Friday, September 7, 2018

Francisco Lindor 4-for-5 As Indians Whip Blue Jays; Nick Markakis Helps Atlanta Overcome Arizona

Players of the Day for Thursday, September 6, 2018

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

The only game in the American League was Cleveland's 9-4 win at Toronto.

Francisco Lindor set the tone early, leading off the game with his 32nd home run of the season. In the third, he stroked another solo shot for a 2-0 Cleveland lead. The Blue Jays eventually took the lead, 4-3, but Lindor's two-run single in the fifth had the Indians back on top.

In the ninth, Lindor singled again - his fourth hit of the game - and scored on Jason Kipnis' three-run homer.

Lindor, 24, is already in his fourth full season in the majors and is about to set new career marks. In 2017 he batted .273 with 33 homers and 89 RBI. This year he's at .289 with 33 HRs and 84 RBI. In 2016 and again in 2017, Lindor scored 99 runs. He already has crossed home plate 117 times this season, tops in the majors.

The Indians extended their major-league-best lead in the AL Central to 16 1/2 games over the Twins. Their magic number to clinch the division is 8.

Game two of the four-game series in Toronto is scheduled for Friday at 7:00 pm EDT.

National League
Markakis: 4-5, 2 RBI

There were only three games played in the National League Thursday. The Cubs outlasted the Nationals, 6-4, in 10 innings, the Padres downed the Reds, 6-2, and the Braves blew a 4-0 lead only to come back for the win in 10 innings, defeating the Diamondbacks, 7-6, on a wild pitch by Yoshihisa Hirano.

Dansby Swanson scampered home with the winning run in the top of the 10th. Reliever Brad Brach worked a hitless bottom of the frame, earning his first save for Atlanta.

Nick Markakis earns the star for Player of the Day, going 4-for-5 with two RBI, boosting his batting average to .309. He is tied for fourth in batting in the NL with Milwaukee's Lorenzo Cain.

Atlanta's win snapped a three-game skid, keeping them in first place in the NL East by 3 1/2 over the Phillies.

The Braves and Diamondbacks resume the four-game series with game two in Phoenix, Friday, 9:40 pm EDT.

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