Friday, September 14, 2018

J.D. Martinez Crushes HR #41 As Boston Sweeps Blue Jays; Manny Machado Leads Dodgers Over Cardinals

Players of the Day for Thursday, September 13, 2018
Martinez: Al MVP?

American League

A day after the Red Sox became the first team in the majors to clinch a playoff spot, J.D. Martinez took another step toward a possible triple crown.

Martinez socked his 41st home run of the season in Boston's 4-3 win over the visiting Blue Jays, sweeping the three-game series. Martinez's first-inning solo blast tied him with Oakland's Khris Davis for the AL lead in homers, and upped his RBI total to 122, far and away the most in the majors (Davis is second with 109). His .330 batting average is second in the league to teammate Mookie Betts, who leads the majors with a .340 mark.

While the chances of Martinez catching Betts in batting are slight, he looks to be the logical choice for AL MVP as the Red Sox cruise toward the AL East pennant.

Boston has the best record in the majors at 101-46. They've won four straight and lead the second place Yankees by 10 1/2 games. Their magic number to clinch the division is six. Boston welcomes in the NY Mets for a weekend series beginning Friday at 7:10 pm EDT.

National League

Machado: 3-4, HR 3RBI
Just prior to the July 31 trade deadline, the Dodgers picked up Manny Machado from Baltimore, and, for the past month and a half, the 26-year-old shortstop has been providing benefits.

In the opener of a critical four-game series at St. Louis, Machado struck repeatedly, as the Dodgers banged out 16 hits in a 9-7 win over the Cardinals.

The Dodgers and Machado got off to a fast start with three runs in the first inning. Machado singled and scored on former Cardinal, David Freese's, triple. In the third, Machado doubled home Justin Turner. His sac fly in the fourth plated another run and his 34th homer of the season - 10th as a Dodger - completed LA's scoring in the seventh.

On the year, Machado is batting .302 with 92 RBI and 14 steals. In 50 games as a member of the Dodgers, Machado is batting .277 with 10 homers and 28 RBI. He was 3-for-4 with three RBI and two runs in Thursday's victory.

The win left the Dodgers 1 1/2 behind the Rockies in the NL West and a game behind St. Louis for the second wild card.

Game two of the series is Friday, 8:00 pm EDT.

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