Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Verlander, Young Give Tigers Game Three Win; Mike Napoli Homers for Rangers, Lead Rays, 2-1

Players of the Day for Monday, October 3, 2011

American League

Rangers 4 Rays 3

Mike Napoli
Mike Napoli's two-run, 7th-inning home run erased a 1-0 Tampa Bay lead and helped chase Rays' starter, David Price, from the mound. After Craig Gentry singled off Price with two runs already in, he was lifted for Brandon Gomes, who promptly issued a walk to Ian Kinsler. After Gentry and Kinsler moved to second and third on a double steal, Elvis Andrus also walked. J.P. Howell came on for the Rays with the bases loaded, and Josh Hamilton delivered a two-run single, putting the Rangers up, 4-0.

After the Rays scored a run in the bottom of the 7th, Desmond Jennings hit his second solo homer of the game in the 8th, cutting the Texas lead to one run. B.J. Upton walked with nobody out but was gunned down on an attempted steal on a pitchout by Napoli. Texas reliever Mike Adams, who had come on to start the 8th, couldn't get the ball over the plate, walking Evan Longoria and Matt Joyce, giving the Rays hope, but Michael Gonzalez got Johnny Damon to fan on three pitches and closer Neftali Felix struck out Ben Zobrist after Longoria and Joyce had moved to second and third on a wild pitch.

Feliz surrendered a one out single to Sean Rodriguez, but induced a double play from Kelly Shoppach to end the game.

Texas leads the series, two games to one, and can eliminate the Rays in game four at Tropicana Field on Tuesday. Game time is 2:07 pm EDT. Texas sends Matt Harrison to the mound, while the Rays counter with rookie Jeremy Hellickson.

Tigers 5 Yankees 4

Justin Verlander
In the rematch of aces following the game one washout on Friday, both C.C. Sabathia and Justin Verlander were not as sharp as usual, but Verlander managed the best, getting the win that put Detroit up two games to one, putting the Yankees into an elimination situation on Tuesday in the five-game series.

Sabathia lasted only 5 1/3 innings, surrendering seven hits and four runs before being pulled by manager Joe Girardi. Sabathia clearly did not have his best stuff, walking six batters with only three strikeouts. Verlander continued through the eighth, giving up four runs on six hits and three walks, but struck out 11 Yankees on his way to the win. The Yankees tied the game with two runs in the top of the 7th on Brett Gardner's two-RBI double, but Verlander stranded him at second when he struck out Derek Jeter to end the inning.
Delmon Young

In the bottom of the frame, Delmon Young socked a solo homer to give the Rangers the lead again, 5-4, and Verlander got through the 8th unscathed, setting the stage for closer Jose Valverde, who hadn't blown a save opportunity all season.

Valverde made matters interesting, issuing a pair of walks in the final inning, but again it was Jeter who struck out to end the game, putting the Tigers in a position to close out the series on Tuesday in game four.

The Yankees are in a precarious position because they have to go to A.J. Burnett in game four. Burnett won two of his final three starts of the regular season, but has been shaky all year, going 11-11 with a 5.15 ERA. Rick Porcello goes up the bump for the Tigers. Porcello was 14-9 with a 4.79 ERA during the regular season. Game time is slated for 8:37 pm EDT.

National League

The National Leaguers had the day off for travel, but both divisional series resume Tuesday.

The Phillies face the Cardinals in St. Louis with the series tied at a game apiece, while the Brewers head to Arizona to try to eliminate the Diamondbacks. Milwaukee has a 2-0 lead in their series, and will send Shaun Marcum to the mound against Arizona's Josh Collmenter. Game time is 9:37 pm EDT.

The Phillies and Cards square off at 5:07 pm EDT. The Phillies' Cole Hamels faces the Cardinals' Jaime Garcia.

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