Friday, June 8, 2012

Buchholz Four-Hit Shutout Keeps Red Sox in Hunt; David Freese Homers Twice, Leads Cards over Astros

Players of the Day for Thursday, June 7, 2012

American League

Adrian Gonzalez doubled home a pair of runs in the first inning and that was more than Clay Buchholz would need to end the Red Sox's seven-game home drought to the Orioles in a 7-0 romp.

Clay Buchholz
The Sox added a pair of runs in each of the second and third innings, and one more in the seventh for good measure, avoiding the sweep while keeping up the pressure in the contentious AL East.

With Baltimore losing and Tampa Bay winning, 7-3, over the Yankees, the Rays and O's are once again tied for the top spot in the division. The Yankees are 1/2 game back, Toronto two down and the Sox, despite being in last place, are a mere three games out.

Buchholz (6-2) needed no help form the Boston bullpen, going the distance with a four-hit gem, walking one while fanning six.

It was the right-hander's fourth career complete game and third shutout, his second straight win and clearly his best start of the season. Buchholz has not been in the best of form, carrying an ERA of 5.77, even after the shutout.

National League

Freese: 2HR GS 6RBI
Houston scored single runs in both the first and second innings, but their lead was short-lived, as the Cardinals put up three in the top of the third and piled it on, en route to a 14-2 victory over the home-standing Astros.

David Freese drove in six runs with a grand slam homer in the seventh inning and a two-run bomb in the ninth to lead the charge. Freese has 12 homers on the season. Carlos Beltran delivered his NL-best 16th fence-clearer of the year with a solo shot in the fifth.

St. Louis starter Lance Lynn, who allowed those two early Houston runs, settled in and worked six innings, walking a pair, but striking out 11 for his ninth win, tying Mets' knuckleballer, R.A. Dickey, or the league lead.

By taking the final two games of their three-game series in Houston, the Cardinals drew to within two games of front-running Cincinnati in the NL Central division. The Reds dropped a 5-4, 10-inning decision to the surprising Pirates, who are tied with the Cards in second place.

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