Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Nick Markakis, Orioles Eliminate Yankees; KC, Oakland Even in Wild Card; Justin Turner Gets Dodgers Closer to NL West Title

Players of the Day for Tuesday, September 23, 2013

American League

The race in the Central division and AL wild card got a whole lot more interesting Tuesday night, except for the Yankees, who were eliminated from post-season contention in a 5-4 loss to the Orioles.

Nick Markakis
The Orioles banged out 17 hits against five New York hurlers, including 11 off starter Brandon McCarthy. Nick Markakis, Nelson Cruz and Kelly Johnson each homered for the O's. Cruz's solo shot in the fifth inning was his 40th of the season, which lead the majors. Houston's Chris Carter has 37; Miami's Giancarlo Stanton lead the National league with 37.

Markakis was the slugging star of the night, though, with a two-run, fourth-inning blast that put the Orioles up, 4-0. In the second inning, he singled home a run and later added two more singles to go 4-for-5 with three RBI. Other than the home runs, all of the other Oriole hits were singles, 14 of them.

The important action elsewhere in the league took place in Detroit, where the Tigers held their one-game lead in the Central with a 4-3 win over the White Sox; in Cleveland, the Royals topped Cleveland 7-1 to reach a tie for the wild card spots with Oakland, 2-0 losers to the Angels.

In Toronto, the Blue Jays walloped the Mariners for the second straight night, with a 10-2 win. Seattle is just three games behind the wild card leaders, but there are only five games left to play. Cleveland is 4 1/2 back and could be eliminated as early as Wednesday night, when they meet the Royals in the conclusion of their three-game series.
Justin Turner

National League

With a 4-2 win over second place San Francisco, the LA Dodgers are within a hairs-breath of capturing the NL West division.

LA leadoff hitter, Justin Turner, belted a pair of solo homers off Giants' starter Madison Bumgarner (18-10) to propel the Dodgers to victory, their 90th of the season, against 68 losses. Turner led off the game with his first belt, then finished Bumgarner's night on the mound with his second solo with one down in the eighth. Zack Greinke (16-8) went eight innings for the Dodgers to earn the win.

Kenley Jansen worked the ninth to pick up the save, his 44th, tying him with St. Louis' Trevor Rosenthal and Atlanta's Craig Kimbrel for the league lead.

LA can wrap up the division with a win Wednesday night in the final of their three-game series with the Giants. They may meet their Norther California rival again in the playoffs, however, as the Giants and Pirates both have qualified for the playoffs, and are the likely wild card teams. Pittsburgh holds a one-game edge over San Francisco in the wild card and are 1 1/2 behind St. Louis in the NL Central.

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