Friday, May 10, 2013

Brian McCann Leads Braves over Giants; On a Tear, Evan Longoria Powers Rays past Jays

Players of the Day for Thursday, May 9, 2013

American League

Evan Longoria
With Boston and Baltimore losing, and the Yankees finishing up a three-game series in Colorado with a victory, there's suddenly a three-way tie for first place in the AL East. While the focus will surely be on these three contenders, lurking 4 1/2 games back are the Tampa Bay Rays, who earned a 2-2 split with last place Toronto, beating the Blue Jays, 5-4, in 10 innings.

Evan Longoria has been a force with which to reckon of late, batting a robust .411 over his last eight games. In Thursday's win, Longoria went 3-for-5, with two doubles, an RBI and two runs, the last score being the game-winner, as he trotted home from third base on a bases-loaded walk to Luke Scott issued by Toronto reliever, Brad Lincoln, with two down in the bottom of the 10th.

Longoria got the Rays scoring started with a first inning RBI double, later scoring on Matt Joyce's single to put the Rays up, 2-0.

The Rays begin hosting a three-game series with San Diego on Friday. After that, they welcome in the Red Sox Tuesday through Thursday of next week.

National League

Brian McCann
In San Francisco, the Giants and Braves opened a four-game series between respective division leaders, but the result left the home team in a tie for first place in the West as the Braves took a 6-3 decision.

Catcher Brian McCann, starting in just his third game of the year, went 3-for-5, with his first homer of the season and three RBI.

His tw-run homer in the second inning put the Braves up, 2-1; in the fifth, McCann beat out an infield hit, scoring Freddie Freeman from third to increase the Braves' lead to 5-3.

McCann, who started the season on the disabled list while rehabbing after surgery to his left shoulder, solidifies the already-deep Atlanta lineup with a proven run-producer. He's hit at least 21 homers in six of his seven full seasons with the Braves and has driven in at least 67 runs each season, with a high of 94 in 2009.

A six-time all-star, McCann has five hits in 13 at-bats (.308).

The Braves held their two-game edge in the East over Washington with the win, while the Giants fell into a tie with Arizona, winners of four straight, in the West.

Today's Trivia: Among active players, which pitcher is the career win leader? (answer tomorrow)

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