead to three games. Saturday's game will be crucial, with aces Ian Kennedy and Tim Lincecum facing off on the mound.

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