Saturday, July 9, 2011

Toronto Trio Blasts Cleveland; Kelly Johnson Slams Cards; Jeter, Yanks Rained Out

Players of the Day for Friday, July 8, 2011

American League

Rajai Davis
Edwin Encarnacion
Talk about the bottom of the order coming through and you have to mention the job done by the sixth, seventh and ninth hitters for Toronto in their 11-7 win at Cleveland.

Edwin Encarnacion (6), Travis Snider (7) and Rajai Davis (9) combined for 10 of the Blue Jays' 16 hits, nine of 10 RBI and eight of the team's 11 runs.

Encarnacion went 4-for-5 and scored four times. Snider was 3-for-5 with a double, home run, five RBI and two runs, but Rajai Davis had a double and a pair of singles in four at-bats, stole two bases, scored twice and drove in four runs.

Travis Snider
The trio put away all thoughts of their previous game, which came to a sudden end when Cleveland's Travis Hafner belted a grand slam for the 5-4 win.

The Blue Jays, though blessed with an enormity of talent, remain near the bottom of the AL East, 11 games back and four games under .500. With the loss, Cleveland is clinging to a 1/2 game lead in the Central. The second place Tigers have won three straight and have been locked into a battle for the division lead for over a month.

National League

Kelly Johnson
Kelly Johnson had just one hit for Arizona in their 7-6 win at St. Louis, but it was a big one and provided the Diamondbacks' margin of victory.

Tied at three in the top of the seventh, the Diamondbacks loaded the bases for Johnson and the veteran second baseman responded with his 16th home run and second grand slam of the season, establishing a lead that Arizona would not surrender. Arizona gave up three runs in the bottom of the 8th for the 7-6 victory.

It was Johnson's fourth career grand slam and helped the Diamondbacks edge closer to the Giants in the NL West. Arizona trails San Francisco by one game after the Giants lost at home, 5-3, to the Mets. The Cardinals continued to hold second place, tied with Pittsburgh one game back of Milwaukee in the Central.

JETER 3000 WATCH: In what has to be as frustrating for Jeter as it is for the fans, Friday's scheduled game with the Rays was rained out and postponed until September. Jeter, the Yankees and Rays will be on the field Saturday at 1:05, and Sunday will be the final game before the all star break. Jeter is just two hits shy of 3000, but the Yankees start the second half of the season with an eight game road trip, so the two games will be his last opportunity to get hit #3000 at Yankee Stadium.

Jeter, along with Alex Rodriguez and closer Mariano Rivera all pulled out of the all star game due to nagging injuries. Jeter intends to rest his sore calf, which earlier put him on the disabled list, while Rodriguez rests a sore knee and Rivera nurses an ailing right arm.

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