Sunday, August 23, 2015

Josh Donaldson - First to 100 RBI - Helps Blue Jays Crush Angels; Paul Goldschmidt Powers Arizona

Players of the Day for Saturday, August 22, 2015

American League

Donaldson: 100 RBI
The American League East appears to be headed for a stretch duel between the Yankees and Blue Jays, both teams winning on Saturday to keep the Yankees up by a mere 1/2 game over the relentless Toronto squad.

Josh Donaldson singled, doubled, crushed a pair of homers, drove in six runs and scored three times in six at-bats as the Blue Jays blistered the Angels, 15-3, in the second of their three-game series at Anaheim.

Donaldson raised his batting average to .301, became the first player in the majors to reach 100 RBI, leading the AL, and his 34 homers have him tied with Baltimore's Chris Davis in second place behind Seattle's Nelson Cruz, who has 37.

Goldschmidt: 4-5 2HR
The Toronto third baseman is having a remarkable season and is one of the prime reasons the Blue Jays are in a contending position. Even if they don't catch the Yankees for the division crown, they appear a lock for the first wild card spot, with a 4 1/2 game edge on the Rangers, who have surged into the second spot with two straight victories.

The Orioles, Angels, Twins, and Rays are all within 1 1/2 games of the Rangers, so the race to the post-season is on, with wings, in the AL.

The Blue Jays seek to sweep the Angels on Sunday when the teams meet at 3:35 pm EDT.

National League

With the NL Wild Card ostensibly looking increasingly like an exclusively Central Division event since the Pirates and Cubs have a substantial lead over the rest of the contenders (the Cubs are five games up on the Giants for the second spot), the most viable option for the Arizona Diamondbacks might be to win the West division.

With an 11-7 win at Cincinnati Saturday, the Diamondbacks find themselves in third place, six games back to the Dodgers, with the second place Giants 1 1/2 out. Chasing the D'Backs - winners of three straight - are the suddenly surging Padres, who have strung together five straight victories.

Arizona's triumph was fueled by one of the league's best hitters and underrated stars, Paul Goldschmidt, who went 4-for-5 with a pair of singles and a pair of two-run homers (23, 24), driving in four and scoring three times.

Goldschmidt is the engine that powers Arizona, his 93 RBI leading the league.

The Diamondbacks will have ample opportunity to catch the Giants and/or Dodgers in September, with a total of 13 games against those two division foes.

Arizona will be seeking the series sweep on Sunday, when they when they meet the Reds at 1:10 pm EDT at Great American Ball Park.

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