Monday, July 22, 2013

Mike Napoli Ends Boston Win over NY with Walk-Off Homer in 11th; Matt Harvey Tosses Seven Scoreless as Mets Top Phillies

Players of the Day for Sunday, July 21, 2013

American League

C.C. Sabathia andf Ryan Dempster were on the mound and the series was on the line in the finale of the three-game Yankees-Red Sox series Sunday night at Fenway Park, but it was the lack of solid pitching that was most of the story in Boston's 8-7, 11-inning victory, a 2-1 series edge for Beantown.

Mike Napoli
The Red Sox touched up Sabathia for nine hits and seven earned runs over five innings, three runs coming on Mike Napoli's third inning homer, which turned a 3-1 Yankee lead into a 4-3 Red Sox advantage. Boston built the lead to 7-3 by the fifth, but the Yankees came back to tie the game with two runs in each of the sixth and seventh innings.

In the bottom of the 11th, Napoli came through again, this time with the bases empty and two outs, sending a drive over the wall in center field and the largest crowd of the season at Fenway home happy.

The pair of homers were Napoli's 12th and 13th. He finished 2-for-6 with four RBI and a pair of scores including the game-winner.

Laving the Boston area with two losses in three games, the Yankees dropped seven games off the pace in the AL East. Boston remained 1 1/2 ahead of the Rays and 3 1/2 better than the Orioles.

National League

Matt Harvey
Probably not in need of any favors, the Atlanta Braves got a couple from the Mets over the weekend as the New Yorkers took the final two games of their three game series with the visiting Phillies, including Sunday's 5-0 triumph, giving the Mets a 2-1 series win. Keeping the Phillies - who had moved into second place in the NL East right off the All Star break with a 13-8 win over the Mets on Friday - 6 1/2 games behind Atlanta was primarily the doing of rookie hurler, Matt Harvey, who sparkled in seven scoreless innings fresh off his All Star game start.

Harvey allowed just three hits while extending his league lead in strikeouts with 10, without surrendering a walk. The right-hander improved to 8-2 on the year, providing a bright spot in an otherwise up-and-down season for the Mets. Harvey's 157 Ks are 11 more than LA's Clayton Kershaw.

The Mets are still eight games under .500 and 10 games off the pace being set by the Braves, but are now only three games behind the Nationals, who have lost three straight - all to the Dodgers - since the All Star break.

Today's Trivia: Who is the major league career leader in sacrifice flies? (answer tomorrow)

Yesterday's Answer: In 1996, Baltimore's Bobby Bonilla tied the AL record for sacrifice flies in a season, with 17, equalling the mark set in 1971 by the Yankees' Roy White. Sac flies have only been tracked statistically since 1954.

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