Saturday, September 24, 2011

Brewers Clinch NL Central; Diamondbacks, Rangers Take the West; Rays Lose Again

Players of the Day for Friday, September 23, 2011

American League

If not for the Red Sox playing terrible baseball all through the month of September, nobody would be talking about the Tampa Bay Rays, who lost for the fourth time in their last five games, dropping to 2 1/2 games behind the Red Sox in the AL wild card race.

Kelly Johnson
Toronto's Kelly Johnson drove in a run in the third inning and socked a solo home run in the 6th, leading to a 5-1 win for the Blue Jays at Tropicana Field in Tampa.

The Red Sox were rained out in New York and will play a double-header with the Yankees on Sunday. The Angels dropped a 3-1 decision to Oakland, paving the way for the Rangers to take the division.

Texas defeated Seattle, 5-3, to capture their second straight AL west division championship, completing the divisional races in both leagues.

The Angels trail Boston by 3 1/2 in the wild card.

National League

Pennant races aren't what they used to be, but it would be hard to convince the players of the Milwaukee Brewers of that.

The Brewers clinched their first division title of any kind since 1982, when they were still in the American League and captured the East division.

Ryan Braun
Ryan Braun socked a three-run home run in the bottom of the 8th inning, leading to a 4-1 win over the Florida Marlins. The Brewers clubhouse erupted in celebration as players watched the conclusion of the Cardinals-Cubs game, which ended in a 5-1 win by Chicago, eliminating second place St. Louis in the division, giving the crown to Milwaukee.

Braun went 1-for-4 in the game, the clutch homer being his only hit. The Brewers's outfielder is being mentioned prominently in MVP discussions alongside Dodger star Matt Kemp. Braun has 32 home runs, 107 RBI and a .329 batting average, tied for the lead in batting with the Mets' Jose Reyes. Kemp is on the cusp of a triple crown, having hit his 37th home run in LA's 2-0 win over San Diego, tying him with St. Louis' Albert Pujols. He also leads the league with 119 RBI and is batting .326.

Atlanta stopped the Nationals, 7-4, increasing their wild card lead to three games ahead of St. Louis. San Francisco lost the first game of their three game visit to Arizona, 3-1, giving the Diamondbacks the NL West title.

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