Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Rays' Bartlett Batters A's; Wilson, Bucs Swat Nats

Players of the Day for Monday, May 18, 2009 American League The reigning AL champs, Tampa Bay, remain mired near the bottom of the AL East, though they are only 6 1/2 games behind division-leader Toronto, and it's still mid-May. By thumping Oakland 13-4 on Monday, the Rays reached the .500 level, at 20 up and 20 down, thinks to a 4-for-4 performance by shortstop Jason Bartlett, who has found his groove this season. Bartlett rapped out a pair of singles and a triple in three at-bats, driving in a season-high 5 runs and crossing the plate himself three times. A career .285 hitter in 4 seasons with Minnesota and one with the Rays (2008), Bartlett is smacking the rawhide at a healthy .384 clip, second in the AL. Bartlett has hit safely in 10 of his last 11 games. The Rays have won four straight. National League Pittsburgh won their third straight game, opening a 4-game series at Washington with a 12-7 win. Shortstop Jack Wilson spearheaded the assault with 4 hits in 4 at-bats, including a pair of doubles and a triple. Wilson drove in two in the top of the 6th inning, tying the game at 5-5, and scored moments later to give the Pirates the lead for good. Overall he scored three times and reached base in all five of his plate appearances, as he was issued a base on balls in his final trip to the dish in the ninth inning. Wilson upped his batting average to .293.

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