Friday, August 31, 2018

Niko Goodrum, Tigers Hand Yankees 8-7 Loss; John Gant Leads Cardinals Past Pirates, 5-0

Players of the Day for Thursday, August 30, 2018

American League
Gant: 4-for-5, HR, SB

On a night in which Yankee slugger, Giancarlo Stanton socked his 300th home run, the Yankees could not celebrate his accomplishment as the visiting Detroit Tigers scored three runs in the ninth inning for an 8-7 win.

After Victor Martinez tied the game at 7-7 with a two run homer off New York reliever Dellin Betances, rookie Niko Goodrum connected for his 14th homer of the year, putting the Tigers in the lead.

Goodrum went 4-for-5 on the night, scoring twice and adding a stolen base. The 26-year-old singled in the fourth, stole second, took third on a wild pitch and scored on a Ronney Rodriguez home run. The Tigers spanked five homers, two by Martinez, who drove in four runs.

Out of contention in the AL Central, the Tigers took game one from the Yankees, dropping New York 8 1/2 behind the Red Sox in the East division. Boston defeated the White Sox, 9-4.

Game two is Friday, 7:00 pm EDT. The Yankees have dropped three of their last four. Detroit snapped a five game losing streak.

National League
Gant: 5 2/3 IP, 0 ER, HR

St Louis topped the Pirates Thursday, 5-0, maintaining their position as the #1 wild card team in the ultra-tight National League race to the finish.

Cardinal starter, John Gant, got his third win of the month, improving to 6-5 on the year. Gant worked 5 2/3 scoreless innings, holding the Pirates to three hits while issuing three walks and fanning six. He also hit a solo homer - his second HR of the season - going back to back with Harrison Bader in the third inning.

Gant started out his major league career with the Braves in 2016 and going the Cardinals the next season. His scoreless performance drops his ERA to 3.34 on the year.

St. Louis remained 1/2-game ahead of the Brewers in the wild card race and 4 1/2 behind the Cubs in the NL Central. The NL wild card field is overcrowded. While the Brewers hold the second spot, the Rockies, Dodgers, and Phillies are 2, 2 1/2, and 3 games behind Milwaukee, respectively.

The Cardinals took two of three from Pittsburgh and remains home to host the Reds over the weekend. Game one of the series is Friday at 8:15 pm EDT.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Christian Yelich Hits For Cycle In Wild Brewers Win; Ryan LaMarre Leads White Sox Past Yankees

Players of the Day for Wednesday, August 29, 2018

LaMarre: 3-for-4, HR, 4RBI
American League

The Yankees schedule the past three weeks couldn't have been much easier, but somehow the Chicago White Sox nearly swept them, taking two of three at Yankees Stadium with Wednesday's 4-1 victory.

While Reynaldo Lopez (5-9) was holding the Yanks to one run on five hits over seven innings, Ryan LaMarre was taking care of business at the plate, driving in all four Chicago runs.

LaMarre doubled twice and homered in four at-bats. In 16 games with the White Sox he's batting .364 with two homers and seven RBI.

The 26-year-old had already played for Cincinnati, Boston, Oakland and Minnesota over four years before joining the White Sox mid-season.

Chicago is hopelessly out of contention, but the Yankees dropped back to 7 1/2 games behind Boston in the AL East. With both Oakland and Seattle losing, New York still has a comfortable, 4 1/2-game bulge over the A's in the wild card race. Seattle is 10 games back.

The Yankees host four games with Detroit beginning Thursday.

National League

Yelich hits for cycle
The 11,777 fans who went out to see game two of the three-game series between the Reds and Brewers at Great American Ball Park certainly got their money's worth for the price of admission.

After a 27-minute rain delay to start the game, they witnessed a 10-inning, 13-12 win by the Brewers featuring a combined total of 36 hits, scoring in every inning except the third and ninth, and Christian Yelich going 6-for-6 while hitting for the cycle.

The Brewers won it when Jesus Aguilar socked a solo homer in the top of the 10th and Erik Kratz singled home Hernan Perez. They needed both runs because Brandon Dixon hit a solo home run in the bottom of the inning.

Yelich did everything besides throw batting practice. In the first inning, he singled and scored. In the second, he legged out an infield single. His two-run homer in the fifth gave the Brewers a short-lived 4-3 lead. Yelich doubled in the sixth and tripled in the seventh inning, driving in Lorenzo Cain, to complete the cycle. In the ninth, he got his sixth hit, another infield single, finishing with three RBI and two runs. He also played both left and right field.

Yelich, 26, came to Milwaukee from Miami following the 2017 season. He's leading the National League with a .319 batting average, to go with 26 home runs, 75 RBI and 14 stolen bases.

Milwaukee's win moved them to within five games of the Cubs in the central division. St. Louis is 4 1/2 back in second place and also holds the top wild card slot.

The Brewers will look to take the series when they meet up with the Reds on Thursday. Game time is 12:35 pm EDT.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Jose Peraza Goes 4-for-5, Leads Reds Over Brewers, 9-7; Nick Martini Paces A's Win Over Astros With 9th Inning Double

Players of the Day for Tuesday, August 28, 2018

American League

Martini: Game-winning 2B
The most important game of the day was the second in a three game series between the A's and Astros at Houston.

Nick Martini, hitless in for at bats, drove a ground rule double into the right-center field stands, driving home Ramon Laureano with what turned out to be the game-winning run in a 5-4 triumph for the Athletics.

With one out in the inning, Laureano walked and moved to second on Jonathan Lucroy's single. After Martini's double, he and Lucroy were left stranded on second and third. Blake Treinen needed just 10 pitches in the bottom of the ninth to earn his 33rd save. Treinen is third on the AL saves list, behind Seattle's Edwin Diaz (50) and Boston's Craig Kimbrel (37).

Martini, a true rookie with just 38 games under his belt, was in the leadoff spot. He's batting .260 in 10 at-bats.

The Oakland win shaved Houston's lead in the division to 1 1/2 games over the A's and seven over Seattle. Game three of the series starts Wednesday at 2:10 pm EDT.

Elsewhere, the Indians increased their major-league-best lead in the AL Central to 14 games with a 8-1 victory over the second place Twins in Cleveland.

