Sunday, May 14, 2017

Jose Bautista Homers For 4th Straight Blue Jay Win; Bryce Harper's Walk-Off HR Keys Nationals Win

Players of the Day for Saturday, May 13, 2017

Bautista is heating up
American League

Toronto is beginning to find their groove, winning their fourth straight by taking down the visiting Mariners, 7-2, thanks to Jose Bautista's three-run homer.

Bautista came to the plate in the seventh with the score tied and two aboard for the Blue Jays, and promptly delivered his fifth home run of the season 438 feet away into the stands past center field.

The blow broke a 2-2 tie, propelling the Jays to their third straight over the Mariners. They will be looking for the series sweep when the two teams meet on Sunday, 1:07 pn ET at the Rogers Centre.

The fact that the Jays are winning and Bautista - a six-time all-star who led the AL in home runs in 2010 and 2011 - is heating up is no coincidence. His bat is essential to Toronto's attack, especially since trading Edwin Encarnacion in the off-season and extended injuries to Josh Donaldson and Troy Tulowitzki. Bautista has homered in three of his last four games, driving in eight runs.

Harper: Walk-Off HR
Off to a very slow start with just 17 RBI and a .185 batting average, "Joey Bats" may be finding his best stroke as the Jays struggle to get out of last place in the AL East, where they trail the Yankees and Orioles by seven games.

National League

Bryce Harper only had one hit in Washington's 6-4 win over the Phillies Saturday at Nationals Park, but it was a decisive one, a two-run, walk-off blast with two outs in the bottom of the ninth.

The home run was Harper's 11th on the season, to go with 31 RBI, tying him for third in the NL with Colorado's Mark Reynolds. Teammate Ryan Zimmerman leads the league with 36 RBI and also leads in batting (.397) and homers (13, tied with Milwaukee's Eric Thames).

The win was the first over the Phillies in their three-game series. With Friday night's game rained out, the teams will finish up with a double-headed on Sunday, the first game at 1:35 and the second starting at 7:05 pm ET.

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