Saturday, September 13, 2014

Orioles, Angels Magic Numbers: 5; Mike Trout Leads Angels to Ninth Straight; Madison Bumgarner Stifles Dodgers, Giants within One

Players of the Day for Friday, September 12, 2014

American League

While the East and West became nearly sorted out on Friday, the Central division and two wild card sport remain up for grabs in the American League.

Mike Trout
Baltimore took both ends of a day-night double-header, winning the first game by a 2-1 score in 11 innings and taking the second with a 5-0 skunking of the power-deficient Yankees, who saw their slim hopes of reaching the post-season take a dismal turn for the worse. The Orioles have won six straight, have an 11 1/2 game lead over Toronto and a magic number for clinching the division of five.

In LA, the Angels dropped their magic number to five as well, cruising to their ninth straight win, an 11-3 spanking of the Astros, to take an 11-game division lead.

The Angels were led by potential league MVP, Mike Trout, who doubled and tripled in four at-bats, scored twice and drove in two runs, expanding his AL RBI lead to four over Nelson Cruz and Miguel Cabrera. Trout has 105 RBI on the season and is tied with Giancarlo Stanton of the Marlins for the MLB lead.

Detroit won and Kansas City lost, putting the Tigers 1/2 game ahead in the topsy-turvy Central division. The wild card scenario continued to tighten, as the A's lost and Seattle won, leaving Oakland 1/2 game ahead of both Seattle and Kansas City. Cleveland and Toronto are another four back, the Yankees five away from the second wild card.

National League

Bumgarner: 18-9
Opening a three-game series in San Francisco, the white-hot Giants pounded their West coast rivals, the LA Dodgers, with a 9-0 beating, led by home runs from Brandon Crawford and Travis Ishikawa and seven innings of shutout ball from Madison Bumgarner, who became the fourth NL pitcher to notch 18 wins.

Bumgarner (18-9) allowed just three hits and walked two for the win. He struck out nine, giving him 208 Ks on the year, trailing Stephen Strasburg (223), Johnny Cueto (220), and Clayton Kershaw (210).

Along with Bumgarner, Kershaw, Cueto and the Cardinals' Adam Wainwright also have 18 wins for the year.

Juan Gutierrez finished the whitewash of the Dodgers with two perfect innings in relief.

The win pushed the Giants to within one game of the Dodgers for the lead in the NL West. San Francisco, winners of four straight, is well-positioned for the post-season, with a four-game lead over Pittsburgh in the wild card race. The Pirates have won three in a row and lead Milwaukee by 1 1/2 and Atlanta by 3 1/2 for the final wild card berth.

The Dodgers and Giants take the field for game two of their series at 6:05 pm PDT on Saturday.

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