Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Gio Gonzalez Wins 19th as Nats Close in on NL East Crown; Alex Rios leads White Sox over Tigers

Players of the Day for Monday, September 10, 2012

American League

While the Orioles, Rays and Yankees took a day off from the torrid AL East race, the two leaders in the Central opened a head-to-head series in Chicago, with the White Sox taking game one of the critical four-game set by a 6-1 score.

Alex Rios
Starting pitcher Jose Quintana scattered seven hits over 7 1/3 innings, allowing the Tigers their only run of the game in the second inning and Alex Rios continued his outstanding season, driving in three runs with his 23rd homer as the White Sox exploded for four runs in the bottom of the sixth.

Rios added a double and finished the game 2-for-4, upping his average to a solid .294. He's also closing in on his personal best for RBI with 85. He drove in 88 for the Sox in 2010.

The win increased Chicago's lead to three games over Detroit in the division. The Tigers are in danger of missing the playoffs completely, as they trail the A's, O's, Rays and Angels in the wild card race. They are a full seven games behind the A's, who lead all wild card hopefuls, and five behind the Orioles for the second spot.

he series resumes Tuesday night in Chicago at 8:10 pm EDT.

Gonzalez: 19-7
National League

Gio Gonzalez became the first pitcher to reach 19 wins, allowing just three hits over six innings as the Nationals defeated the Mets, 5-1, at Citi Field in New York.

Crafty as ever, Gonzalez surrendered five walks and worked out out of situations with men aboard in four of his six innings, the only Mets' run coming on a leadoff homer by Scott Hairston in the fourth, though by then, the Nats had already put five runs on the board.

Gonzalez fanned six as he improved to 19-7 with a 2.93 ERA, making a strong bid for the Cy Young award in the National League.

Coupled with Atlanta's 4-1 loss in Milwaukee, the Washington lead in the East is back to 6 1/2 games over the Braves. With 20 games left on their schedule, the Nationals' magic number is 15.

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