Peraza: 4-for-5, 4R, 2RBI
National League

Taking a step backwards, the Milwaukee Brewers dropped a 9-7 decision at Cincinnati, losing half a game to the NL Central front-running Cubs (suspended game, tied at 1-1, 10th inning with the Mets) and a full game behind the Cardinals.

While the final score was close, the game was more of a rout by the Reds, as Cincinnati put up six runs in the first two innings, before Milwaukee finally got on the board in the fourth.

Christian Yelich rocked a pair of homers - his 24th and 25th - and drove in five runs for the Brewers, but his effort fell short of catching the Reds and shortstop Jose Peraza, who was 4-for-5 with three singles and a two-run, first-inning home run, scoring four times and driving in a pair.

Peraza's homer was his ninth. He has 44 RBI on the season and is batting .293.

The Reds are completely out of contention in the NL central, trailing Chicago by 21 games, but the Brewers need all the wins they can get. They trail Chicago by 5 1/2. The Cardinals are four games out and hold the top wild card spot. Milwaukee has the second spot, barely. They lead Colorado and Arizona by 1/2-game, the Dodgers by 1 1/2, and Philadelphia by 2 1/2.

The Brewers were in first place at the all star break but have tailed off, going 18-17 since the midsummer classic. Game two of their series in Cincinnati is slated for a 7:10 pm EDT start on Wednesday.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Streaking Cubs Win 6th Straight Behind Anthony Rizzo; Astros Top A's, 11-4, As Alex Bregman Goes 4-for-5

Players of the Day for Monday, August 27, 2018
Bregman: 4-5, HR, 4RBI

American League

Opening a huge series at home against the Oakland A's, the Houston Astros were looking for their sixth straight win.

Thanks to a big game from Alex Bregman, they stopped the A's, 11-4, taking a 2 1/2 game lead over Oakland in the division race. Bregman went 4-for-5 with two singles, a double and his 25th home run, a three-run eighth inning swat that extended what was a 5-4 Houston lead.

Houston scored all of its runs in the third, plating five, and the eighth, scoring six times as they batted around. Bregman doubled and scored in the third inning.

Bregman extended his hitting streak to eight games. He's batting .321 with three homers and 12 RBI in August.

Game two of the crucial AL West series is 8:10 pm EDT on Tuesday.

National League

Rizzo: 2 2B, HR, 2RBI
Heading into a three game series with the visiting New York Mets, the Cubs are beginning to look like they will return as champs of the NL Central for a third straight season.

While pursuers St. Louis and Milwaukee had Monday off, the Cubs took advantage of the situation by topping the Mets, 7-4.

Anthony Rizzo led a 14-hit Chicago attack with three of his own - two doubles and his 22nd home run - en route to the Cubs' sixth win in a row.

Rizzo got the Cubs on the board in the first with an RBI double, then doubled and scored in the seventh inning, breaking a 4-4 tie. The Chicago first baseman closed out the scoring with a solo smash in the ninth.

As the Cubs have taken control of the division, Rizzo has heated up considerably. He has 10 multiple hit games in the month of August, in which he's batting .341 with seven homers and 17 RBI.

With the victory, the Cubs enhanced their lead to 4 1/2 games over St. Louis and five over the Brewers. They will be looking to extend their winning streak when they meet the Mets at Wrigley Field, Tuesday, 8:05 pm EDT.

Monday, August 27, 2018

Matt Carpenter Ties St. Louis Record in 12-4 Win At Colorado; Jason Kipnis Powers Indians

Players of the Day for Sunday, August 26, 2018

Kipnis: 4-for-5, 4 RBI, 3 R
American League

The biggest lead in any of MLB's six divisions belongs to the Cleveland Indians. Their 13 1/2 game bulge has blown away the AL Central as no other team in the division is even close to .500. Second place Minnesota is 61-69.

On Sunday, the Indians stopped a four-game losing streak, topping the Royals in Kansas City, 12-5.

Jason Kipnis went 4-for-5 with two singles, a double, his 12th home run, four RBI and three runs. For good measure, Kinips stole third base in the seventh inning after doubling in Melky Cabrera, who scored four times in the game.

The Indians will be looking to pad their lead when they return home on Tuesday. Upcoming are three three-game series against the Twins, Rays, and Royals.

Carpenter: 4 doubles
National League

Another St. Louis win. Another record-tying performance by Matt Carpenter.

Cardinals' leadoff hitter had his best strokes Sunday in St. Louis' smashing, 12-4, win at Colorado, roping four doubles in five at-bats.

Carpenter's four two-baggers tied a St. Louis record held by Joe "Ducky" Medwick, set on Aug. 4, 1937. Carpenter drove n a pair of runs and scored twice. He led off the game with a double and scored on a Tyler O'Neill home run. Later in the frame, he doubled in a run. Another two-bagger in the third plated another Cardinal run, as St. Louis swamped Rockies' hurlers, scoring six in the first inning and four in the third.

With a 25-12 record since the all star break, St. Louis has surged into the playoff picture, taking over the top spot in the wild card race while gaining second place in the NL Central behind the streaky Cubs.

The Cubs have won five in a row and lead St. Louis by four games and 4 1/2 over Milwaukee. Colorado's loss dropped them a game behind Arizona in the West division.

On Tuesday, the Cardinals head back to St. Louis for a six-game home stand, with three games each against the Pirates and Reds.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Yankees' Miguel Andujar Leading AL Rookie Candidate; Javier Baez Approaching 100 RBI For Cubs

Players of the Day for Saturday, August 25, 2018

American League
Andujar: Top rookie

Looking for the next AL rookie of the year?

Look no further than Yankee third baseman, Miguel Andujar.

The 23-year-old native of the Dominican Republic has been racking up hits, homers and RBI all season, outpacing other candidates with a .300 batting average, 21 homers and 70 RBI.

On Saturday, the Yankees took a doubleheader from the Orioles at Baltimore, winning the first game, 10-2, and the nightcap, 5-1. In the early game, Andujar drove in four runs, getting the Yanks on the board in the first inning with a ground out that plated Giancarlo Stanton from third. With the score tied 2-2 in the fourth, Andujar unknotted it with his 21st homer, a three-run dinger into the Camden Yards center field stands.

