Monday, September 15, 2014

Boston's Xander Bogaerts, Daniel Nava Rough Up Royals; Neil Walker Rallies Pirates Past Cubs

Players of the Day for Sunday, September 14, 2014

American League

Nava: Grand Slam
Two home runs was all it took for the Boston Red Sox to play the role of spoiler, sending the host Royals to an 8-4 loss and pushing them 1 1/2 back of the Tigers in the AL Central.

Bogaerts: 3-4, 4RBI
Xander Bogaerts connected for a three-run shot in the third inning and was 3-for-4 for the game, but the Sox still trailed, 4-3, at that time. Daniel Nava's grand slam in the sixth put the Red Sox up 7-4 and in the lead for good. Bogaerts completed the scoring with a sac fly for his fourth RBI of he game.

Coupled with Detroit's 6-4 win over Cleveland, the Tigers have a 1 1/2 game edge in the central, but the Royals are only down one in the loss column and retained their position as the second wild card, though they are a mere one game ahead of Seattle for that spot.

Boston took it to the Royals over the weekend, winning three of four in Kansas City.

The Royals remain home for a three-game series with the White Sox, starting on Monday. After a day off Thursday, they host the Tigers for a three-game weekend series that should go a long way toward determining the Central division title.

National League

Neil Walker
Holding onto the second wild card spot, the Pirates had to come from behind against the Cubs on Sunday.

Down 3-0 in the fourth, Neil Walker got Pittsburgh on the board with a solo homer, his 20th of the season.

In the fifth, Walker socked a double to center, plating another run as the Pirated scored six times in the inning, en route to a 7-3 victory over the visiting Cubs and a 2-1 win of the three-game series.

The win kept Pittsburgh 1 1/2 ahead of the Brewers, who topped Cincinnati, 9-2, in the wild card race. Pittsburgh picked up a game on the Giants for the #1 wild card, as San Francisco fell to LA, 4-2, but are still three games clear of the Pirates.

In the West, the Dodgers lead by three games over the Giants. The Cardinals won their third straight, keeping their lead at 3 1/2 over Pittsburgh, while the Nationals dropped their magic number to clinch the East to four, winning, 3-0, over the Mets. Washington has an 11 1/2 game lead over Atlanta in the division.

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