Sunday, July 22, 2012

Jason Kubel Homers Three Times for Arizona; Austin Jackson Delivers First Place for Tigers

Players of the Day for Saturday, July 21, 2012

American League

Austin Jackson
By winning their fourth straight - 7-1 victory over the White Sox - the Detroit Tigers have emerged with a 1/2 game lead over Chicago in the AL Central.

With 11-2 Chris Sale taking the mound for the Sox in the second game of their three game series in Detroit, Chicago hoped to expand their slim lead in the division, but leadoff hitter Austin Jackson was having none of it, doubling home a pair of runs in the fifth and, after Brennan Boesch delivered a three-run shot in the sixth, Jackson followed up with a bases-loaded single, plating two more runs.

Sale took the loss, making him 11-3, while Detroit starter Rick Porcello improved to 7-5.

The Tigers will try for the sweep Sunday afternoon, which would give them another game expansion on their lead. A loss would return division leadership to the White Sox.

National League

Jason Kubel: 3 HR
Catching the San Francisco and Los Angeles - the top two teams in the NL West - is proving to be difficult for the Arizona Diamondbacks, even as they took their second straight from the Astros, 12-3, after taking game one of the series by a 13-8 score.

The D'Backs are getting plenty of offense, especially from their best off-season pick-up, left fielder Jason Kubel, who belted a trio of homers and drove in six runs as the Diamondbacks established an early lead and never looked back.

Kubel socked a two-run shot in the first inning, then added a three-run job in the fourth as Arizona plated five. His bases-empty delivery in the sixth inning gave him 20 home runs (3rd in the NL) and 70 RBI on the season, which currently leads the league.

Nonetheless, the Diamondbacks can't seem to make any headway into the upper echelon of the division, remaining seven games out as LA and San Fran both won on Saturday.

Arizona will look for the series sweep on Sunday and hope that they can make up some ground on their current 10-game home stand, which proceeds with three against Colorado beginning Monday and concludes with four games against the Mets.

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