Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Markakis, O's Top Rays; Howard's Grand Slam Lifts Phillies

Players of the Day for Monday, May 4, 2009 American League Nick Markakis singled, doubled and homered to lead the Orioles to just their 9th win of the season (against 16 losses) in an 8-4 win at Tampa Bay Monday night. Markakis got the O's started with his 4th homer of the season - a three-run shot off Rays' starter Scott Kazmir and continued his barrage, going 3-for-5 with 3 RBI and a pair of runs scored. His single in the 7th, with Brian Roberts already on first base, sent Kazmir to the showers. The duo greeted reliever Joe Nelson with a double steal. Both scored in the inning. While the Orioles may be last in the AL East, Markakis is a standout. His .370 batting average and 27 RBI have him amongst the AL leaders. National League Ryan Howard's fifth-inning grand slam broke open a tight game, sending St. Louis starter Kyle Loshe (3-1) to his first loss of the season and the Phillies on their way to a 6-1 triumph over the Cardinals. Howard's blast, his 5th of the season was more than enough for Philly starter Joe Blanton and a trio of relievers, as the Phillies inched to within 1/2 game of the NL East-leading Marlins. Howard also singled and scored the Phillies' first run of the game, on Jayson Werth's homer in the 4th inning. The slugging first baseman's four RBI gave him 19 on the season.

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