Wednesday, September 2, 2015

J.P. Arencibia Lifts Rays Past Orioles with 6 RBI; Zack Greinke 15-3 after 2-1 Dodger Victory over Giants

Players of the Day for Tuesday, September 1, 2015

American League

Greinke: 15-3, 1.59 ERA
Arencibia: 3-4, 6 RBI
Prior to beginning their series at Baltimore, the Tampa Bay Rays had lost five of six, but managed to take the final game of a three-game set against Kansas City, 3-2, to take over sole possession of third place in the AL East from the flailing Orioles.

Winning the first two games of their series this week (6-3, Monday and 11-2 Tuesday night) they've opened a three-game lead on the O's and are now at .500 (66-66) with a shot at the playoffs.

Tuesday's pounding was led by a player who was in the minors a week ago, but has proven in the past that he can do real damage at the plate, J.P. Arencibia, who singled twice and stroked a two-run homer in the seventh inning, driving in six runs.

By the time Arencibia and the the Rays were done ripping four Baltimore hurlers - they got another run in the 8th off Oliver Drake - the score was 11-0. The Orioles only response was a two-run homer off the bat of Chris Davis in the ninth.

Arencibia has played just six games in the majors this season, all with the Rays. His big production on Tuesday has his average at .385 with seven RBI. The homer was his first.

Tampa will be looking to sweep the Orioles - losers of six straight - at Camden Yards Wednesday night. Game time is 7:05 pm EDT. The Rays are 3 1/2 games behind Texas for the second wild card spot.

National League

The showdown between the two leaders of the NL West - the Giants and Dodgers - has thus far gone the way of the home team, as Zack Greinke out-dueled San Fran's Madison Bumgarner for a 2-1 LA win, their second straight in the three-game series.

Both pitchers were solid. Bumgarner lasted seven innings, allowing two runs on eight hits. That was all the support Greinke needed, shutting out the Giants on two hits over seven innings, until running into trouble in the eighth, allowing three straight singles and the only run the Giants would get on the night.

Luis Avilan came out of the Dodger bullpen to take up the cause and put down the Giants' uprising by getting the final two outs of the inning. Kelley Jansen worked a perfect ninth for his 28th save of the season.

Greinke walked one and struck out five, lowering his major-league-best ERA to a minuscule 1.59. Greinke picked up the win and is now 15-3. Bumgarner (16-7) took the loss. Grinch has lost just once in his last 15 starts, pricking up 11 wins over that span, which dates back to May 22.

Looking for the three-game sweep over their Northern California rivals, the Dodgers host the Giants Wednesday at 7:10 pm PDT.

NOTES: Edwin Encarnacion went 0-for-2 with a walk and a sac fly, ending his career-high hitting streak - and the longest hitting streak in the majors this season - at 26 games in Toronto's 5-3 win over Cleveland.

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