Tampa Bay Rays
The Rays did not travel far when they faced the Marlins in Miami, and it seems their hearts were not far from home either, as the Rays completed the series Sunday with a successful sweep.
The Rays ought to keep one eye on first place and one eye in their rear-view mirror, because the AL East is not going to be an easy battle or a peaceful place.
Likewise, Rays pitchers enjoyed some excitement, albeit confusion, during their interleague match-up at-bats. Jeremy Hellickson thought he got the sign to bunt… but wasn’t sure… so he payed a sac bunt instead of swinging for the fences. However, the play ended up working in the Rays favor and allowed Jose Lobaton to score later. Maybe some flashcards will help out Hellboy next time.
Meanwhile, Evan Longoria is on the road to recovery from his hamstring injury, and should begin a rehab assignment as soon as Wednesday or Thursday.
For more on the Rays, visit Cowbell Clankers.
New York Yankees
They say baseball is a game of inches, and the Yanks are currently merely inches from first place in in the AL East. Thanks to interleague play for that, I suppose, as the Yanks swept their crosstown-kinda-rivals-but-not-really-rivals Mets.
But it wasn’t all just luck of a mis-matched match-up. Offense is looking good for the Bombers too. The Yanks are slugging up a storm with 90 long shots, the most in the American League. The Yankees are no strangers to record-setting, as Alex Rodriguez is in eighth place for all-time RBI’s, and Derek Jeter is the 17th athlete in baseball history with at least 1,800 runs.
Joba Chamberlain appears to be making progress with his elbow, but Brett Gardner’s return date is still unknown.
For more on the Yankees, visit Second Place Is Not An Option.
The Orioles have finally fallen from their reign at the top of the leaderboard in the AL East… but something tells me this sudden stint in third place won’t last for long… so don’t get too used to it. Besides, the O’s are only one game behind first place.
Most impressively, the Orioles just scribbled in two consecutive walk-off wins against the Philadelphia Phillies. It seems the tables have certainly turned this season… but really. What?
Brian Roberts is scheduled to join the Birds on Tuesday after a too-long stint on the 60-Day DL after a concussion.
For more on the Orioles, visit Charm City Yakyuu.
Toronto Blue Jays
The Jays stopped the Atlanta Braves in their winning-streak-tracks on Sunday when Ricky Romero and the gang from T.O. took the reins and rattled the Braves in a 12-4 win.
In an effort to defeat the Braves losing streak, manager John Farrell shuffled about the lineup and placed Edwin Encarnacion in left field in place of Rajai Davis in order to make room for left handed hitter David Cooper at first.
Jays pitcher Sergio Santos is on the 15-day DL for right shoulder inflammation and did not throw on Saturday. His return date is currently unknown. Likewise, Dustin McGowan has no scheduled return and is recovering slowly from shoulder injuries in Dunedin, FL.
For more on the Blue Jays, visit Way Of The Jay.
Boston Red Sox
It ain’t all bad for the Boston Red Sox, no more, oh no more. Although the club is still playing below .500 ball, they are only sitting in last place, with the best last-place-record in baseball, which only attests more to the fact that the contestants of the AL East are racing at an arm’s length from one another.
Everyone’s favorite manager, you guessed it, Bobby Valentine, was ejected Sunday for arguing strikes in the ninth inning against the Nats. This marks his second ejection with the Sox, and I assume also the first time he was swept by the Nationals at home… well, at least he actually missed that part, I guess.
Up next the Red Sox will take on the Marlins and the Cubs… At this point it seems that one can only speculate what could happen. Here’s a hint: anything.
For more on the Red Sox, visit Fenway Fatales.