Saturday, June 23, 2012

Jose Bautista Ties for AL HR Lead as Blue Jays Roll; Carlos Beltran Leads Cardinals over Royals

Players of the Day for Friday, June 22, 2012

American League

Jose Bautista
Jose Bautista rocked his 23rd home run as the Toronto Blue Jays - tied with Boston for last place in the AL East, 5 1/2 behind the Yankees - rolled past the Miami Marlins, 12-5 on Friday.

The Blue Jays and Boston have identical 38-34 records, but are cursed - for now, at least - with playing in the ultra-competitive AL East, the only division in the major leagues in which all five teams are over .500.

Ricky Romero picked up his eighth win against one loss, despite giving up four runs over seven innings.

Bautista, who led the AL in home runs each of the past two seasons, drove in three runs, going 3-for-4 and tied Adam Dunn of the White Sox for the league home run lead.

The win was the first of a three game series in Miami.

National League

Carlos Beltran
With a pair of doubles in five at-bats, Carlos Beltran - an off-season acquisition by the world champion Cardinals - drove in four runs to lead St. Louis to an easy, 7-4 win over the Royals, in the opener of their three game series in Kansas City.

Beltran doubled home two runs in the first inning and repeated the effort in the second, as the Cardinals plated ten baserunners in the opening two innings.

St. Louis continued in hot pursuit of the Reds, who lead the NL Central by three games over St. Louis, but saw their lead over Pittsburgh reduced to one game as Cincinnati lost their fourth straight.

Beltran has 52 RBI on the season, second in the NL to Matt Kemp, who leads with 55.

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