New York Yankees
The Yankees fought for a crucial series win over the Rays this weekend in order to maintain their straddle atop the division, where they currently sit only 1.5 games up over the Orioles.
Veteran ace Andy Pettitte is making his way back to the mound in the Bronx for a start on Tuesday against the Toronto Blue Jays. Manager Joe Girardi expects to see about 70 pitches out of the 40-year-old southpaw. Pettitte was out of the rotation this season due to a fractured ankle.
Curtis Granderson is on track to join Mickey Mantle for consecutive seasons with 40 homers. Granderson is at number 39 as of Sunday afternoon. Derek Jeter continues to climb in the all-time hits list, and is currently three hits over the great Willie Mays at 3,286.
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The O’s faced a series against their west coast wild card counter parts, the team with the season just as surprising as theirs: the Oakland Athletics. Baltimore ended up losing the series, but avoided a sweep when they bested the A’s Sunday in a 9-5 win.
Infielder and designated hitter Wilson Betemit re-injured his wrist on Friday in Oakland, a setback after his return from the DL on on September 1 that may cost him the rest of the season.
Meanwhile, pitcher Chris Tillman should start for the Birds on Monday in the Seattle series against the Mariners. Previously, Tillman left the game in New York on September 2 with elbow discomfort. Additionally, reliever Troy Patton, recovering from an ankle sprain, could also rejoin the squad in Seattle. Jim Thome is still rehabbing a herniated disk in his neck and may return for the end of the season.
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Tampa Bay Rays
The Rays are in pursuit of the wild card at this point in the race, in contest with the Orioles, Athletics, and Angels. They are currently 3.5 games behind grasping one of the two wild card slots in the American League.
The Rays activated Sean Rodriguez from the disabled list after breaking his hand. His return gives the squad more defensive flexibility. Also, Ryan Roberts, who had been sitting out from a bruised shin, returned to the lineup on Saturday to bat seventh. Meanwhile, Sam Fuld left the game Sunday after aggravating his hamstring on basepaths at Yankee Stadium.
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Toronto Blue Jays
At this point in the season, some Blue Jays fans are just happy to see their name above Boston in the division standings. Oh, the little things.
Injuries have continued to abound for the team this season, and last weekend alone can testify as evidence of the problem. On Sunday, Edwin Encarnacion, Jeff Mathis, and Yunel Escobar were all scratched from the lineup just hours before the game. Escobar and Mathis caught a flu bug that made its way around the clubhouse, but should return for Tuesday’s game against the Yankees.
Manager John Farrell took a stand against maple bats after pitching coach Bruce Walton was struck by a shattered bat on Thursday’s game against the Mariners. Farrell also holds that the team should have a busy offseason planning for the next, including deciding on left fielder Rajai Davis, who has a team option of $3 million with a $500,000 buyout.
Boston Red Sox
Red Sox fans can celebrate- because Dustin Pedroia welcomed a new son into the world last Thursday. Also, Manager Bobby Valentine has set a club record for most ejections in a season, with his sixth appropriately at the loss to the Yankees on Wednesday. Cody Ross and third base coach Jerry Royster were also tossed in the same incident, when Ross was called out at bat. And fans are just as cheerful about how things are going in Boston.
Otherwise… John Lackey is doing well and should throw batting practice for the Sox sometime in the next week, and will likely toss in the instructional league this month. Scott Atchison was activated off the 60-day DL Wednesday, after refusing Tommy John surgery and refusing to accept that he would not pitch again this season.
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