Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Jose Altuve Extends Hit Steak to 11 with 4-for-5 Effort in Win over Angels; Buster Posey Stays Hot, Leads Giants to 12-7 Win over Rockies

Players of the Day for Tuesday, September 2, 2014

American League

Jose Altuve leads
AL in BA, Hits, SB
Having gone 14-5 since August 12, overtaken the A's by sweeping them in a four-game series while winning six straight, the LA Angels have built a comfortable lead in the AL West and are cruising toward the division title.

Their 8-3 loss in the opener of a two-game series in Houston is more than likely a small bump in the road, but it did manage to shine the spotlight for a little while on Jose Altuve, who is having a remarkable year at the plate.

Altuve went 4-for-5 in the win over the Angels, with two singles, a double, a solo homer, two runs, two RBI and his 50th stolen base of the season. It was the second straight game in which Altuve had four hits, upping his major league-leading total to 193. He also leads the majors in batting average, at .340, and the American League in steals. He's currently riding an 11-game hitting streak.

While Altuve needs to hold off possible challenges for the batting title from Victor Martinez (.332) and Adrian Beltre (.323), as far as the hits are concerned, he's all alone. The player closest to him in total hits is Melky Cabrera, with 170. He also leads the AL by a wide margin in steals, over NY's Jacoby Ellsbury, who's second, with 37.

The Astros won't be going to the post-season, but the Angels, despite the loss, maintained a 4 1/2 game lead over Oakland, 6-5 losers to Seattle.

National League

Posey: 3-5, HR, 4RBI
Buster Posey is the hottest hitter on the planet and the San Francisco Giants are riding the crest of his hitting wave toward the playoffs.

With his fifth multiple-hit game in his last seven, Posey powered the Giants to a 12-7 win at Colorado, in the second of their three-game series, after dropping the opener by a 10-9 score on Monday.

Posey went 3-for-5, with two doubles and his 19th home run of the season - a solo, sixth-inning shot. Posey had four RBI, raising his total to 76 on the year, and scored three times.

The Giants have wrested control of the wild card race over the past two weeks and are quickly bearing down on the Dodgers, who lead the NL West by two games. The Giants have gone 12-5 since August 16 and lead the wild card race by 2 1/2 games over the Brewers. Losers of seven straight, Milwaukee has given up the lead in the NL Central to the Cardinals - who now lead by two games - thanks in part to the Giants, who concluded the month of August with a three-game sweep of the Brewers, outscoring them, 31-8.

The Giants play an afternoon game in Denver, at 3:10 pm EDT on Wednesday, prior to flying to Detroit for a three-game series with the Tigers.

San Francisco hooks up with the Dodgers twice in September, hosting a three-game series on the 12th, 13th and 14th, and playing three games in LA on September 22, 23 and 24. Outside of the Dodger games, the Giants may have the easiest path to the playoffs. After their series in Detroit, they have six games with the Diamondbacks and seven with the Padres.

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