Sunday, August 18, 2013

Clayton Kershaw Throws Eight Scoreless as Dodgers Win 10th Straight; Miguel Cabrera Downs KC with Walk-Off HR in Detroit Victory

Players of the Day for Saturday, August 17, 2013

American League

Miguel Cabrera made all the difference in Detroit's 6-5 win over the Royals on Saturday with a walk-off homer leading off the bottom of the ninth.

Miguel Cabrera
After dropping both ends of a double-header to Kansas City on Friday, the Tigers needed a lift, and it was provided by the game's biggest star.

Cabrera rocked an offering from Royal reliever, Aaron Crow, into the right field stands, his 39th on the year producing his 117th RBI. In the fourth inning, Cabrera drove in a go-ahead run with a double. He finished 2-for-5 with two RBI. Cabrera is second in the league in homers to Baltimore's Chris Davis (44) and leads the league in batting average (.361) and RBI.

Detroit's win kept them six games up on second place Cleveland, 7-1 winners at Oakland, and left KC 7 1/2 off the pace in third.

The finale of the five-game series - now tied at two games apiece - concludes Sunday at 1:08 pm EDT at Comerica Park in the Motor City.

National League

Clayton Kershaw
It's beginning to get a bit hopeless for the rest of the teams in the NL West, as the Dodgers won their 10th in a row, topping the Phillies, 4-0, as Clayton Kershaw blanked the home team over eight innings en route to his 12th win against seven losses.

Kershaw scattered three hits over his eight frames on the mound, striking out eight while walking only one. The Dodger ace threw 71 of 100 pitches for strikes and got first-pitch strikes over on 20 of the 27 batters he faced. Kershaw lowered his ERA to 1.80, lowest in the major leagues.

Brandon League came in to mop up in the ninth in the non-save situation, retiring the Phillies in order to end the game.

The Dodgers lead Arizona by 8 1/2 games with the rest of the division completely out of contention. The Diamondbacks are the only team within hailing distance of LA, and even that's a long shot with just 40 games remaining.

LA tied a major league record by going 42-8 over their last 50 games, tying the record set by the St. Louis Cardinals in 1942. A win over the Phillies on Sunday would set a new major league mark for any 50-game stretch.

The Dodgers will go for the sweep - and the record - when they face the Phillies in the three-game series finale, Saturday at 1:35 pm EDT.

Today's Trivia: The record for total bases in a single season is an impressive 457. Who holds that mark? (answer tomorrow)

Yesterday's Answer: In 2001, Juan Pierre led the NL by being caught stealing 17 times for the Colorado Rockies. Pierre would lead the league in the same category in 2003, 2004 and 2005 with the Florida marlins, in 2006 with the Cubs and lead the AL in 20010 and 2001 with the White Sox.

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