Thursday, September 18, 2008
Aybar, Rays Smack Red Sox; Beltran Keeps Mets in Races
Players of the Day from Wednesday, September 17, 2008 American League Willy Aybar smacked a two run homer in the first inning, singled in another and scored in the third and went 3-for-5 with another single to push the Rays past Boston, 10-3, taking two of three from the Red Sox in their final meeting of the regular season. Tampa Bay can now begin counting the wins and losses with a 2-game lead over the Red Sox in the AL East. Their magic number stands at 10. The Rays have 12 games left to play; Boston, 10. Notes: In the Central, the White Sox and Twins both suffered losses, so the Sox remain 2 1/2 on top. Minnesota must either catch Chicago or go home. They are seven games behind the Red Sox in the wild card race. National League Well, the end of the regular season is upon us and the Mets haven't completely collapsed, so this season looks to be a little different than 2007. The Mets managed to stay 1/2 game behind the Phillies - who won, 6-1, at Atlanta - in the NL East. Carlos Beltran singled, homered, drove in 3 runs and scored twice as the Mets swatted the Nats, 9-7. New York also remained 1/2 game ahead of the Brewers (a team that seems to be falling apart). Milwaukee snapped a five game losing streak with a 6-1 win over the Cubs. It was also the Brewers' first win over Chicago in their last six tries, but starter Ben Sheets lasted only two innings, suffering from tightness in his right forearm. The injury was not severe enough to put Sheets on the DL, and the team will evaluate his status as the days progress. It is unclear whether he will miss his next start or not. The Milwaukee win stalled Chicago's quest for the NL Central crown, at least temporarily. Their magic number remains at 4. Notes: In the West, the Arizona Diamondbacks proved they're not dead yet, shaving a game off the Dodgers' lead, down to 3 1/2 games as Brandon Webb won his 21st game with a 7-6 win over the Giants. LA was a 15-8 loser at Pittsburgh, keeping the magic number for the Dodgers at 8.