Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Slam Dance: Molina Lifts Cards; Kalish Powers Red Sox

Players of the Day for Monday, September 6, 2010 American League Tampa Bay opened a critical series in Boston on Monday, and with the Yankees losing, 4-3, to the Orioles, the team had a chance to close the gap on the front-running Yanks to 1 1/2 games. Boston, however, had other ideas. The Red Sox took advantage of 10 walks issued by Rays' pitchers and hammered out a 12-5 victory, highlighted by home runs by David Ortiz, Adrian Beltre and a grand slam by rookie Ryan Kalish. Already ahead, 7-2, and with a run in off a bases-loaded walk to Jed Lowrie, Kalish took an Andy Sonnanstine offering into Fenway's right field seats, putting the game completely out of reach. Prior to his first career grand slam, Kalish had singled, stole second and scored in the 2nd inning. Afterward, in the 7th, he walked, again stole second base, went to third on a ground out and scored his third run of the game on a sac fly. Boston's win didn't do much for their hopes, even though they picked up a game on both Tampa and New York. They still trail the Yankees by nine games. Tampa Bay remained 2 1/2 behind the Yankees in the AL East. National League It may be too late, but the St. Louis Cardinals may not be through just yet. After sweeping the Reds three straight in the second week of August, the Cards encountered sudden stretch of undistinguished play, going 5-13 and falling eight games behind until taking two of three against the Reds this weekend and beating the Milwaukee Brewers 8-6 on Monday. St. Louis broke a 2-2 tie in the eighth inning with six runs, capped by Yadier Molina's grand slam. Cardinal relievers tried to give the game away, allowing two runs in each of the final two Milwaukee at-bats, but still managed to prevail. Molina's homer was his 6th of the year and the 4 RBI upped his season total to 52, just four short of his career best, 56, in 2007. The Cardinals' win, coupled with Cincinnati's 10-5 loss at Colorado have St. Louis six games back, and only five behind in the loss column. The Reds have two games in hand. PENNANT NOTES: The Padres snapped their 10-game losing streak with a 4-2 win over the Dodgers, and remained one game to the good over the Giants and 4 1/2 ahead of the Rockies, as both of those teams also won. In the NL East, the Phillies split a double-header with Florida, winning the nightcap, 7-4, after losing the opener, 7-1. With Atlanta dropping their second straight - a 3-1 loss at Pittsburgh - the Phillies have closed the game to a mere 1/2 game. Minnesota retained their 3 1/2 game lead over the White Sox, with a 5-4 win over Kansas City while the Sox beat Detroit by the same score in 10 innings. Jim Thome hit his 585th home run in the Twins' win, one behind Frank Robinson on the career list. Texas has lost four straight, but still lead the A's by seven games in the AL West.

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