Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Baltimore's Chris Tillman One-Hits White Sox over Seven; Ricky Nolasco Shuts Out Nationals, Justin Ruggiano 4-for-4

Players of the Day for Tuesday, August 28, 2012

American League

Tuesday was a pitcher's night in the major leagues, with three shutouts in both the AL and NL. Oddly enough, only one of the six shutouts was a complete game effort.

In Cleveland, the A's blanked the Indians, 7-0, using four pitchers, while the Rangers needed three to stop the Rays, 1-0, Ian Kinsler's 4th inning homer accounting for the game's only run.

Tillman: 7 IP, 1 H
Baltimore recorded the most impressive and possibly important win of the evening, blanking AL Central leader, Chicago, 6-0, on two hits, one allowed by starter Chris Tillman, who earned his seventh win against two losses in just ten starts.

Tillman walked four and struck out five over seven innings, taking a no-hitter into the fifth inning, which was promptly ended when Dayan Viciedo singled to open the frame. After a walk issued to Alexei Ramirez, Tillman got the next nine outs in order before giving the ball up to Brian Matusz, who fanned two, didn't walk anyone and gave up the only other White Sox hit over the final two innings.

The win allowed Baltimore to keep pace with the Yankees in the AL East race, 3 1/2 games out, and stay tied with Oakland for the top two wild card spots. The A's and O's are followed in the wild card pecking order by the Rays, 1 1/2 behind, Detroit, two out, and the Angels, 3 1/2 back.

The White Sox, losers of the first two of their four-game series in Baltimore, continue to hold a two game edge of the Tigers in the Central.

National League

Ricky Nolasco
In Miami, Ricky Nolasco turned in his finest performance of the season, blanking the Washington Nationals, 9-0, on five hits, striking out six without issuing a walk.

Justin Ruggiano
Nolasco, 10-12, threw 78 of 115 pitches for strikes, tossing his second completegame and first shutout of 2012 while teammates Giancarlo Stanton and Justin Ruggiano accounted for seven of the Marlins' 13 hits and five RBI.

The Marlins got all over Washington starter Stephen Strasburg, scoring seven runs (five earned) off nine hits in five innings, fueling even more speculation that Strasburg will be shut down for the season sooner, rather than later.

Ruggiano went 4-for-4, with three singles and a first inning solo homer off Strasburg, driving in two runs and scoring twice.

The loss by the Nationals, coupled with Atlanta's 2-0 victory over San Diego, reduced Washington's lead in the East to four games. The Braves also improved their lead over St. Louis to 2 1/2 games for the first wild card spot. The Cardinals, dropped a 9-0 decision to the Pirates.

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