In the late game, Andujar collected a pair of singles, boosting his average to an even .300, tied for 10th in the league with Cleveland's Michael Brantley.

New York's two wins put them seven games behind the Red Sox in the AL East. New York has won three straight against the Orioles and will be looking for a sweep when they wrap up the series Sunday, 8:00 pm EDT. The Yankees have won seven of their last eight. Boston is just 4-6 in their last ten games, allowing the Yankees to creep closer.
Baez: 97 RBI leads NL

National League

Going almost without notice, Chicago's Javier Baez has been the leading RBI producer in the National League all season long and he added to his top numbers by driving in three runs in the Cubs' 10-6 win over the Reds at Wrigley Field Saturday.

Baez socked his 28th home run (6th in NL) in the fifth inning and singled in a pair in the seventh, completing the scoring for Chicago. Two Cincinnati homers in the eighth made the game closer but in the end could not prevent the Cubs from winning their fourth straight overall, and third in a row over the Reds.

Baez, 25, is emerging as one of the brightest stars in the league, having already set career marks in hits, runs, doubles, triples, home runs, RBI, and stolen bases. If his .297 batting average holds up through the end of the season, that will also be a high mark for the fifth-year player.

With St. Louis and Milwaukee both losing Saturday, the Cubs increased their NL Central lead to four over the Cardinals and 4 1/2 games over the Brewers.

Chicago will be seeking a sweep of the Reds when they take the field Sunday, 2:20 pm EDT.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Luke Voit Powers Yankees With 2 HRs; Justin Turner's Hot Bat Leads Dodgers Over Padres, 11-1

Players of the Day for Friday, August 24, 2018

American League

Voit: 3-for-5, 2HR, 4RBI
Injuries to key hitters - Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez and Didi Gregorious - have slowed the Yankees scoring of late, but Luke Voit, who looks to replace slumping first baseman, Greg Bird, may provide a short-term answer to New York's hitting drought.

Voit socked a pair of two-run homers - his first two as a Yankee - to lead New York to a 7-5 victory at Baltimore. His first blast came in the fourth inning, tying the game at 2-2. After a see-saw battle resulted in a 4-4 tie after nine innings, Voit followed Niel Walker's solo shot in the tenth with his second smash, putting the Yankees up, 7-4.

Chris Davis homered for the Orioles in the bottom of he inning, but that was all the Orioles could muster, dropping them to 37-91, the worst record in the majors.

Voit has played in just eight games for the Yankees after being acquired from St. Louis at the trading deadline. As a Yankee, Voit is batting .333 (7-for-23).

New York trails the Red Sox in the AL East by 8 1/2 games, but holds the top wild card spot, leading the Oakland A's by four games and Seattle by eight.

The Yankees and Orioles play a split doubleheader on Saturday, with game times at 1:00 and 7:05 pm EDT.

National League
Turner: 2-for-5, HR, 3RBI

With NL West teams Arizona, Colorado and San Francisco all losing on Friday, the Dodgers made it a clean sweep - excepting themselves - with an 11-1 thrashing of last place San Diego.

LA starter, Rich Hill, limited the Padres to two hits and no runs over six innings, allowing the LA batsmen to do damage. Justin Turner singled and homered for the Dodgers, driving in three runs in five at-bats. Turner singled in a run in the second inning and followed with a two-run home run in the fourth, his eighth of the season.

Turner, who spent April and half of May on the disabled list, has gotten his swing grooved of late. He recently had a 14-game hitting streak and is batting .392 in the month of August with five home runs, 13 RBI and 17 runs.

The win lifted the Dodgers to within 3 1/2 games of division leader, Arizona. Colorado trails the Diamondbacks by one game.

LA's home win came in the opener of a three game series with San Diego, after being were swept three straight by the visiting St. Louis Cardinals.

Game two of the series is Saturday, 6:10 pm PDT.

Friday, August 24, 2018

Phillies' Aaron Nola Stops Nationals On Five Hits; David Price Blanks Indians In 7-0 Boston Win

Players of the Day for Thursday, August 23, 2018

American League

Price: 14-5
David Price needed just 101 pitches to blank the visiting Indians on three hits as the Red Sox earned a split in the four-game series with Cleveland. Price dueled with Cleveland starter, Adam Plutko. When the Sox scored five runs in the fifth inning, Price was able to relax and just mow down the opposition. He finished with seven strikeouts, no walks and his 14th win against a mere five losses as Boston won, 7-0.

The Red Sox lead the AL East by 9 1/2 over the Yankees and the Indians have no worries with a 12 game bulge over Minnesota in the Central division.

Boston heads to Tampa Bay on Friday for a weekend, three-game series with the Rays while the Indians continue their road trip with three games in Kansas City.

National League

Nola: 15-3
Trading away Daniel Murphy and Matt Adams earlier in the week, the Washington Nationals' front office signaled that they were throwing in the towel on the 2018 season. Despite the sentiment, the games still have to be played and the players are still going to put in their best efforts.

Such was the case as the Nats looked to sweep the Phillies, sending their ace, Max Scherzer, to the hill Thursday afternoon. Washington had won two straight and entered the game 7 1/2 off the pace being set by Atlanta in the NL East.

Scherzer pitched amazingly well, making just one mistake, giving up a seventh-inning, two-run home run to Odubel Herrera, one of just two hits allowed by Mad Max. Unfortunately, that one mistake was enough to produce a 2-0 win for the visiting Phillies, as Aaron Nola improved to 15-3 by blanking the Nationals over eight innings on five hits and one walk, fanning nine.

Nola won his third straight in as many starts, dropping his ERA to 2.13, tying him with Scherzer at second in the NL behind Jacob deGrom's 1.71. Nola is also second in the league in win. Scherzer leads with 16.

