Sunday, September 27, 2015

Mets Grab NL East as Lucas Duda Blasts Grand Slam; Jose Bautista Homers Twice as Jays Drop Rays

Players of the Day for Saturday, September 26, 2015

American League

Duda: Grand Slam
Bautista: 2HR, 4RBI
Jose Bautista belted a first-inning, three-run homer off Tampa Bay starter, Chris Archer, and added a solo shot in the eighth to up his home run total to 39 and lead the Blue Jays to a 10-8 win over the visiting Rays.

With the Yankees winning, 2-1, over the White Sox in New York, Toronto's lead in the AL East remained at four games, the magic number to clinch the division crown down to five for the Blue Jays.

Bautista, fifth in the league in home runs, tied Baltimore's Chris Davis for second in the RBI tally, at 110. Fellow Blue Jay, Josh Donaldson leads the league with 121, and teammate Edwin Encarnacion completes the trio of Toronto players with more than 100 RBI, at 105, tied for fourth with Kansas City's Kendrys Morales.

The Blue Jays, winners of three straight, will look to sweep the Rays on Sunday afternoon and take another step closer to the division title. Game time is 1:07 pm EDT at the Rogers Centre in Toronto.

National League

Closing the deal on the NL East with a rousing, 10-2, victory over the Reds, the NY Mets head to the playoffs for the first time since 2006.

Lucas Duda, who homered twice on Friday and drove in six runs, belted a first inning grand slam to get the Mets started before the Reds even got to bat.

Curtis Grandson added a solo shot in the second and David Wright ripped a three-run blast in the ninth for good measure. Starter Matt Havey scattered nine hits, allowing the Reds two runs over 6 2/3 innings. Harvey struck out six, improving to 13-7. Getting the division clincher over and done means that Harvey - and the rest of the pitching staff - will be fully rested for the opening game of the divisional round, whichever team emerges as a playoff opponent.

The Mets have an 8 1/2 game lead over the second-place Nationals and just seven games to play.

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