Players of the Day for Saturday, June 12, 2010

American League

Unaccustomed to being in second place, the NY Yankees have gone out of their way, attempting to catch the AL East-leading Rays, winning 10 of their last thirteen games, including Saturday’s 9-3 win over the Houston Astros .

Always expected to give 100% effort, Derek Jeter provided four RBI with a pair of homers, the first a solo shot to lead off the bottom of the 1st inning, than a three-run blast in the sixth, all but sealing the deal for the Bronx Bombers, who took their second straight from Houston.

Jeter also walked leading off the 3rd inning, went to second on Nick Swisher’s single, stole third base and eventually scored on Jorge Posada’s grand slam.

Batting .295 with 8 homers, 39 RBI and 42 runs, Jeter is well on his way to his 8th season with 200 hits. He has 79 in 61 games. The Yankees trail the Rays by a single game in the division.

National League

Jonny Gomes blasted a pair of three run homers as the Cincinnati Reds improved their lead in the NL Central to 1 1/2 games over the Cardinals with an 11-5 smack-down of the Royals .

After Brandon Phillips’ solo homer gave the Reds a 1-0 lead, Gomes hit the first of his two homers, putting Cincy up 4-0 after one inning, but the Royals responded with a 5-run 2nd and a 5-4 lead.

Gomes settled affairs with his second three-run homer – his 8th of the season – in the 3rd inning, putting the Reds ahead for good. His six RBI were a career best.

Gomes, a part-time player over most of his six years in the major leagues, is having a phenomenal season, batting .307 with 47 RBI, well on his way to topping his best run-producing year, 2006, when he drove in 59 for Tampa Bay. Gomes joined the Reds at the start of the 2009 season, playing in 98 games. This year, he’s taken over left field duties full time.

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