Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Boston Hammers Toronto, 14-0; Beltran Gets Giants to Within Six of Arizona

Players of the Day for Tuesday, September 6, 2011

American League

Jon Lester
David Ortiz
There were three outright slaughters in the AL on Tuesday, two by division leaders. Texas got a complete game, five-hit shutout from C.J. Wilson in their 8-0 win over Tampa Bay. Combined with the Angels' 2-1 loss to Seattle, that put the Rangers up 3 1/2 games in the West.

Detroit bombed Cleveland 10-1, sending the Indians back to third place 1/2 game behind the White Sox - 3-0 winners over Minnesota - who trail the Tigers by eight games in a division that was once close and now looks like a runaway for Detroit.

But the biggest blowout was Boston's 14-0 beating of Toronto. Jon Lester limited the Bue Jays to three hits and a walk over seven innings, striking out 11 in the process for his 15th win against six losses. Lester's mound work would have been good enough, but it was overshadowed by the explosive Boston batters, who hammered out 20 hits, 11 of them for extra bases.

Marco Scutaro
Adrian Gonzalez
Adrian Gonzalez was 3-for-5 with a double, three runs and two RBI, giving him 105 on the year, good for second in the AL, tied with the Yankees' Robinson Cano and four behind another Yankee, Curtis Granderson. David Ortiz had four hits in six at-bats, two of them doubles. He also scored three runs and drove in a pair.

However, it wasn't a big guy who led the way for the Beantown Bombers. Shortstop Marco Scutaro went 4-for-5 with three doubles and a single, scored two runs and drove in four. Batting behind Ortiz, Scutaro had one of his best games as a major leaguer.

The win by Boston didn't help them catch up on the Yankees, who continued to lead the AL East by 2 1/2 games with a 5-3 win over Baltimore. Catching the Yankees may not be a top priority for the Red Sox, however. Getting ready for the post-season might be, as they lead the wild card standings by a cool 8 1/2 games over the Angels.

National League

Carlos Beltran
San Francisco's move to get Carlos Beltran at the trading deadline may prove to be one of the best deals of the season, though it might be a little too late as the Giants try to chase down NL West leader Arizona.

Beltran was an essential element in the Giants' 6-4 win over San Diego Tuesday night, bringing them to within six games of the Diamondbacks, who dropped an 8-3 decision to the Rockies when Colorado exploded for seven runs in the bottom of the 8th inning.

Beltran went 3-for-4 with three key RBI. In the third inning, he singled home a run to put the Giants up 3-2, then, after the Padres tied the score at 3-all, he doubled in another run in the 5th inning. He walked to lead off the 8th inning and scored, adding a ground-out RBI in the 9th to seal the victory.

With 20 games left in the season, time is not on the Giants' side, though they will get one more crack at the D'Backs when they face them in Arizona on September 23, 24 and 25, in the penultimate series of the season. The Giants have an equal number of home and road dates remaining, though they have to face the Rockies seven times, including in their final three game series at home.

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