Thursday, September 27, 2012

Tigers Go a Game Up on White Sox; Chris Davis Leads 7-HR Baltimore Attack; Matt Kemp Keeps Dodgers' Hopes Alive

Players of the Day for Wednesday, September 26, 2012

American League

Baltimore continues to press on in pursuit of the Yankees, downing Toronto, 12-2, to remain 1 1/2 games behind in the AL East.

Davis: 2HR 5RBI
The Orioles banged out 12 hits, seven of which were of the home run variety. Manny Machado and Chris Davis each belted a pair, with Davis driving in five runs on a three-run fifth inning blast and a two-run job in the seventh.

Trailing Toronto, 2-1, entering the bottom of the fifth inning, the Orioles put up a five spot to break the game open and added two runs in the seventh, eighth and ninth innings.

The win earned a split in the four game series, while the Yankees knocked off the Twins, 8-2, taking two of three.

With six games remaining, the Orioles host Boston for three games beginning Friday, then close out the season with three in Tampa with the Rays. New York begins a four game series in Toronto on Thursday and finishes up at home with three games against the Red Sox.

Detroit finally passed up the White Sox and took control of first place in the AL Central with a 5-4 victory over Kansas City while Chicago was losing to the Indians, 6-4.

In the West, Oakland took its second straight over the suddenly-struggling Rangers and have clawed to within three games of the lead. Right behind them, five back, are the Angels, winners of five straight.

Texas has one game remaining with the A's, on Thursday, then begins a critical stretch of three home games against the Angels before ending the season with a three-game series in Oakland. With seven games left, all against their two closest pursuers, there is a chance that the Rangers could miss the playoffs entirely after leading the division for nearly the full season.

Baltimore and Oakland currently hold the wild card spots, but the Angels would have to catch and pass the Rangers for such a situation to develop. It's getting very interesting as baseball heads down the home stretch.

National League

There were four shutouts in the national League on Wednesday, though none of them resulted in complete games. San Francisco, Atlanta, Houston and the Mets each were winners, blanking their opponents, though the only significant games were Atlanta's 3-0 win over Miami and Houston's 2-0 victory over the Cardinals.

Kemp: 4-5 HR 4RBI
Atlanta's win kept them four games behind the Nationals in the NL East, while the Cardinals' loss kept hopes alive for Milwaukee and the Dodgers, chasing St. Louis for the final wild card spot.

Both Los Angeles and the Brewers have slim hopes of reaching the post-season, still 4 1/2 behind the Cardinals. LA got a huge effort from Matt Kemp, who went 4-for-5 with four RBI and two runs, stroking his 20th home run of the season, doubling and singling twice in LA's 8-2 win over San Diego.

The Dodgers evened their series with the Padres at a game apiece and will play the rubber game Thursday night in San Diego. St. Louis needs any combination of four wins or four losses by either the Brewers or Dodgers to clinch the final playoff spot.

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