The Phillies ended a four game skid and head to Toronto for a three-game series with the Blue Jays, starting Friday.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Martin Maldonado Powers Houston Back Into 1st Place; Clay Buchholz, Paul Goldschmidt Lead Arizona Past Angels

Players of the Day for Wednesday, August 22, 2018

American League

Houston took back sole possession of first place in the AL West with a 10-7 win at Seattle while the A's were losing, 4-2, to Texas.
Martin Maldonado

The Astros nearly gave the game away. After leading 8-0 after four, they allowed the Mariners to score multiple runs and end the sixth inning down 9-7. Tyler White, who was 3-for-5, socked a solo homer in the ninth to finish the scoring.

Martin Maldonado, acquired from the Angels in late July, singled, doubled and homered in four at-bats, leading the Astros with three RBI. In August, Maldonado is hitting .303, with three homers, eight RBI and 11 runs.

Houston had been stumbling with two of its stars, Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa, on the bench earlier in the month, but both have returned to the 2017 champs. The Astros are just 9-9 in August, but have won two straight and three of their last four. They open a three-game series at the LA Angels Friday.

National League

Paul Goldschmidt
Arizona won its third straight, knocking off the visiting LA Angels, 6-1, maintaining a 1 1/2-game lead over the Rockies in the NL West. Colorado took down the Padres, 6-2.

On the mound, Clay Buchholz was solid, hurling seven innings of shutout ball for his seventh win against two losses.

Clay Buchholz
Buchholz, who spent much of the season on the DL, won for the sixth time in his last seven starts, allowed four hits, no walks, and struck out seven.

Offensively, Paul Goldschmidt got the Diamondbacks started with his 29th homer of the season in the first inning, a two-run shot. He later added a single and double, going 3-for-3 with a walk, two runs and two RBI.

The Diamondbacks have won six of their last seven and are beginning to open some space in the contentious division race. The Dodgers, 3-1 losers to the Cardinals, are in third place, 4 1/2 games back.

Arizona has Thursday off and hosts a three-game series with Seattle over the weekend.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Kevin Gausman, Dansby Swanson Lead Braves Over Pirates; Brett Anderson 1-Hits Rangers As A's Remain Hot

Players of the Day for Tuesday, August 21, 2018
Anderson: 1 Hit over 7 IP

American League

Brett Anderson allowed just one hit over seven scoreless innings as the Oakland A's blanked the Rangers for the second straight game, notching a 6-0 victory after a 9-0 whitewash Monday.

After Shin Shoo Choo led off the third inning with a double, Anderson retired the next twelve Rangers in order. He threw 63 of 93 pitches for strikes, fanning six and allowing just one walk. Anderson has pitched exclusively as a starter in limited time with the A's. He's 3-3 with a 3.47 ERA in 12 starts.

The win kept pressure on Houston as the A's are tied with the Astros for first place in the AL West. Houston topped Seattle, 3-0, on Tuesday. The Mariners are 4 1/2 back in the division.

Oakland will be seeking a sweep of their three-game series against the Rangers when they wrap up a nine game home stand Wednesday, 3:35 pm EDT. The A's are 6-2 in their most recent eight home games.

National League

Gausman: 8 scoreless
Swanson: 2 HR, 4  RBI
After dropping four straight at home to the Rockies, the Atlanta Braves have bounced back with two wins at Pittsburgh, winning 1-0 on Monday and 6-1 Tuesday night.

Dansby Swanson swatted a pair of homers and drove in four runs in support of Kevin Gausman's eight scoreless innings, putting the Braves two games up on the Phillies in the NL East. Philadelphia has lost three straight.

Gausman, acquired by the Braves from Baltimore prior to the trading deadline, allowed four hits and two walks, fanning five. He is 3-1 in four starts with Atlanta, posting a 2.00 ERA and 17 strikeouts.

Swanson broke a scoreless tie in the fifth inning with a two-run shot, adding another two-run homer in the seventh. He has 12 home runs and 52 RBI on the season.

The Braves will be looking for the series sweep when they take the field Wednesday, 7:05 pm EDT.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Matt Carpenter Leads NL with 34 HR As Cardinals Down Dodgers; Mike Fiers, Ramon Laureano Lead A's Past Rangers

Players of the Day for Monday, August 20, 2018
Laureano: 2 HR, 5 RBI

American League

Oakland moved back into a tie with Houston for the NL West lead as the A's dumped Texas, 9-0, on Monday.

Fiers: 7IP, 1H, 0ER, 8K
The win came in the opener of a three-game series with the Rangers at Oakland and was the A's seventh in their last nine games.

Mike Fiers tossed seven innings of one-hit ball to improve to 9-6. Nomar Mazara led off the Rangers' second with a double. Fiers plunked the next batter, Jurickson Profar, but retired the next 18 in order as the A's ran up the score. Fiers, who was traded from Detroit on August 5th, fanned eight and walked one. In three starts with the A's, Fiers has been effective, notching two wins without a loss, allowing three runs over 18 1/3 innings with 21 strikeouts and a 1.47 ERA.

Rookie Ramon Laureano ripped his first two major league homers, a two-run blast in the second inning and a three-run shot in the sixth. Laureano has played just 12 games with the A's and is carrying a .291 batting average (9-for-32).

While the A's were plowing ahead, the Mariners were proceeding to send Houston to an eighth loss in their last 10 games, topping the Astros in Seattle, 7-4. The Mariners are within striking range in the division, just 3 1/2 back of the co-leaders.

Game two of the series in Oakland is slated for a 7:05 pm PDT start.

National League

Carpenter's 34 HR leads NL
Opening a three-game series in Los Angeles, the St. Louis Cardinals scored a pair of runs in the top of the ninth on back-to-back home runs by Jedd Gyorko and Matt Carpenter for a 5-3 victory.

With the score tied 3-3 and Dodger closer Kenly Jansen - fresh off the DL - opening the ninth, Gyorko, pinch-hitting, blasted his 11th homer into the center field seats. Carpenter quickly followed with his 34th of the year, also to center, adding an insurance run. Jansen had been sidelined since August 9, when he was hospitalized for an irregular heartbeat.

Carpenter is having an outstanding season as the Cardinals' leadoff hitter. His 34 homers lead the NL. He has 69 RBI and a .277 batting average. His 85 runs is tied for second in the league with Milwaukee's Christian Yellich. Colorado's Charlie Blackmon leads with 89. Carpenter was 3-for-5 with a single and double in addition to his homer.

