The gap from the top to the bottom of the American League East remains very small at the end of three weeks of play. Just two games separate the five division teams.
The first place New York Yankees (11-8) shut out the Chicago Cubs in both games of a Yankee Stadium doubleheader Wednesday, then split a four game series against the Rays in Tampa Bay for a 4-2 record on the week.
Alfonso Soriano led the Yankees offensively, slashing .375/.423/.542/.965 with nine hits, including a HR.
The Yankees activated Mark Teixeira from the disabled list Sunday, but placed Nova (2-2, 8.27) on the DL with an elbow injury that could require Tommy John surgery and end the right hander’s season. Closer David Robertson should be activated from the DL before tomorrow’s game.
This week, New York travels to Boston for a three-game midweek series against the Red Sox, then heads home to face the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim for three games over the weekend.
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The Toronto Blue Jays (10-9) are a game behind New York in the division standings, going 3-3 this past week. The Jays dropped two of three games to the Twins in Minnesota, but took two of three games in Cleveland from the Indians.
Melky Cabrera continues to swing a hot bat for Toronto. He hit .385/.448/.500/.948 for the week with 10 hits, including a double, a triple and four runs scored.
Mark Buehrle pitched seven scoreless innings for his fourth win of the season. His ERA to date is 0.64.
The Jays host the Baltimore Orioles and Boston Red Sox for three games apiece this week.
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Although at 9-10, the Boston Red Sox own the longest current winning streak in the division – two games – yet are tied at two games out with Tampa Bay and Baltimore. The BoSox went 4-2 on the week, taking two of three games each from the White Sox in Chicago and the Orioles at Fenway Park.
After a cortisone injection in his left wrist, Dustin Pedroia slashed .318/.423/.455/.878 for the week with seven hits (three doubles) and scored six runs. Reserve Mike Carp hit .333 during the week. Rookie Xander Bogaerts had a HR and three RBI.
Jon Lester was the pitching hero for the week, battling Chicago’s Chris Sale for a win. He allowed one run and struck out nine in eight innings of work. Koji Uehara saved two games after some shoulder stiffness earlier in the week.
Ryan Roberts was designated for assignment Friday and replaced by Brock Holt from Triple-A Pawtucket who appeared in three games hitting .400/.455/.600/1.055. Shane Victorino is in a rehab assignment at Pawtucket and could be activated soon. Jackie Bradley Jr. or Daniel Nava are likely candidates to be optioned to Triple-A. Will Middlebrooks could return from the DL by next weekend.
The Sox wrap up their series against the Orioles today and then welcome the Yankees to Fenway Park for three midweek games. They travel to Toronto for a weekend series against the Blue Jays.
Check in at BoSox Injection every day to follow all the Red Sox news and developments.
The Tampa Bay Rays (9-10) fell to a third-place tie in the division with a 2-4 during the week. The Rays lost two games in Baltimore to the Orioles and then split a four-game series at home against the Yankees.
There were no significant roster changes for Tampa Bay this week, but Desmond Jennings has been limited due to an injury sustained in the Baltimore series. With an off day today, the Rays hope he’ll avoid a trip to the DL.
The Rays host the Twins for three games beginning Tuesday before heading to Chicago to play the White Sox.
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The Baltimore Orioles are also two games out of first place with a 8-9 record. The O’s went 3-2 during the week, taking two games from the Rays (one game postponed by rain) at Camden Yards and going 1-2 against the Red Sox at Fenway Park.
The team made no roster moves this week.
The Orioles play the Red Sox again today in Boston’s annual Patriots Day game. They follow that with three games in Toronto before heading home for three games against the Kansas City Royals.
Catch all the news you need to know at FanSided.com’s Orioles’ site, Birds Watcher.