Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Cardinals Clinch NL Central Behind Tyler Lyons and Jason Heyward; Marcus Stroman, Ryan Goins Help Blue Jays Clinch AL East

Players of the Day for Wednesday, September 30, 2015

American League

Goins: 5-for-5
Stroman: 4-0 in Sept.
With a 15-2 hammering of the Orioles at Camden Yards in Baltimore, the Toronto Blue Jays cliched the AL East and assured that they will have home field advantage in a divisional playoff series beginning October 8.

Marcus Stroman delivered eight solid innings for the Jays, allowing one earned run on five hits, walking two and fanning eight. Streams is 4-0 with a 1.67 ERA in four starts after being recalled from AAA Buffalo in September.

Each of the Toronto starters had at least one hit. Ryan Goins went 5-for-5, scored three times and drove in a run. Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Bautista homered for the Jays, who battered seven Baltimore pitchers for 18 hits.

Toronto dropped the nightcap of the day-night double-header, 8-1, necessitated due to Tuesday night's rainout.

National League

Heyward: Grand Slam
Lyons pitches clincher
The St. Louis Cardinals clinched the NL Central with an 11-1 win at Pittsburgh and will proceed to the playoffs with the best record in baseball.

Tyler Lyons held the Pirates scoreless on one hit through six innings and survived through the seventh, when he allowed three hits, but did not surrender a run. Lyons, who spent much of the season in Memphis of the Pacific Coast League (AAA) where he was 9-5 with a 3.14 ERA, struck out five and took the win, improving to 3-1 on the season.

Lyons split time with the Cardinals between the bullpen and eight spot starts, working 57 innings during the regular season.

Jason Heyward rocked a third inning grand slam and finished the night 3-for-4 with two runs, fueling the rout.

The Cardinals dropped the opener of a day-night double bill with the Pirates, 8-2. The win assured Pittsburgh of at least a tie with the Cubs for home field in the wild card game.

St. Louis will enter the post-season as the only team with 100 or more wins. Their 100 win against 59 losses takes the division with three games left. The Pirates will almost certainly finish with the second-best record in the majors. At the end of the last day in September, Pittsburgh has 96 wins with three games left, the Cubs are 92-55, and the Blue Jays, 92-56.

After starting the season 3-3, the Cardinals went on a 17-3 tear their next 20 games, taking control of the NL Central division and never looking back.

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