Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Alcides Escobar Powers Royals to First Place in AL Central; Travis Snider Paces Pirates over Tigers, 11-6

Players of the Day for Monday, August 11, 2014

American League

With a 3-2 win over visiting Oakland, the Kansas City Royals won their eighth straight and took over first place in the Central division by 1/2 game over the slumping Tigers.

Alcides Escobar
Detroit lost the opener of a three game series in Pittsburgh, 11-6. It was Detroit's third straight defeat.

The quiet hero for Kansas City was shortstop Alcides Escobar, usually noted for his slick fielding, who came through with a pair of two-out RBI singles, the last of which put the Royals on top to stay, 3-2.

With two aboard in the second inning, Escobar singled home Alex Gordon, giving the Royals a 2-0 lead. Oakland tied the game in the third inning, but Escobar came through again in the seventh, singling up the middle to plate pinch-runner Norichika Aoki with what proved to be the game winner.

Wade Davis fanned two in the eighth for his 25th hold and Greg Holland picked up his league-leading 35th save with a scoreless ninth.

Despite the loss, the A's still lead the Angels in the AL West by 3 1/2 games.

The two teams play game two of their four-game series Tuesday at 8:10 pm EDT at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City.

Snider: 2HR 4RBI
National League

Keeping pace in the torrid NL Central is no easy task, but the Pirates appear to be up to it, taking the first of a two-game series over the Tigers by an 11-6 score to retake second place in the division from St. Louis, 6-5 losers to Miami. Milwaukee leads the Pirates by 2 1/2 games with St. Louis another 1/2 game back.

Going 3-for-5 with a double and two home runs, Travis Snider provided the fuel for Pittsburgh's offense, driving in four runs and scoring three times.

Snider's second-inning, two-run blast put the Pittsburgh lead at 8-1. In the ninth, Snider launched a 433-foot solo bomb to straightaway center, completing the scoring.

The two teams combined for 28 hits - 14 apiece - but the Pirates made better use of their at-bats with runners on base.

Game two of the series begins 7:05 pm EDT Tuesday at PNC Park in Pittsburgh.

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