Monday, September 7, 2015

Jose Bautista Lead Blue Jays Past Orioles; Gerrit Cole Throws Seven Scoreless as Pirates Down Cardinals

Players of the Day for Sunday, September 6, 2015

American League

There is absolutely no letup in the AL East competition between the Blue Jays and Yankees. On Sunday, both teams took wins, the Yankees coming from behind to defeat the Rays at Yankee Stadium, 6-4, while the Blue Jays were dusting off the Orioles up in Toronto, 10-4.

Bautista: HR, 3RBI
Cole: 7 IP, 2 H, 0 ER
Baltimore used six relievers after starter Chris Tillman lasted only three innings, giving up six runs on eight hits. Toronto's assault was spearheaded by Jose Bautista, who smacked his 33rd homer of the season with one aboard in the first inning to put the Jays up 3-0. In the third, Bautista walked and scored on a Troy Tulowitski home run. Bautista doubled in another run and scored again in the sixth inning, finishing 2-for-3 with three runs and three RBI.

Bautista's RBI total stands at 94, second on the team and just one ahead of teammate Edwin Encarnacion. The two are fourth and fifth in the league, respectively. Another Blue Jay, Josh Donaldson, leads the major with 114 RBI.

Both the Blue Jays and Yankees completed their series on Sunday, winning two of three. Toronto starts a three-game series in Boston on Monday. The Yankees host Baltimore.

National League

Gerrit Cole threw seven innings of shutout ball as the Pirates tried to apply the brakes to the season-long runaway freight train that has been the St. Louis Cardinals.

Cole allowed two hits, three walks, and struck out seven, leading Pittsburgh to a 7-1 win over the Central division front runners. In he process, Cole earned his 16th win against eight losses and the Pirates gained to within 5 1/2 games in the division race.

Pittsburgh took two of three in the series at St. Louis, but still faces an uphill battle to catch the Cardinals. The two teams will meet just three more times this season, in a series at Pittsburgh September 28-30, the second-last series of the season for both teams.

Having logged 180 innings already, the Pirates will be looking to Cole down the stretch and into the playoffs for deep starts. If they can't catch the Cardinals, Pittsburgh is still looking at the wild card. They lead the Cubs by three games for the first wild card spot and home field in the one-game playoff. The Washington Nationals are the next in line, but they are a full 10 1/2 games behind Pittsburgh.

The Pirates open a three-game series in Cincinnati on Monday, while the Cardinals host the Cubs.

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