Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Giants Prevail on Madison Bumgarner's 1-Hitter; Dustin Pedroia, Red Sox Bury Toronto, 11-7, in 11 Innings

Players of the Day for Tuesday, August 26, 2014

American League

Pedroia: HR, 4RBI
Toronto's season may already have been over, but the Red Sox, languishing in last place in the AL East (58-74), put another nail into the Blue Jays' coffin Tuesday night with an 11-inning, 11-7 defeat.

Dustin Pedroia got the party started for the Sox with a first-inning, two-run homer, his seventh of the season, and his two-run single in the 11th inning ignited a seven-run outburst that eventually buried the Blue Jays. Toronto scored three runs in the bottom of the inning, but could not avoid losing their second straight to the Red Sox and third straight overall, falling back to .500, at 66-66 on the year.

The loss left the Blue Jays 10 games behind Baltimore in the East, and 6 1/2 back of Seattle in the quest for the second wild card spot. Toronto's hopes for the post-season are fading fast, as the Tigers, Indians and Yankees are all ahead of them in the wild card race.

Pedroia finished the game with his two hits and five RBI in five at-bats, but like many of his teammates, his numbers this season are far below his usual output. He has only seven homers and 51 RBI, and a .256 batting average.

Boston will go for the sweep of the three-game series in Toronto starting at 7:07 pm EDT Wednesday.

National League

Bumgarner: 1-Hitter
Trailing the Dodgers by five games in the West, the San Francisco Giants haven't given up hope of winning the division, and enhanced their chances in the wild card race with an outstanding effort from Madison Bumgarner Tuesday night in a 3-0 victory over the visiting Rockies.

After dropping the opener of their four-game series at AT&T Park, 3-2, Monday, Bumgarner got the Giants back on the winning track on Tuesday with a one-hit shutout, his 15th victory of the season, against nine losses.

Perfect through seven, Bumgarner's only mistake was a pitch to Justin Morneau, who laced a double to right field leading off the eighth. Unfazed, Bumgarner struck out the side and proceeded to get the final three outs in the ninth without incident. The lanky lefty fanned a season-high 13 batters, giving him 192 on the season, 10 behind league-leader, Steven Strasburg and seven behind Cincinnati's Johnny Cueto (199). Bumgarner is also tied with Cueto, Adam Wainwright, Clayton Kershaw and Wily Peralta for the NL lead in wins.

The victory was the third this month for Bumgarner and his sixth in his last nine starts. Prospects for a 20-win season are reasonable, given that Bumgerner will likely get seven more starting assignments.

Buster Posey provided more than enough offense with a pair of homers, a two-run shot in the fifth and a solo job in the eighth inning.

With Atlanta losing to the Mets, and Pittsburgh downing St. Louis, the chase for two wild card spots has the Giants in the thick of it. They trail St. Louis by two games, but are two games up on both the Braves and Pirates.

Game three of the series is set for Wednesday at 7:15 pm PDT.

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