Sunday, August 17, 2014

David Ortiz Belts a Pair, Drives in Six for Red Sox; Jedd Gyorko's Slam, Five RBI, Buries Cardinals

Players of the Day for Saturday, August 16, 2014

American League

Ortiz: elite
David Ortiz became a member of an elite club on Saturday, joining Ted Williams and Carl Yastrzemski as the only players to hit 400 or more homers as a member of the Red Sox.

Ortiz crunched a pair of homers in Boston's 10-7 win over Houston. The man known around Boston as "Big Papi" has a career total of 459 home runs, having begun his career with Minnesota prior to being traded to the Red Sox following the 2002 season.

Both of the Ortiz blasts were two-run shots, one in the third and one in the fifth, but his big blow came in the eighth inning, when he broke open a tight game with a bases-loaded triple, plating two more runs for a 9-6 Boston lead. His six RBI gave him the AL and major league lead, with 91. He's fourth in home runs in the AL with 28.

Yastrzemski had 452 career home runs; Williams hit 521. Both spent their complete careers with the Red Sox. Ortiz, who turns 39 on November 18, has a very good shot at reaching the 500 club, with 28 long balls thus far and 40 more games to play this year, the magical mark is within reach next season. He is currently 36th on the all-time list. Among active players, only Adam Dunn (459), Albert Pujols (514) and Alex Rodriguez (654) have more.

Gyorko: slammin'
National League

St. Louis dropped another game further behind the Central division-leading Brewers on Saturday, dropping a 9-5 decision at home to the San Diego Padres, as Jedd Gyorko lashed a grand slam and drove in another run with a single, giving him five RBI for the game.

The Cardinals slipped to three games behind the Brewers, who were busy taking their second straight from the Dodgers in Los Angeles, 3-2.

Gyorko is in his second season with the Padres, and has eight home runs and 41 RBI in 74 games. The grand slam came in the seventh inning, turning a 5-4 Cardinal lead, into an 8-5 edge for the Padres.

Currently leading the wild card race, St. Louis has company, with the Giants a game back, Pittsburgh 1 1/2 behind and Altanta, 2 1/2 back.

St. Louis leads the series, two games to one. The series finale is scheduled for Sunday at 2:15 pm EDT at Bush Stadium.

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