Thursday, July 5, 2012

Aaron Harang Hurls Dodgers Back into First in West; Justin Verlander, Miguel Cabrera Boost Tigers

Players of the Day for Wednesday, July 4, 2012

American League

Justin Verlander
After losing the first two games of their four-game series with the Twins, the Detroit Tigers needed a win badly, and turned to their ace, Justin Verlander, to deliver a win.

Miguel Cabrera
Not only did the big righty produce a winning effort, but the Detroit power hitters backed him at the plate. Prince Fielder stroked a two-run double in the opening inning and Miguel Cabrera homered twice, drove in three runs and scored three times in the 5-1 Tiger win.

Verlander scattered four hits, the only run coming off the bat of Chris Parmalee, his fifth inning solo shot cutting the Detroit lead to one. Otherwise, Verlander demonstrated his usual dominance, going the distance for his ninth win against five defeats, fanning seven and walking just one.

Cabrera, after scoring in the first inning on Fielder's double, took matters into his own hands in the late stages of the game, socking a solo homer in the sixth and a two-run job in the seventh to complete a 3-for-3 effort. Cabrera has 18 home runs and 68 RBI, second in the league behind Josh Hamilton's 74.

Detroit remained in third place, 4 1/2 games back of the White Sox in the Central. The Tigers and Twins finish up their series Thursday afternoon in Detroit.

National League

Aaron Harang
The Dodgers conceded first place in the NL West to the Giants just a few days ago, but took it back on Wednesday with a 4-1 win over Cincinnati, who relinquished their lead in the Central to the Pirates.

Aaron Harang tossed seven innings of three-hit ball, allowing one run on Devin Mesoraco's solo homer in the fifth inning. Harang, staked to a 3-0 lead in the first inning, struck out five and walked just one to improve to 6-5. Ronald Belisario worked the eighth and Kenley Jansen the ninth, neither reliever giving up a hit. Belisraio struck out the side in his inning of work; Jansen fanned two, picking up his 14th save.

While the Dodgers were taking their second straight from the Reds, Washington defeated the Giants for the second straight time, 9-4, and Pittsburgh won its third straight over the Astros, 6-4, to grab a one game lead in the division.

The Dodgers lead San Francisco by 1/2 game in the West. LA heads to Arizona for four games with the Diamondbacks, leading up to the all star break.

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