Sunday, September 20, 2015

Carlos Beltran Powers Yankees to 5-0 Win over Mets; Kris Bryant Leads Cubs Past Cardinals, 5-4

Players of the Day for Saturday, September 19, 2015

American League

Bryant: 2B, HR, 2 RBI
Beltran: 3-run HR
Carlos Beltran and Brian McCann each homered and manager Joe Girardi called upon six relievers as the Yankees evened their series with the Mets at a game apiece with a 5-0 shutout.

Betran set the tone early with a three-run shot off Mets' starter, Noah Syndergaard, before many of the 43,000-plus fans had even settled into their seat. Beltran's blast came with no outs in the top of the first inning, and the Mets could not find a way to score off Yankee starter Michael Pineda (5 1/3 innings, 4 hits, 4 Ks) and a parade of bullpen help.

Beltran was also on base when McCann homered off Syndergaard in the sixth, sending him to the showers after six innings, seven hits and five earned runs.

With the win, the Yankees tightened their grip on the first wild card spot and picked up a game on ALeast leading-Toronto, defeated by the Red Sox, 7-6. The Blue Jays have a 3 1/2 game advantage on the Yankees in the division, while New York holds a four-game lead over Houston and a re 5 1/2 better than the Angels, who have moved back into contention with three straight wins, including Saturday's 4-3 victory at Minnesota.

The Twins, losers of five straight, have faded to 6 1/2 back.

The Mets-Yankees subway series concludes with the rubber game Sunday night, 8:00 pm EDT at Cit Field.

National League

Kris Bryant solidified his standing as the front-runner for NL rookie of the year by going 2-for-4 with a double, homer, two runs and two RBI in the Cubs' 5-4 win over the Cardinals, Saturday in Chicago.

Bryant doubled home the Cubs first run of the game in the first, then went back-to-back with Jorge Soler, socking his 25th homer of the season in the fifth inning.

In addition to the impressive home run total, Bryant is batting a solid .275 and has 95 RBI, tied for fourth in the league with Pittsburgh's Andrew McCutchen and the Nationals' Bryce Harper.

The win kept the Cubs a game behind Pittsburgh in the wild card race as the Pirates defeated the Dodgers, 3-2, later in the evening.

However, Chicago has made the NL Central race interesting as the regular season enters its final two weeks. The Cardinals' lead is down to four games over the Pirates, with the Cubs five back. Each of the three contending teams has 14 games left on the schedule.

Chicago will be looking to sweep the Cardinals on Sunday and also seek their fifth straight win. Game time at wrigley Field is 2:20 pm EDT.

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