Saturday, September 6, 2014

Kendrys Morales Drives Mariners into 2nd Wild Card Spot; Marcell Ozuna's 4 RBI Buries Braves

Players of the Day for Friday, September 5, 2014

American League

Kendrys Morales
Winning their fourth in a row, the Seattle Mariners overtook Detroit, vaulting into the spot for the second wild card with 7-5 win at Texas.

Kendrys Morales smacked a pair of homers for the Mariners, a pair of two-run strokes - each time with third baseman Kyle Seager aboard - in the second and sixth innings.

Morales missed all of April and May, and has played just 76 games this season, only 37 of those with the Mariners, but he can provide an extra dose of power to the Seattle lineup. He has five homers and 21 RBI for the Mariners this season.

With seattle winning and the Tigers dropping an 8-2 decision to visiting San Francisco, Seattle has surged to a 1/2 game edge in the race for the second wild card. What's more, Seattle finds itself just two games behind the slumping Oakland A's - losers of three straight. The A's currently qualify as the #1 wild card but have won just twice in their last ten games.

Seattle will look to press its advantage when they play game three of their four-game set with Texas at 8:05 pm EDT Saturday night.

National League

Marcell Ozuna
With Milwaukee losing on Thursday while the Braves had the day off, Atlanta moved into a tie for the second wild card spot and had an opportunity to advance their post-season cause with the opening of a three-game series at Miami on Friday, but came up on the short end of an 11-3 score, falling a game back, as the Brewers snapped a nine-game losing streak and took down the Cardinals, 6-2.

Atlanta starter, Aaron Harang, was knocked around by the Marlins, allowing 10 hits and six earned runs over 3 2/3 innings, evening his record at 10-10.

Most of the damage was done by Miami center fielder, Marcell Ozuna, who was 4-for-5 with two singles and a pair of doubles, driving in four runs and scoring twice in the rout.

Overshadowed by teammate Giancarlo Stanton (which is no shame), Ozuna is having himself a splendid season in his first full year with the Marlins, batting .264 with 19 homers and 78 RBI. He's one of the reasons the Marlins are on the fringes of the wild card race, five games behind Milwaukee for the second spot.

The Braves and Marlins resume their NL East rivalry in game two of the series, at 7:10 pm EDT.

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