Saturday, August 31, 2013

Victor Martinez Leads Tigers to 7-2 Win over Indians; Francisco Liriano, Garrett Jones Power Pirates Past St. Louis, 5-0

Players of the Day for Friday, August 30, 2013

American League

Victor Martinez
Victor Martinez doubled in a pair of runs in the third inning and scored Detroit's final run in the seventh, as the Tigers took another step closer to the AL Central championship with a rain-shortened, 7-2 win over second-place Cleveland.

Opening the three-game series in Detroit, the Tigers took a leg up on their closest pursuer with the win, extending their lead in the division to 7 1/2 games. Cleveland has lost four in a row and has fallen five games behind Oakland in the race for the final wild card spot.

Third baseman Miguel Cabrera left the game in the second inning with an abdominal injury. His status remains day-to-day.

The Tigers will look to further their advantage when they host the Indians in game two, Saturday at 7:08 pm EDT.

Liriano: 15-6
National League

Even though Francisco Liriano didn't get his first start until May 11, his eight innings of two-hit, shutout ball against the St. Louis Cardinals was good enough for his 15th win of the season, tying him for the lead in the National League, as the Pirates downed the Cardinals, 5-0.

Garrett Jones
Liriano (15-6) was in complete control throughout, walking two and striking out six. No Cardinal runner reached second base while he was on the mound, as the lefty baffled St. Louis hitters with sliders and cut fastballs. It was Liriano's third straight win over the Cardinals in the last 30 days. on July 29, he allowed four hits and one earned run and on August 14, he tossed a complete game against them, again allowing four hits and one earned.

Friday's performance showed just how well Liriano has mastered the St. Louis lineup, the victory earning the Pirates a tie with St. Louis in the NL Central, the two teams having identical, 78-56 records.

Garrett Jones accounted for four of the five Pirate runs, doubling in two in the opening inning, socking a solo homer in the fourth and driving in the final Pittsburgh run with a single in the fifth, going 3-for-4 with four RBI.

The two teams will undo the knot atop the division when they meet for game two of the three-game series at 7:05 pm Saturday night in Pittsburgh.

Today's Trivia: True or False: Johnny Bench never led the National League in home runs for a single season. (answer tomorrow)

Yesterday's Answer: Mike Schmidt led the National League in home runs eight times from 1974 through 1986.

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