The win pushed the Cardinals to within 3 1/2 games of the Cubs, leaders of the NL Central and 1/2 game behind Milwaukee in the standings and the wild card race. St. Louis is tied with the Rockies and Phillies. The Dodgers are two games out. With close races in all three divisions, the situation throughout the league is fluid. Currently, Atlanta leads the East by one game and Arizona heads up the West by 1/2 game.

In August, St Louis has been the best in the majors with a 15-4 record.

The Dodgers host St. Louis in game two Tuesday, 7:00 pm PDT.

Monday, August 20, 2018

Greg Bird's Grand Slam Leads Yankees To Sweep Of Blue Jays; Justin Turner Powers LA's 12-1 Rout Of Seattle

Players of the Day for Sunday, August 19, 2018

American League

Greg Bird: Grand Slam
Greg Bird swatted a first-inning grand slam as the Yankees rolled to a 10-2 win over Toronto, sweeping the Blue Jays in New York.

Bird has struggled to a .211 average, but is seeing more playing time as injuries mount for the Yankees. With Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez already on the DL, it appears that Didi Gregorious will also be sidelined. He collided with first baseman Kendrys Morales in the first inning and left the game in the third with a bruised left heel.

The win improved the Yankees' standing in the wild card race, as both teams from the LA West, Oakland and Seattle, lost on Sunday. New York holds the top spot in the wild card by four games over the A's and 7 1/2 over the Mariners.

The Yanks have Monday off, heading to Miami for a pair of games with the Marlins, followed by a four-game series in Baltimore.

National League

Turner: 4-for-5, 5 RBI
On the Dodgers' weekend visit to Seattle, the boys from LA took two of three, blowing out the Mariners Friday, 11-1, and Sunday, 12-1. In between, Seattle took a 5-4 win in Saturday's game. Thus, the final cumulative score, if such things mattered, would be 27-6 in favor of the Dodgers.

Doing much of the damage to Seattle's beleaguered pitching staff on Sunday was Justin Turner, who went 4-for-5 with three singles and a ninth-inning three-run homer completing the slaughter. Turner plated five and scored twice.

In real terms, the Mariners were overmatched. LA players swiped five bases in the game and Dodger starter, Clayton Kershaw, fanned seven over seven innings, allowing four hits, one run, walking one.

The result left the Dodgers two games behind Arizona in the NL West, with Colorado in second place, 1/2-game behind the Diamondbacks. All three contenders were winners on Sunday. Seattle dropped to 4 1/2 behind Houston in the AL West, as the Astros took back first place in the division, dropping the A's, 9-4. Oakland trails the Astros by one game.

The Dodgers return home Monday to open a three-game series with the Cardinals while the Mariners remain in Seattle, opening a crucial three-game series with the Astros.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Trevor Cahill Hurls A's Into 1st Place Tie With Houston; Miles Mikolas Is 13-3 As Cardinals Overtake Brewers

Players of the Day for Saturday, August 18, 2017

Trevor Cahill
American League

The Oakland A's tied the Astros for first place in the AL West with a 7-1 win over Houston Saturday as starter Trevor Cahill tossed seven innings of one-hit ball.

Cahill gave up a second inning single to Yuli Gurriel, but didn't allow another hit, putting down 14 straight until walking Alex Bregman to lead off the seventh. Bregman was erased on a double play and Cahill ended the inning by striking out Marwin Gonzalez. Cahill threw 100 pitches and struck out seven, improving to 5-2. His walk to Bregman was the only one he allowed.

Cahill has a 3.12 ERA in 15 starts this season.

Oakland has been tearing it up since the all star break, going 19-7 and are 11-3 in August.

With game three on tap for a 4:05 pm EDT start on Sunday, the A's have the opportunity to take over sole possession of first place in the division.
Miles Mikolas

National League

Surging St. Louis took over second place in the NL Central and are 1/2-game behind Philadelphia in the wild card race after defeating the visiting Milwaukee Brewers on Saturday, 7-2.

Winners of 10 of their last 11, St Louis got another prime pitching performance from Miles Mikolas, who gave up five hits over six strong innings for his 13th win against three losses. A second inning solo shot by Milwaukee's Travis Shaw was the only earned run Mikolas surrendered, as he struck out seven and did not issue any walks.

After spending parts of three seasons with San Diego and Texas and various stints in the minors from 2012 through 2014, Mikolas played three seasons in Japan with the Nomuri Giants compiling a 31–13 record with a 2.18 ERA in 62 starts. He joined St. Louis in 2018 and has won five straight decisions.

The Cardinals, now 14-3 in August, has whittled the Cubs' lead is down to four games. Milwaukee, thanks to losing the first two games of the three-game series at St. Louis, is 4 1/2 out.

In 30 games since Mike Shildt took over as interim manager after the firing of Mike Matheny at the all star break, St. Louis is 20-10.

Game three is Sunday, 2:15 pm EDT.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Cole Hamels Throttles Pirates In 1-0 Win; Neil Walker's Homer Leads Yankees Over Blue Jays

Players of the Day for Friday, August 17, 2018

American League
Walker: 3-run HR

Neil Walker's fourth inning home run turned the tide against the visiting Blue Jays, paving the way to a rain-shortened, 7-5 victory for the New York Yankees.

Down 4-2, Walker launched a Marcus Stroman offering into the right field stands, giving the Yankees their first lead of the game. The Jays tied the game at five in the top of the fifth, but the Yankees countered with a run of their own in the bottom of the frame. After Giancarlo Stanton belted his 31st homer of the season - a solo shot - rain began to fall and out came the tarp. After a delay of more than an hour, the crew made the game official with one out in the bottom of the seventh.

The win snapped a two game losing streak and left the Yankees 10 1/2 behind the Red Sox in the AL East and three games better than Oakland in the wild card race. Oakland defeated Houston, 4-3, in 10 innings.

New York hosts Toronto in game two of their three-game series Saturday, 1:00 pm EDT.

Hamels: 7 scoreless
National League

Extending their lead in the NL Central to 4 1/2 games, the Chicago Cubs took their second straight 1-0 win at Pittsburgh, doing it all with pitching and defense.

Cole Hamels tossed seven scoreless innings for his third win since joining the Cubs at the end of July. Hamels scattered five hits and two walks, striking out three. He was aided by a record=tying seven double plays turned in by the Cubs' infield, five of which were turned while Hamels was on the mound. The eighth and ninth innings were both ended by double plays.

The double killings by the Cubs tied a major league record held by the 1942 Yankees and 1969 Astros.

Kyle Schwarber's second inning home run was all that was needed by Hamels and four relievers. In four starts for the Cubs, Hamels has been magnificent, going 3-0 with one no decision, giving up 16 hits and two earned runs over 25 innings with six walks and 23 strikeouts. The lone no decision came in an August 12, 4-3, win over Washington in which Hamels allowed one hit and one run over seven innings.

Chicago has won three straight while the Brewers have lost two of three and are being pressured by the red-hot Cardinals, winners of nine of their last 10. The Cardinals are just 1/2-game behind the Brewers.

The Cubs and Pirates go at it again in game three of their four-game series on Saturday night at Wrigley Field. Game time is 7:05 pm EDT.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Logan Forsythe 5-for-5 In Twins Win Over Tigers; Jose Bautista Drives In 7 As Mets Rout Phillies, 24-4

Players of the Day for Thursday, August 16, 2018

5-for-5 Forsyth
American League

Minnesota clubbed Detroit, 15-8, Thursday, but it's not likely Minnesota is going to get any close to Cleveland in the AL Central, where the Indians are the only team over .500 and lead the Twins by 12 games.

Minesota's 15-hit outburst was led by second baseman Logan Forsythe, who had a 5-for-5 night at the plate, socking a pair of doubles, three singles, driving in two runs, and scoring three times.

Minnesota is 57-63 on the year, second best in the division, a full eight game up on third place Detroit. The White Sox and Royals are 25 and 32 1/2 games out, respectively.

The Twins play the second of a four game home series against Detroit Friday, 8:10 pm EDT.

National League

Bautista: 3-for-4, GS, 7RBI
Jose Bautista didn't even start the first game of a doubleheader at Philadelphia, but he made a major impact, going 3-for-4 with a grand slam, driving in seven runs in the Mets' 24-4 win.

Yes that's right, three touchdowns and field goal. The scoring outburst by the Mets came a day after they bounced the Orioles, 16-5, setting a franchise record for runs in a game. The previous record was 23 runs at the Cubs on Aug. 16, 2017.

Bautista entered the game in the bottom of the third inning, after right fielder Brandon Nimmo was injured grounding out to end the top half of the frame. His first at-bat was a single in the fifth, driving in a run and subsequently scoring. As the Mets piled on the runs, Bautista got to the plate again in the inning, delivering his 10th home run, a grand slam for 10 runs in the inning. The Mets scored in every inning except the second and sixth.

After lining out in the seventh, Bautista doubled in another run, for a season-high seven RBI.

The Mets dropped the second game, 9-6, and play again in Philly, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Friday's game is set for a 6:05 pm EDT start.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Brandon Nimmo 5-for-5 As Mets Bury Orioles; Tyler White, Evan Gattis Lead Houston Over Rockies

Players of the Day for Wednesday, August 15, 2018

American League

Evan Gattis
While Seattle was slowing down the A's with a 2-0 win, the Houston Astros snapped out of their five-game losing streak, taking down Colorado, 12-1, in Houston.

Tyler White
Tyler White and Evan Gattis each homered twice for the Astros. White socked a pair of two-run blasts, one in the fifth and another in the seventh. Gattis had two solo shots, belting one in the third inning and the second in the fifth. He also singled, going 3-for-4 for the game.

The win left Houston clinging to a two game lead in the AL West over the A's. While Seattle's win over Oakland may give the Astros some needed breathing room, they have to also be aware of the Mariners, now 4 1/2 off the pace.

Houston gets a day off Thursday as they prepare for a nine-game road trip. They open Friday in Oakland with the first of a three-game series. After that they head to Seattle and Anaheim to play three apiece with the Mariners and Angels.

National League
Nimmo: 5-for-5, 3R, 3RBI

On average, the Mets score just over four runs per game. Only San Deigo and Miami score less in the National League, so their 16-5 romp at Baltimore was out of the ordinary, to say the least.

The 19-hit outburst started with Brandon Nimmo's first of five hits, leading off the game with a single and scoring on Wilmer Flores' sacrifice fly. Nimmo would later double, triple, and single twice more, going 5-for-5 with three runs and three RBI, helping send Baltimore to its 85th loss of the season.

Nimmo, 25, is in his third year with the Mets, and has had nine hits in his last three games, batting .750 (9-for-12) with three doubles, two triples, and a home run.

The Mets have won three of their last four and five of their last seven but are still hopelessly out of the race, 16 1/2 games behind the Braves in the NL East.

They open a five-game series in Philadelphia on Thursday with a doubleheader. Game one starts at 4:05 pm EDT.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

J.A. Happ's 1-Hit Outing Lifts Yankees Over Rays; Ronald Acuna Jr. Leads Braves To 4th Straight

Players of the Day for Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Happ: 7 IP, 1 H, 0 ER
American League

The New York Yankees have been holding onto the top wild card spot since early May, but they haven't lost sight of the fact that Oakland and Seattle have made up ground over the long haul. They're still 3 1/2 up on Oakland and seven to the good over Seattle.

Nearing the end of July, prior to the trade deadline, the Yankees bolstered their pitching staff by picking up Lance Lynn from the Twins and J.A. Happ from the Blue Jays. The two pitchers have been lights out since putting on the pinstripes.

On Tuesday, Happ won his third straight as a Yankees, blanking the Rays on one hit over seven innings in New York's 4-1 home victory. The 35-year-old lefty threw 106 pitches, walked four, fanned four and lowered his Yankee ERA to 1.89. On the season, he's 13-6 with a 3.86 ERA.

Lynn has done his part as a reliever and starter. In three appearances (two starts) for the Yanks, he's allowed one run on 12 hits over 16 2/3 innings with 22 strikeouts, for an ERA of 0.54. Lynn - who is 1-0 as a Yankee - is scheduled for a start Friday against the Blue Jays.

The Yankees have won seven of their last nine after being swept four straight by the Red Sox. On Wednesday, they face the Rays in game two of their three game series, 7:05 pm EDT.

Acuna Jr. is on fire
National League

Atlanta's Ronald Acuna Jr. isn't just hot, he's sizzling

On Monday, Acuna, the Braves' leadoff hitter, hit home runs in his first at-bat in both games of a doubleheader sweep of the Miami Marlins. On Tuesday, Acuna belted a leadoff homer on the first pitch, to become the youngest player in major league history to homer in five straight games.

Helping the Braves down the Marlins, 10-6, Acuna ripped a three-run shot in the seventh inning after Dansby Swanson put Atlanta up, 7-6. Acuna went 3-for-5, his two dingers driving in four runs.

Acuna has hit safely in his last eight games, batting at a .471 pace (16-for-24) with eight home runs, 15 RBI and 13 runs. His hot streak has vaulted the Braves into first place in the NL East by two games over the Phillies, 2-1 losers Tuesday night in Boston.

Atlanta has won four straight and 13 of their last 17. They will be seeking a four-game sweep of the Marlins when they take the field at home, Wednesday, 7:35 pm EDT.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Ronald Acuna Jr. Ties Unique Record As Braves Sweep Marlins; Matt Chapman, Jed Lowrie Power A's Over Mariners

Players of the Day for Monday, August 13, 2018

American League

Chapman: 3 2B, 3 R
Matt Chapman and Jed Lowrie led an 11-hit attack with five doubles between them and the Oakland A's hung on for a 7-6 win over Seattle in the first of three games in Oakland.

Chapman went 3-for-5, each of his hits a two-bagger, drove in a run and scored three times. Lowrie drove in four runs - two of them scored by Champman - with a 3-for-5 effort, two doubles, a single and four RBI.

Lowrie: 2 2B, 4 RBI
The A's took a 7-1 lead into the eighth inning, but the resolute Mariners, fresh off sweeping four games in Houston from the Astros, nearly made the comeback, scoring two in the eighth and three in the ninth. The game finally ended when Blake Treinen struck out Nelson Cruz with runners on first and second.

With Houston idle, the result left the Athletics two games behind the Astros in the NL West. Seattle is 4 1/2 back.

Winners of 10 of their last 12, the A's host Seattle in game two on Tuesday, 10:05 pm EDT.

National League

It's been a summer-long grind, but the Atlanta Braves have finally wrested control of the NL East from the upstart Philadelphia Phillies. While the Phillies took a day off, the Braves swept a doubleheader from the last-place Marlins, 9-1, and 6-1, taking a one-game lead in the division.

Acuna Jr. ties rare record
Rookie leadoff hitter Ronald Acuna, Jr. tied a rare record by homering to lead off both ends of a double-header.

In the first game, Acuna led off with a home run, added a two-run double in the sixth, stole a base, walked twice and scored three times, going 2-for-3 with three runs and three RBI. In game two, Acuna again started the Braves' first inning with a homer, his 17th, and singled in another run in the sixth. Acuna went 3-for-5 in the second half of the double header with two RBI and two runs.

The 20-year-old Venezuelan is batting .282 with 17 home runs and 39 RBI in 259 at-bats.

According to ESPN via the Elias Sports Bureau, Baltimore's Brady Anderson was the last to hit a pair of leadoff homers in one day against the Chicago White Sox on Aug. 21, 1999.

Before that, the feat was accomplished Oakland's Ricky Henderson against the Cleveland Indians on July 5, 1993. Harry Hooper did it for the Boston Red in a pair of games at the Washington Senators on May 20, 1913.

Atlanta plays two more against visiting Miami, Tuesday and Wednesday. The Braves don't face the Phillies until late September, when they play four at home, September 20-23, and then close out the regular season with three games in Philadelphia.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Paul Goldschmidt Homers Arizona Over Reds; Chris Sale Shuts Down O's, Boston Sweeps

Players of the Day for Sunday, August 12, 2018

Sale: 5 IP, 1H, 0ER, 12K
American League

The Boston Red Sox, with the best record in the majors, don't make a lot of headlines because all they do is win, including Sunday's 4-1 win at Baltimore, which saw the return off the DL of Chris Sale, Boston's ace starter.

Sale allowed one hit and no runs over five innings of work, striking out 12. Sale improved to 12-4 and dropped his ERA to 1.97.

The Red Sox continue to lead the AL East by an eye-popping 9 1/2 games over the Yankees.

The Sox took four straight in Baltimore and head to Philadelphia on Tuesday for a two-game series with the Phillies.

National League

After losing the first two games of their three-game series in Cincinnati, Arizona retained control of the NL West with a 9-2 romp over the Reds Sunday.
Goldschmidt: 2 Homers

Paul Goldschmidt connected for his 25th and 26th home runs and drove in three runs. Goldschmidt socked a two-run homer in the sixth inning, then added a solo shot in the ninth as the Diamondbacks tacked on four more runs.

Goldschmidt carries a .284 batting average and has driven in 64 runs this season.

The Diamondbacks lead the NL West by one game over the Dodgers. LA took a 4-3 defeat at Colorado on Sunday, dropping out of a tie for the division lead.

Arizona heads next to Texas for a pair of games with the Rangers, starting on Monday, 8:05 pm EDT.

Ryan Zimmerman's 2 HR, 6 RBI Lift Nats Over Cubs; Marcus Semien Goes Yard Twice As A's Rout Angels, 7-0

Players of the Day for Saturday, August 12, 2018

American League

Semien: 3-5, 2HR, 4RBI
The Oakland A's are charging hard in the AL West and they're getting help from the Seattle Mariners.

Seattle dumped worst-place Houston for the third straight time, winning, 3-2, at Houston. Meanwhile, the A's were making the Angels pray for help in a 7-0 win, and are 3 1/2 back of the Astros in the division. Seattle is five out.

With starter Edwin Jackson blanking the Halos on three hits over 7 1/3 innings, leadoff hitter Marcus Semien was sending balls toward the heavens, socking a pair of homers and driving in four runs.

