The Wrap: AL
AL Quote of the Night
"It's disappointing we had the letdown from a defensive standpoint."
-- Royals Manager Trey Hillman, perhaps understating the fact that his team committed five errors Thursday night
Red Sox starter Clay Buchholz shook off a cold to toss 6 2/3 innings of shutout ball as Boston escaped Kansas City with a split of the four-game series between the two clubs. While Buchholz was fighting illness, the Royals' defensive showing was enough to make Tom Emanski sick. Kansas City made five errors for a nice 110 on the season (second worst in the AL behind the White Sox). Things weren't just going wrong for the Royals on the field either, as both pitcher Zack Greinke (who was not playing) and Manager Trey Hillman were ejected from the game for arguing with the ump. For Boston, David Ortiz went 3 for 5 with a solo home run and drove in three runs as the Red Sox now head to New York for a three-game set with the Yankees. The Red Sox' magic number is now also three.
Felix Hernandez struck out a season-high 11 to earn his 17th win of the season. Hernandez allowed four runs (three earned) over eight innings with Vernon Wells doing all the damage. The beleaguered Toronto outfielder is winding down one of his worst offensive seasons but managed Thursday to hit a three-run homer in the sixth inning and singled to right to score another in the eighth inning. Franklin Gutierrez and Josh Wilson drove in two runs apiece with Gutierrez hitting a two-run blast in the top of the third inning.
Justin Verlander took the major-league strikeout lead away from Tim Lincecum on Thursday night, striking out 11 to give him 256 (compared to Lincecum's 247) as the Tigers increased their AL Central lead to three games over the idle Twins. With a three-game sweep of the Indians, Detroit wrapped up its season series against Cleveland by winning 14 of 18 games. The Indians have now lost 11 straight, one shy of the franchise mark for consecutive defeats that was set in 1931. Luckily for Cleveland, it gets to host an Orioles team that is nursing its own seven-game skid.
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