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The Chicago White Sox and Chicago Cubs took turns sweeping each other in interleague play this season with the Cubs sweeping the White Sox a weekend ago at Wrigley Field and the White Sox returning the favor by finishing a sweep of the Cubs yesterday.
Mark Buehrle (6-6) allowed 1 run in 7 innings, as the White Sox defeated the Cubs 5-1 at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago. Buehrle has been a perfect 4-0 in June with two no decisions. Buehrle was 2-6 at the end of May and had allowed five or more runs in five of his starts before June. In June, he allowed three runs once, 2 runs once, 1 run three times, and no runs once in 6 starts. His ERA was 5.27 at the end of May, but after yesterday's game it is 3.79. He has an ERA of 1.60 in June, and has allowed only four homers in his last 63 innings.
Carlos Quentin hit his 19th homer of the season yesterday and Jim Thome hit his 15th homer. The White Sox have four players on track to hit 30 homers this season as they played their 81st game of the season yesterday, which is the halfway mark of the 2008 season.
Quentin leads the team with 19 homers and Jermaine Dye is next with 18. Joe Crede and Thome have 15 each. Dye has been on a hot streak lately with 6 homers and 17 RBI's in his last 10 games. During the month of May, he had 7 homers and 14 RBI's, but in June he hit 9 homers and drove in 26 runs, giving him 49 RBI's for the season and has slugged .680 in June. Dye needs 18 homers to reach the 300 home run mark this season.
Thome's homer was the 522nd of his career and moved him ahead of Ted Williams and Willie McCovey who both had 521 homers. He needs 12 homers to tie Jimmie Foxx (534) and 14 to tie Mickey Mantle (536). When he passes Mantle, he will be 13th on the all-time homer list.
Around the Bases
The Detroit Tigers have won 17 of their last 21 games and are finally over .500 with a 41-40 record at the halfway mark of the season. Despite playing so well, they are still 5 games behind the first place White Sox in the AL Central and 3 1/2 games behind the second place Minnesota Twins, who have won 9 of their last 10 while the Tigers were winning 8 of their last ten games.
Since the Dontrelle Willis debacle of June 9th Kenny Rogers is the only Tigers starter to lose since that date. The Tigers start a crucial series with the Twins in Minnesota today with Armando Galarraga (7-2), taking the mound against Glen Perkins 4-2.
Darrell Rasner started the season 3-0 for the New York Yankees, but since then he has been 1-6, and only has one win since May 26th. Johnny Damon and Derek Jeter had 3 of the 4 hits by the Yankees in the loss yesterday with the rest of the team going 1-for-24.
Jonathan Sanchez (8-4) has won 6 of his last 7 decisions and has given up more than three runs once in those ten starts. Sanchez and Tim Lincecum have a combined 17-5 record. Sanchez and Lincecum are earning a combined $800,000 this year while Barry Zito is 3-11 and making $14.5 million in 2008.
Steve Phillips predicted on ESPN last night that the Tampa Bay Rays will win the AL wild card race. I can see the Rays winning the division and if they do Evan Longoria will have a lot to do with it. Right now, Longoria has my Rookie of the Year vote for the American League.
Francisco Rodriguez leads the Majors in saves with 32 and is on track to break the 57 saves record set by Bobby Thigpen in 1990. Rodriguez has a personal high of 47 saves in 2006. Only three pitchers have had more than 50 saves in this century, and two of them (Eric Gagne) and (Mariano Rivera) have done it twice while the other pitcher with 50 or more saves this century is John Smoltz. Rivera needs 13 saves to tie Lee Smith for second most saves in a career with 478.