Semien got things started right away, singling and scoring in the first inning before smashing a three-run homer in the second and a solo shot in the fourth.

Batting .259 on the year, Semien's homers were his eighth and ninth. He has 43 RBI and has scored 65 runs.

Winners of eight of their last 10, the Athletics wrap up their series in Anaheim on Sunday, 4:07 pm EDT. The Angels won the first of the three-game set. On Monday, the A's return to Oakland for a nine-game home stand with three each against division rivals Seattle, Houston, and Texas.

National League

Zimmerman: 2HR, 6RBI
One of the reasons that the Washington Nationals are 5 1/2 behind the Phillies and trail Atlanta by 4 1/2 in the NL East might be attributed to the mid-season absence of Ryan ZimmermanRyan Zimmerman, who was on the DL from May 9 until July 20 and has only recently been playing regularly.

Facing the Cubs Saturday in Chicago, Zimmerman displayed his ability, smacking a pair of home runs and driving in six, powering the Nationals to a 9-3 victory.

The Cubs took the first game of the series, 3-2, on Friday, but the Nationals came back with a vengeance, scoring all of their runs in the first four innings, rocking Chicago starter, Jon Lester, for eight earned runs on 10 hits over 3 2/3 innings.

Zimmerman's blasts came in the first with one aboard and in the fourth, with two runners on base. Both homers were hit with two outs in the frame. In between, Zimmerman knocked in another run with a sac fly in the third.

The homers were just the eighth and ninth of the season for the Washington third baseman, but he's hit three this month, along with 11 RBI off a .409 August batting average (9-for-22).

The series with the Cubs is the first meeting between Chicago and Washington. The rubber game is Sunday night, 8:00 pm EDT, and will be televised nationally by ESPN. The two meet again in Washington for four games, September 6-9.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Texas Rookie Ronald Guzman Bombs Yankees With 3 HRs; Reds' Anthony DeSclafani Stymies Diamondbacks

Players of the Day for Friday, August 10, 2018

American League

Guzman: 3HRs vs. Yanks
No rookie has ever hit three homers in a game against the New York Yankees ...until now.

23-year-old first baseman, Ronald Guzman, accomplished the feat on Friday, helping lift the Texas Rangers to a 12-7 victory after dropping the opener of their four-game series, 7-3.

Guzman socked two homers off Masahiro Tanaka and one off A.J. Cole as the Rangers piled up 14 hits. Guzman's homers were all of the solo variety. He has 12 HRs on the season, to go with 46 RBI and a .245 batting average.

His second homer off Tanaka sent the Yankee hurler to the showers and his third loss against nine wins.

Elvis Andrus, who had his career-best 19-game hitting streak broken in Thursday's loss, went 4-for-5 with three RBI.

The Yanks trail the Red Sox by nine games in the AL East. Texas remained in last place in the West, despite going 10-4 since July 27.

Game three is on tap for Saturday, 1:05 pm EDT at Yankee Stadium.

National League

DeSclafani: 7IP, 3H, 0ER
The Reds aren't likely to make the playoffs this season, but they are in a position to play spoiler as 11 of the league's 15 teams contend for three division pennants and two wild card spots. Along with the Reds, only the Mets, Marlins and Padres have little to no post-season aspirations.

On Friday, Cincinnati pushed back against the Diamondbacks with a 3-0 win at Great American Ball Park to open a three-game set, leaving Arizona and the LA Dodgers tied for first place in the NL West.

Anthony DeSclafani tossed seven innings of shutout ball, improving to 6-3 on the year and 26-23 lifetime, allowing three hits and no walks, fanning nine.

DeSclafani also singled in the seventh and scored on a throwing error by Arizona's Clay Buckholtz on a Billy Hamilton bunt. The 28-year-old right-hander started the eighth, but was lifted after Steven Souza, Jr. singled to lead off the inning. DeSclafani gave up singles in the first and fourth innings, setting down the side in order in the second, third, fifth, sixth and seventh innings, throwing 63 of 94 pitches for strikes.

Game two of the series is scheduled for a 6:40 pm EDT start in Cincinnati.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Mitch Haniger, Denard Span Power Mariners Past Astros; Hunter Renfroe Slam Toasts Brewers In 8-4 Padres Win

Players of the Day for Thursday, August 9, 2018

American League
Haniger: 4-5, HR, 2 RBI

Losers of seven of their last nine, the situation was critical as Seattle opened a four-game series in Houston with the division-leading Astros against former Cy Young award winner, Justin Verlander.

It didn't take long for the Mariners to revive hope, as Mitch Haniger led off the game with a home run - his 19th of the year. The next man up, Denard Span, tripled and was waved home on Jean Seguara's ground rule double. Seguara scored on Nelson Cruz's single, putting the Mariners up 3-0 before Houston even had a chance to respond.

Span: 3-for-3, HR, 2RBI
In the second, Haniger doubled, Span knocked him in with his ninth homer, and Segura smacked a solo shot, making it 6-0.

Verlander was pulled after two brutal innings, giving up seven hits, throwing just 54 pitches.

Haniger knocked in another run in the sixth with a single, finishing 4-for-5 with two RBI. Span went 3-for-3 with a pair of ribbies. Both players scored twice en route to a huge, 8-6 triumph.

The win left the M's seven games back in the NL West. Houston leads Oakland by 4 1/2.

Game two of the series is Friday, 8:10 pm EDT.

National League

Renfroe's Slam Sinks Brewers
San Diego scored six runs in the ninth, overwhelming the Brewers, 8-4, in the finale of a three-game series in Milwaukee.

The key hit in the rally came off the bat of Hunter Renfroe, who socked a grand slam off Joakim Soria, changing the scoreboard from 4-3, Brewers to 7-4, Padres.

San Diego, well out of post-season consideration, took two of three from the Brew crew after taking the last game over the Cubs in Chicago, 10-6.

Renfroe, in his third season with the Padres, has 12 homers and 39 RBI in 72 games.

The loss dropped the Brewers two back of the Cubs in the Central.

San Diego returns home to host the Phillies on Friday; Milwaukee starts an eight-game road trip against the Braves, Cubs, and Cardinals.