Sunday, September 13, 2015

Boston's David Ortiz Hits 500th Homer; Mike Moustakas Drives in 9 for Royals; Giants' Madison Bumgarner 1-Hits Padres

Players of the Day for Saturday, September 12, 2015

American League

Ortiz: 500 HR
There were some big games by some big names in the American League on Saturday, but none more deserving of attention than that of David Ortiz, who belted a pair of home runs in Boston's 10-4 win at Tampa Bay, giving him an even 500 for his career in the majors.

Moustakas: GS, 9 RBI
Big Papi, as Ortiz is well known, cranked a three-run blast in the first inning and followed up with a solo shot in the fifth, both off Tampa starter Matt Moore, who was shelled by the Sox for eight runs (six earned) on nine hits over five innings.

Ortiz also singled going 3-for-4 with four RBI on the night. The only downside to his historic feat (he's the 27th player to reach the 500-homer milestone) is that he didn't do it at Fenway Park. There surely will be a hero's welcome for Ortiz when the team returns to Beantown, though that won't be until next Monday (Sept. 21) when the Red Sox open a four-game series with the Rays.

Elsewhere, the Royals continued their slugfest series with the Orioles at tiny Camden Yards with a 14-6 victory after being out-gunned, 14-8, in Friday night's opener.

While the Royals managed to bang out another win, the bulk of the load was carried home by Mike Moustakas. The burly third baseman didn't really get going until the sixth inning, when he singled in a pair of runs, but then smacked a grand slam in the seventh inning and added a three-run belt in the ninth, giving hime nine RBI for the game.

Moustakas has 18 homers on the year, with 71 RBI and a .284 batting average. He turned 27 on Friday.

The win snapped a two-game losing streak and losses in six out of the Royals' last seven games, but they are still 11 games better than the Twins in the AL Central with just 21 games to play, putting their magic number to clinch the division at 10.
Bumgarner: 1-Hitter

The Royals evened the series, with game three set for Sunday night at 8:00 pm EDT.

National League

With almost no chance of reaching the playoffs, it hasn't been the greatest of seasons for the reigning world champion San Francisco Giants.

For starter Madison Bumgarner, however, it's been a full tilt joy ride.

Bumgarner tossed a near-perfect game against the San Diego Padres, allowing just one hit, resulting in an 8-0 win, the second straight in the series in San Francisco.

The Padres didn't get a player to first base until the eighth inning, Bumgarner tossing a perfect game until Melvin Upton Jr. slapped a single to center in his pinch-hitting role for reliever Frank Garces. Bumgarner took the break-up of his perfecto unfazed, getting the final four outs in order for a still-stellar one-hit shutout.

Throwing 75 of 111 pitches for strikes, Bumgarner fanned nine and didn't walk any batters, upping his strikeout total to 212 (third in the league), and improving his record to 18-7, chasing Chicago's Jake Arrieta, who has 19 victories on the year.

Arrieta and Bumgarner are the only pitchers in the league with 17 or more wins, leaving them as the only ones with a chance to reach 20 wins this season. In the AL, Seattle's Felix Hernandez and Houston's Dallas Keutchel each have 17 wins.

The Giants seek the sweep when they conclude their series with the Padres, Sunday at 1:05 pm PDT.

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