Saturday, September 14, 2013

Boston Downs Yankees on Jerrod Saltalamacchia's Grand Slam; Pete Kozma Scores Twice as St. Louis Regains 1st Place with 2-1 Win

Players of the Day for Friday, September 13, 2013

American League

Jerrod Saltalamacchia
Jerrod Saltalamacchia's seventh-inning grand slam broke open a 4-4 tie, catapulting the Boston Red Sox to an 8-4 win over the Yankees in the opener of a three-game series at Fenway Park.

Boston forged a 4-0 lead off Yankee starter Hiroki Kuroda in the first inning, but the visitors gradually sliced into the lead, tying the game on a two-run double by Robinson Cano in the top of the seventh. Cano was 4-for-4 in the game.

Saltalamacchia was part of the Red Sox four-run outburst in the first inning, doubling and scoring a run. He finished the game 2-for-3 with four RBI.

New York could not hold back the Red Sox however, who moved closer to the AL East pennant with the win, their lead over Tampa Bay at 8 1/2 games.

The wild card race got even tighter, as the A's nipped the Rangers, 9-8, while Tampa Bay shut out Minnesota, 3-0, and Baltimore bettered Toronto, 5-3. The Rangers now hold only a one-game edge over Tampa Bay for the first wild card.

AL Wild Card Standings
Team GB
Texas +1
Tampa Bay --
Cleveland -1 1/2
NY Yankees -2
Baltimore -2 1/2
Kansas City -3 1/2

Boston and New York play game two of their series Saturday at 1:05 pm EDT.

National League

Pete Kozma
Taking back the lead in the NL Central, the St. Louis Cardinals opened a three-game series with Seattle with a 2-1, 10th-inning win.

Cardinal starter, Adam Wainwright, and Seattle's Hisashi Iwakuma got into a heated pitching duel with the Mariners holding a 1-0 lead through 7 1/2 innings, but, in the bottom of the eighth, the Cardinals scored a run to tie the game, eventually sending it to an extra frame.

With one down in the eighth, Brock Peterson made it to second base on an error by Seattle second baseman, Nick Franklin. Pete Kozma came in to run for Peterson and promptly stole third base off reliever Charlie Furbush. Kozma then scored the tying run on a fielder's choice, staying in the game to play shortstop.

In the 10th, Kozma singled with two outs and advanced to third after successive walks to Matt Carpenter and Jon Jay, loading the bases. On a passed ball by Seattle catcher, Mike Zunino, Kozma scored the game-winner, sending the 40,000+ fans at Busch Stadium happily home.

St. Louis only had four hits in the game to 10 for the Mariners. Kozma went 1-for-1, scoring both of the St. Louis runs.

The Cardinals are now a game in front of Pittsburgh and 3 1/2 better than Cincinnati in the division.

The Cardinals host Seattle in game two of the series, Saturday at 7:15 pm EDT

Today's Trivia: What major leaguer holds the single-season record for on-base percentage? (answer tomorrow)

Yesterday's Answer: Babe Ruth's career batting average was .342; Gehrig hit .340 and Gwynn finished at .338.

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