Saturday, September 2, 2017

Clayton Kershaw Returns To End Dodger Losing Streak; Edwin Encarnacion Leads Cleveland Twin Bill Wins

Players of the Day for Friday, September 1, 2017

American League

Encarnacion: 32HR, 80RBI
Edwin Encarnacion was a wise pick-up from Toronto by Cleveland in the off-season, and Friday's sweep of the Indians' doubleheader at Detroit showed why.

In the opener of the twin bill, Encarnation socked his 32nd home run of the season, a sixth-inning solo shot that helped the Indians to a 3-2 victory.

Cleveland's 10-0 win in the nightcap was a treat for Indians' fans and a tour de force for the 34-year-old first baseman and designated hitter.

The only way Encarnacion was kept off the base paths was when Cleveland manager Terry Francona lifted him for a pinch hitter in the eighth inning of the rout. Encarnacion singled, doubled, walked twice, scored three runs and drove in one, giving him 80 RBI on the year.

With the two wins Cleveland's lead in the AL Central increased to eight games over the Twins, who were stopped by the Royals, 7-6.

There are two games left in the series in Detroit. Game three is Saturday at 6:10 pm ET.

National League

How do you end a five game losing streak?

Kershaw: 16-2
If you're the Los Angeles Dodgers, you get Clayton Kershaw back from the disabled list, have him throw six innings of shutout ball and score a run to defeat the San Diego Padres, 1-0.

That is exactly what happened Friday in San Diego, as Kershaw ended 40 days on the DL and the Dodgers' longest losing streak of the season, stifling the Padres on two hits, throwing just 70 pitches (53 for strikes), fanning seven without issuing a walk. Kershaw picked up win #16 against just two losses, tying hime with Zach Davies of Milwaukee and Zack Greinke of Arizona for the National League lead in wins.

The Dodgers were swept by the Diamondbacks in the final days of August, but enter September still with the best record in baseball, At 92-41, they lead Arizona by 16 games in the NL West and are on pace to clinch the division somewhere around the 15th and finish the regular season with between 105-115 wins.

With Kershaw back, LA is almost a 100% certainty to be the home team in any playoff series, as far as they go, including the World Series.

Game two of LA's four-game series at San Diego is Saturday at 12:40 pm PT.

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