Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Rays, Red Sox Tied in Wild Card; Braves Holding One Game Lead over Cardinals

Players of the Day for Monday, September 26, 2011

American League

The AL Wild Card race is all tied up after the Orioles chunked the Red Sox, 6-3, and the Rays stung the Yankees, 5-2.

Robert Andino
In Baltimore, Robert Andino's inside-the-park home run keyed a four-run sixth inning, leading to the Oriole win. Chris Davis, a substitute corner infielder who was traded from Texas to Baltimore earlier in the year, got things started in the decisive inning with a double that drove home Vlad Guerrero, breaking a 2-2 tie before Andino laced a drive to center field that Boston's Jacoby Ellsbury could not handle and raced around the bases, with Mark Reynolds and Davis scoring ahead of him.

Andino had only the one hit in two official at-bats, but drove in three runs and sent Boston starter, Josh Beckett, to an early shower. The loss for Boston was the 8th in their last 10 games, making "collapse" sound like too mild a term for what they are going through in September, a month in which they've won only six games while losing 19. In the annals of blowing it, that's epic.

Boston has two games remaining at Baltimore, who've beaten them four of the last five. Tampa Bay faces the Yankees twice more at Tropicana Field.

National League

Shane Victorino
Shane Victorino tripled in the sixth inning and doubled in the eighth and Raul Ibanez singled him home each time, as the Phillies took a 4-2 win at Atlanta Monday night.

Raul Ibanez
Victorino's triple and the RBI single by Ibanez in the 6th broke a tie after Jimmy Rollins' solo homer in the fifth made it 2-2. The eighth inning triple by the Phillies' center fielder and subsequent single by Ibanez added insurance for Philadelphia's relievers, who came on after Cliff Lee went through six innings, allowing two runs on five hits while fanning six for his 17th win against eight losses.

The Braves have been doing their best impression of Boston in the NL, losing their third straight and sixth of their last eight, but managed to maintain their one game lead over the Cardinals in the wild card race. St. Louis dropped a 5-4 decision at Houston in 10 innings as they opened their final regular season series with the Astros.

Atlanta could clinch the wild card with a win and a St. Louis loss on Tuesday, or be tied with the Cardinals if those results are the reverse.

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