Saturday, August 24, 2013

Rays Top Yankees on Jose Lobaton's HR, 4 RBI; Rickey Nolasco Blanks Red Sox for 2-0 Win

Players of the Day for Friday, August 23, 2013

American League

With the Red Sox being shut out by the Dodgers in LA, 2-0, Tampa Bay's 7-2 victory over Hiroki Kuroda and the NY Yankees put the Rays back into a tie for first place in the AL EAst with Boston, sending the Yankees six games back.

Jose Lobaton
Kuroda, a Yankee stalwart all season, was rocked for nine hits and seven runs over six innings of work, the big blow coming in the second inning when Tampa catcher, Jose Lobaton, unleashed a three-run homer, his sixth of the year, erasing a 1-0 Yankee lead.

The Rays added two more in the third on back-to-back bombs from Evan Longoria and Matt Joyce, and single runs in the fourth and fifth innings, with Lobaton chipping in again with a fourth-inning RBI single, giving him four ribbies in a 2-for-3 night at the plate.

After suffering a six-game losing streak ending on August 13, the Rays have gotten their fire back, winning seven of their last nine, including two of three at Baltimore. The Orioles currently occupy third place, 4 1/2 games back.

The Yankees will try to even the series Saturday night in game two, starting at 7:10 pm EDT at Tropicana Field.

National League

Nolasco: 8IP, 2H, 0ER
Streaking toward the NL West title, the LA Dodgers are finding ways to win, even when the bats aren't banging out the hits. In the opener of their three-game series with the visiting Red Sox, LA managed only three hits over eight innings off Boston starter, John Lackey, but one of those hits was a two-run homer from Hanley Ramirez, who, since returning from the DL in June, has energized the team.

The two-run stroke in the fourth by Ramirez was all Ricky Nolasco needed to blank the Sox over eight innings, giving them just two hits for the 2-0 win.

Nolasco didn't walk a batter and struck out six. After a double play ended the fifth, Nolasco set down the final nine batters he faced, then turned the ball over to closer Kenley Jansen, who fanned two of three in a perfect ninth inning for his 22nd save.

Since joining the Dodgers mid-season, Nolasco (10-9) is 5-1 with a 2.53 ERA.

LA leads the NL West by 10 1/2 games over Arizona. Game two of their series with Boston starts at 4:05 EDT Saturday.

Today's Trivia: Playing for the Cincinnati Reds, Dave Parker led the NL in total bases in 1985 and 1986. Who led the AL in total bases those two years? (answer tomorrow)

Yesterday's Answer: Lou Brock had 3023 hits in his MLB career, Rickey Henderson, 3055. Barry Bonds fell short of 3000, with 2935 hits.

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