Sunday, September 18, 2011

Phillies Clinch 5th Straight NL East Pennant; Rivera Ties Hoffman; Hamilton Slugs for Rangers

Players of the Day for Saturday, September 17, 2011

American League

Josh Hamilton went 4-for-5 with a home run, two singles and a double and drove in three runs, helping the Texas Rangers pad their lead in the AL West to 4 1/2 games over the Angels with a 7-6 win at Seattle.

Josh Hamilton
As hot as any team in the majors, the Rangers are 10-5 for the month of September and continue t keep the hungry Angels at bay in pursuit of their second straight division crown. Once they finish up in Seattle on Sunday, the Rangers face the A's in Oakland for three games, then return to Arlington for three more with the Mariners before finishing out the regular season with three games at Anahiem with the Angels.

Rivera: 601 Saves
In Toronto, the Yankees came back from a 6-1 deficit to defeat the Blue Jays, 7-6, allowing Mariano Rivera to record save #601, tying him with Trevor Hoffman as the career leader in that department. Rivera was the fifth in a parade of relievers working one inning apiece after starter Bartolo Colon lasted just four innings, allowing all six Toronto runs. Rivera didn't allow a baserunner and chalked up a strikeout for his 42nd save of the season, second best in the AL.

The Rays and Red Sox continued to contest the wild card in Boston, with the Rays coming out on top of a 4-3 score Tampa has taken two of three in Boston and play the series finale Sunday afternoon, but the battle doesn't end there. After a day off Monday, the Rays head to New York for a three game set with the Yankees, then return home for three with the Blue Jays and three more with New York to close out the season. The Red Sox have a series in New York sandwiched between a pair of home and away three game series with the Orioles, a less-daunting task.

National League

Shane Victorino
Oswalt: 7 Scoreless
The Phillies cooled off the red-hot Cardinals - winners of seven of their last eight - with a 9-2 win, clinching their fifth straight NL East title.

Shane Victorino walked with the bases loaded in the 4th inning, socked a solo homer in the 6th and singled in another run in the 8th to lead the effort. Raul Ibanez capped off the scoring with a grand slam later in the 8th inning to seal the victory. Roy Oswalt worked seven scoreless innings from the mound, allowing just five hits while fanning seven.

Ibanez: Slam Man
The win was the 98th for Philadelphia, easily the best in the majors and dropped the Cardinals 6 1/2 games behind the Brewers in the Central division. Milwaukee bombed Cincinnati, 10-1, as they cruise toward the division crown. Atlanta topped the Mets, 1-0, putting them 4 1/2 in front of St. Louis in the wild card race.

Out West, the Giants won their seventh straight, topping Colorado, 6-5, while the Diamondbacks dropped their third in a row, losing to San Diego, 3-1. Those results sliced Arizona's lead in the division to five games with 10 left to play. Arizona has one more game in San Diego before returning home for the remainder of the season. They host Pittsburgh for three games, then the Giants for a three game weekend series before closing out the season with three against the Dodgers.

No comments: