Saturday, September 1, 2012

Josh Reddick, Brandon Moss and George Kottaras Drive A's to 20-2 Win; Gio Gonzales

Players of the Day for Friday, August 31, 2012

American League

Josh Riddick
Brandon Moss
With a four game lead in the AL West, the Texas Rangers may feel secure about winning their third straight division title, but some might suggest a look over their shoulder at the fast-closing Oakland A's, winner of seven straight after bombing the Red Sox, 20-2, rapping out 20 hits, scoring in all but two innings.

Among the highlights were Josh Reddick's seventh inning grand slam, Brandon Moss's twodoubles, home run, single, four runs and four RBI, and catcher George Kottaras' single, pair of homers, three runs and five RBI.

George Kottaras
The A's wore out seven Red Sox pitchers over nine innings, suggesting that the remainder of the three game series at Fenway may produce a batting bonanza for the A's and more than just a few sore arms for the Boston pitching staff.

Winning kept the A's one game behind the Orioles in the wild card, but very secure in the #2 wild card slot, 3 1/2 better than Tampa Bay and four up on the Tigers.

While their wild card chances appear solid, the A's no doubt have taken aim at the Rangers as August turns to September and contenders are separated from pretenders.

National League

Gio Gonzalez
Labor Day weekend marks the culmination of a brutal nine-game stretch for the St. Louis Cardinals, having taken two of three in Cincy, lost two of three in Pittsburgh and, after their 10-0 loss Friday in Washington, their losing streak has reached four straight.

While the Cardinals may bemoan life on the road, the playing doesn't get much better for the NL East-leading Nationals, winners of three straight while the second place Braves have dropped their last two, upping Washington's lead to a bulging 6 1/2 games. the largest in either league.

A master of the mound throughout the season, Gio Gonzalez picked up win #17, tying Johnny Cueto and R.A. Dickey for the major league lead.

Gonzalez, who has tasted defeat just seven times this season, shut out the Cardinals on five hits, fanning eight and walking three.

The Nats and Cards have two games remaining in their four game series, with a pair of day games Saturday and Sunday.

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