Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Erick Aybar, Angels, Sends Tampa Bay to Fifth Straight Defeat; Freddie Freeman Keeps Braves Rolling with 5 RBI in 12-5 Win over Mets

Players of the Day for Monday, September 2, 2013

American League

Erick Aybar tripled, homered and drove in four runs in four at-bats to lead the LA Angels to an 11-2 beating of the visiting Tampa Bay Rays, sending the Rays to their fifth straight loss.
Erick Aybar

Opening the four-game series with a resounding win did little for the Angels, already destined to be spectators when the post--season commences, but made the AL wild card race even more contentious. With Oakland beating Texas, 4-2, the A's tied the Rangers atop the AL West, and one of the two lead the wild card. Tampa Bay still holds the #2 spot, but the Orioles are now just two games behind the Rays, the Yankees 2 1/2 back, with Cleveland 3 1/2 out. Even Kansas City has benefitted from the Rays' recent slide, just 4 1/2 games from the second wild card.

The Rays' collapse has been sudden and unexpected, losing not only their last five, but eight of their last nine games, with the defeats coming both at home and away.

Tampa Bay will try to get back on track when they face the Angels in game two of their four-game series, Tuesday, at 7:05 PDT. 14-3 Matt Moore will go to the mound for the Rays. Moore has won six straight but hasn't pitched since July 28.

National League

Atlanta took another step closer to the NL East pennant with a 13-5 clobbering of the Mets on Monday, extending the largest lead in the majors to 15 games over second place Washington.

Freddie Freeman
The Braves got an early boost from Freddie Freeman, who drove in two runs in the first with a double and socked a three-run homer in the second inning, taking all the suspense out of the contest as the Braves rolled to an early, 6-1 lead.

Freeman, looking more and more like the NL's MVP, added five RBI, totaling 93 on the year, fourth in the league. His homer was #18 for the season, to go with a .307 batting average.

Atlanta hosts the Mets in game two of their three-game series, Tuesday night at 7:10 pm EDT.

Today's Trivia: Ty Cobb held the all-time record for career hits for 62 years. In what year did Pete Rose pass him? (answer tomorrow)

Yesterday's Answer: Larry Walker, of the Colorado Rockies, won the NL batting title in 1998 and 1999, batting .363 and .379, respectively.

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