Sunday, August 7, 2011

Ellsbury Drives in Six as Boston Beats Yankees; Justin Turner's Two Homers Upend Braves

Players of the Day for Saturday, August 6, 2011

American League

Ellsbury: 6 RBI
When the Yankees and Red Sox get together in August or September, the games are usually meaningful, and this weekend's series is surely no exception.

After winning the series opener 3-2 on Friday, the Yankees approached the middle game with a one-game lead over the Red Sox in the AL East and their ace, C.C. Sabathia, on the mound.

Things looked OK for the Yanks as Sabathia and John Lackey locked into a duel through the first two innings, but that was as long as the good times would last, thanks to Boston's leadoff hitter Jacoby Ellsbury, who got Boston on the scoreboard with a 3rd inning sac fly as the Red Sox put up a 2-0 lead.

The very next inning was crucial. New York tied the game in the top of the inning, but Boston had already put up two more runs when Ellsbury stepped to the plate with two teammates aboard and promptly took Sabathia inside the Pesky Pole in right field with his 19th home run, making the score 7-2, and the outcome no longer in doubt.

Adding two more RBI with a single in the 8th, Ellsbury collected six RBI as the Red Sox cruised to a 10-4 win and a tie with the Yanks atop the division.

The teams square off Sunday night in the rubber game, with the winner taking a one-game division lead.

National League

Just a .500 club, the Mets are still entertaining hopes of catching the Atlanta Braves in the National League wild card race.

Turner: 2 homers
After losing five straight, those hopes were a little clouded when the two teams met in the second of a three game series at City Field in Queens.

The situation became even more serious when the Braves took a 5-2 lead in the third inning, but the Mets would not give in. Justin Turner had homered in the first inning, and the Mets plated another two runs when Jason Bay socked his 8th of the season in the bottom of the 3rd.

In the 4th, Josh Thole connected for a solo shot to tie the game, and Turner went long again, with a man aboard, to put the Mets back on top, 7-5.

Turner drove in his 4th RBI of the game with a ground out in the 7th inning, en route to the 11-7 victory.

The win put the Mets 8 games behind the Braves in the wild card race, with the Diamondbacks and Cardinals 3 1/2 and 4 back of Atlanta, respectively.

Turner's homers were his third and fourth of the season.

STREAKS: Dan Uggla extended his hitting streak to 27 games, while teammate Freddie Freeman upped his consecutive game hitting streak to 20. Uggla went 3-for-5, while Freeman had only one hit in five at-bats.

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