Monday, May 13, 2013

White Sox Top Angels on Chris Sale's 1-Hitter; Chase Utley Leads Phillies to Split with Diamondbacks

Players of the Day for Sunday, May 12, 2013

American League

Sale: 1-Hitter
The AL Central was supposed to be the exclusive province of AL champion Detroit, but that has not yet proven out.

The Tigers have been hounded for first place by, first, the Royals, and now, the Indians, who topped them, 4-3, in 10 innings to grab a share of the top division spot.

KC has dropped three straight to fall 1 1/2 off the pace, with the Twins another game back. Bringing up the rear is Chicago, but the White Sox are just five games out and got a boost Sunday night when Chris Sale torched the struggling LA Angels with a one-hit, 3-0 victory.

Sale (4-2) was perfect through six innings, but allowed a single by Mike Trout with one out in the seventh which broke up the no-hit bid. Trout's hit turned out to be the Angels only hit of the contest, and he was the only Angel to reach base other than catcher Chris Ianetta, who reached via a throwing error by White Sox shortstop Alexei Ramirez.

Sale didn't issue any walks, needed only 98 pitches to go the distance and fanned seven. Chicago scored three times in the bottom of the seventh off Angels' starter, C.J. Wilson (3-2).

It was the first career shutout for the 6'6" lefty and his second complete game. The White Sox win avoided a sweep at the hands of the Angles in the finale of their three-game series.

National League

Utley: 4-for-5
The Phillies (18-20) are scuffling, but, after earning a split with Arizona by taking the final two games of their four-game series, find themselves only four games back in the NL East.

Sunday's 4-2, 10-inning victory over the Diamondbacks was largely due to the 4-for-5 effort from second baseman Chase Utley, who scored the Phillies first run of the game in the ninth inning as Philadelphia rallied from a 2-0 deficit to tie the game. The Phillies scored two more in the extra frame for the win.

In the tenth inning, Utley was again instrumental, doubling with one out to send Jimmy Rollins to third in advance of Ryan Howard's two-run single. Utley had two doubles and two singles, scoring twice.

Jonathan Papelbon came on in the bottom of the ninth for his 7th save of the season.

Utley, who spent most of last season on the DL and played only 83 games, is batting .279 with seven homers and 24 RBI.

Today's Trivia: Cy Young, after whom the award for the leagues' best pitcher is named, had fewer strikeouts in his career than which of the following: Phil Niekro, Bob Feller, Warren Spahn, Tom Glavine? (Answer tomorrow.)

Yesterday's answer: Detroit's Justin Verlander led the majors with 239 strikeouts in 2013. The Mets' R.A. Dickey led the NL with 230.

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