Thursday, August 21, 2014

Rick Porcello's 3-Hit Shutout, Victor Martinez Grand Slam Lead Tigers past Rays; Travis Ishikawa Powers Giants over Cubs; Giants Win Protest

Players of the Day for Wednesday, August 20, 2014

American League

There was nothing but good news for the Tigers on Wednesday, as they clubbed the Rays, 6-0, while their two main rivals were going down to defeat.

Porcello: 3-hitter
Rick Porcello put down 23 straight batters, eventually finishing with a three-hit shutout, his 14th win against eight losess. Porcello gave up a double to Ben Zobrist with one down in the first inning, but didn't allow a hit or a walk until James Loney led off the eighth inning for the Rays with a single. Desmond Jennings' single in the ninth was the only other hit the Rays could muster.

Martinez: GS, 5RBI
Porcello struck out four, didn't allow any bases on balls and threw 76 of 104 pitches for strikes.

Meanwhile, Victor Martinez was taking care of the offense for the Tigers, going 2-for-5 with five RBI on a run-scoring double in the first and a grand slam homer in the seventh inning. It was home run #25 for Martinez, who has amassed 79 RBI thus far in the season.

The win put the Tigers into sole possession of the second wild card spot, as Seattle lost to the Phillies, 4-3, but they also gained on the Royals - 5-2 losers at Colorado - and are just one game behind Kansas City in the AL Central race.

Detroit faces Tampa Bay at Tropicana Field Thursday at 1:10 pm EDT in the finale of their three-game series.

Winners of five of their last seven, the Tigers still appear on track for the AL Central crown. They host Kansas City for three games September 8, 9 and 10, and play at KC on September 19, 20 and 21.

National League

Travis Ishikawa
The Giants topped the Cubs, 8-3, Wednesday and had a loss erased as MLB upheld San Francisco's protest of Tuesday's rain-shortened, 2-0, Cubs victory.

Wednesday's win was powered by the pitching of Jake Peavy, who held the Cubs to two runs over seven innings, and Travis Ishikawa, who went 3-for-5 with a single, two doubles, three RBI and a run scored.

Ishikawa doubled home a pair of runs in the first inning and another in the third, scoring on Andrew Susac's two-run homer. With a four-run lead after one, Peavy relaxed and managed the Chicago hitters, though he did allow 10 hits.

In a rare move, Major League Baseball upheld the Giants' protest over the handling of the tarp in Tuesday's game, agreeing that the Cubs' ground crew did not get the tarp on the infield in time to prevent serious water buildup, leading to the game being called after 4 1/2 innings and awarding the Cubs the win.

The MLB ruling calls for the game to be continued on Thursday, starting at 5:05 pm EDT, prior to game three of the series at Wrigley Field, at 8:05 pm EDT.

With the corrected standings, the Giants trial the Dodgers by three games in the West division, but lead the Braves by 1 1/2 and the Pirates by 2 1/2 in the race for the second wild card.

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