Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Yankees Extend AL East Lead on Raul Ibanez Grand Slam: Miguel Montero Leads D'Backs over Reds

Players of the Day for Monday, July 16, 2011

American League

The Yankees keep pouring it on, extending the largest lead in the majors to nine games as they opened a three-game series with the Blue Jays with a 6-3 victory.

Ibanez: Grand Slam
Their win, combined with Baltimore's 19-7 pounding in Minnesota, increased New York's advantage in the AL East to nine games.

Part of the reason the 55-34 Yankees have the best record in baseball is beacuse of their deep bench, which includes players like Raul Ibanez, a professional hitter in his 15th full season.

With the bases loaded in the bottom of the eighth, Ibanez took a 3-1 offering from Toronto reliever Jason Frasor deep to right field for a grand slam, breaking a 2-2 tie and leading to the the win.

Playing regularly since injury sidelined Brett Gardner early in the season, Ibanez has 12 homers and 40 RBI and has been a key contributor from the middle and bottom of the lineup.

National League

Races in the National League are all close, with the Nationals; 2 1/2 game edge over Atlanta in the East the largest margin.

Montero: 3-4 4RBI
In the West, Arizona has quietly kept itself in contention as the Giants overtook the Dodgers and have forged a two game lead over LA, with Arizona six back after defeating the Reds in the opener of a four game series in Cincinnati by a 5-3 score.

Catcher Miguel Montero led the Diamondback hitters with a 3-for-4 effort, including a three-run double in the first inning and a solo homer - his 9th - off Cincy starter Bronson Arroyo.

Arroyo would last only three innings, allowing all five runs off eight hits.

Montero's four RBI gave him 49 on the season.

The Reds and Diamondbacks continue their series Tuesday at Great American Ball Park.

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