Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Washington Rookie Juan Soto Rocks Phillies; Mauer, Twins Maul Yankees, 10-5

Players of the Day for Tuesday, September 11, 2018
Mauer Slams Yankees

American League

With their lead in the wild card quickly dwindling, the Yankees gave one away to the Twins, as starter Sonny Gray and three relievers allowed 13 hits, losing at Minnesota, 10-5.

Joe Mauer's fifth-inning grand slam put the Twins up by a 10-1 score and pretty much ended the contest. New York had taken the prior five games against the Twins this season. Mauer walked and scored in the third inning, tying the score at 1-1. The Twins tacked on two more runs in the frame and the Yankees never responded. Mauer finished 2-for-4 with four RBI and two runs.

Meanwhile, the Oakland A's shaved another game off New York's lead in the wild card, closing to within two games of the Yankees with a 3-2 win at Baltimore.

Since September 2nd, the Yankees are 4-5, while the Athletics went 7-1, including taking two of three from the Yanks in Oakland. They've gained 3 1/2 games in just over a week.

The Yankees play the series finale in Minnesota at 8:10 pm EDT Wednesday. The A's have game two of their three-game set in Baltimore at 7:05 pm EDT.

National League

Soto: Nat's Hot Rookie
The Washington Nationals gave up on their season a few weeks back, but maybe they should have waited just a little longer before jettisoning some of their top players and throwing in the towel.

Taking a pair at Philadelphia, the Nationals did more to ruin the Phillies' chances for reaching the post-season than perhaps any other team could have.

Tuesday's twin killing marked the fourth straight loss for Philadelphia as well as Washington's fourth straight victory. The first-place Braves have made the most of it, also winners of four straight, including Tuesday's 4-1 complete game win by Mike Foltynewicz.

After taking the first game, 3-1, Washington battled back from a 6-3 deficit with three runs in the eighth to tie the game and won it in the 10th on Juan Soto's second home run, a solo shot to left-center that produced the double-header sweep with a 7-6, 10-inning win.

Having doubled in a run in the second inning, Soto smacked his 17th of the season with a man aboard in the fourth. In the first game, Soto went 2-for-4, so his complete day was a 5-for-8 effort with two homers, a double, four RBI and three runs. Not bad for a 19-year-old rookie. He and Atlanta's Ronald Acuna Jr. are the leading NL candidates for rookie of the year. Soto's batting .306 with 18 homers and 60 RBI.

Tuesday's results left the Phillies 6 1/2 behind the Braves in the NL East, with Washington eight out. Neither Philadelphia nor Washington has much hope of catching Atlanta nor reaching the playoffs via the wild card. Philly is 6 1/2 behind the Cardinals for the second wild card, with Washington eight behind. Milwaukee holds the top wild card by two games over St. Louis.

The Phillies and Nationals wrap up their series on Wednesday, 7:00 pm EDT.

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