Thursday, July 7, 2011

Longoria Keeping Rays in Race; Shierholtz Leads Giants in Extra Innings; Jeter Within Three

Players of the Day for Wednesday, July 6, 2011

American League

Evan Longoria
While the Yankees and Red Sox continue to slug it out atop the AL East (Yanks lead by 1/2 game), the Tampa Bay Rays have quietly kept pace and are just four games out after whipping the Twins, 12-5, Wednesday night.

Having lost the first two games of the series to the Twins, the Rays responded, avoiding the series sweep thanks to Evan Longoria, who went 3-for-6 and provided key offense in the late innings.

With the score tied 5-5 in the 8th, Logoria, with his second hit of the night, singled in the go-ahead run and later scored as the Rays plated four in the inning. In the 9th, Logoria topped off his night and put the game away with a three-run homer, his 11th.

Longoria has picked up the pace of late with three homers and 15 RBI in his last ten games. The Rays travel to New York for a four-game series with the Yankees, preceding the all star break.

National League

Nate Schierholtz
Normally, the San Francisco Giants rely on excellent starting pitching and usually aren't too worried about the San Diego Padres, but after consecutive 5-3 losses to the fourth place Padres, the Giants saw their lead in the NL West dwindle to just one game over the Diamondbacks entering Wednesday's games.

It looked like another bad night for the Giants by the sixth inning, as starter Madison Bumgarner allowed nine hits and five runs for a 5-3 Padres lead, but Pablo Sandoval doubled in a pair of runs to tie the game and send it to extras.

Both bullpens were unflappable until the bottom of the 13th, when Nate Schierholtz ended it with his second home run of the game, a solo shot to right for the walk-off, 6-5 Giants' victory.

Schierholtz had earlier doubled and smacked a two-run homer in the 4th inning. He finished with three hits in six at-bats, three RBI and two runs in the comeback win. Coupled with Arizona losing to Milwaukee, 3-1, the Giants increased their lead to two games in the division.

JETER 3000 WATCH: The Yankees couldn't muster much offense, scoring all of their runs in the 9th inning, losing the series finale at Cleveland, 5-3. Jeter went 1-for-3, banging a double eyond the reach of Indians right fielder Austin Kearns in the 8th, putting him within three hits of the historic mark.

The Yankees return home on Thursday for a four-game set with the Rays, the final series before the all star break. Ticket prices have spiked in New York since the all star shortstop came off the DL three days ago. The average price for the Saturday game - the third in the series - reached $194 in secondary markets, with the Thursday, Friday and Sunday game prices not far behind.

No comments: