The Toronto Blue Jays continue to fall over themselves this week. Mandatory Credit: Thomas Campbell-USA TODAY Sports

AL East Round-Up: Straight Trippin Edition

With the dirty blue birds in the midst of a skid that looks worse than something my kid leaves in his pants, Alex Dineley can try and find the positive in his Blue Jays weekly recap… If you’re looking for REAL professional teams, here are how the other non-AAA teams are doing in the AL East this week.  LET’S DO THIS!

Tampa Bay Rays(RECAP) The Rays took over 1st place in the AL East by mere percentage points.  Coming into this week, they had been on a bit of a slide due to injuries.  All Tampa Bay really needed, however, was a chance to play Toronto and ::POOF:: the Rays are winning again, going 5-2 for the week.  They were sparked by Jose Lobaton‘s walk-off HR Aug.18th against the Blue Jays.  I happened to be at that game and would say I witnessed it first hand… but the picture to the right was where I was when the HR horn went off.  Tampa Bay cruised through the rest of the week handily beating the Baltimore Orioles and New York Yankees, with Fernando Rodney notching his 30th save of the season last night. 

(News & Notes): LHP David Price won for the 7th time in his last 8 decisions after last night’s win over New York.  Since returning from the DL July 2nd, Price’s ERA is 1.97 and BAA .216 while the Rays have gone 9-2 in games Price started.  RHP Alex Cobb returned to the rotation and is now 2-0 since he was activated.  CF Desmond Jennings was activated from the DL15.  RP Brandon Gomes was optioned to Durham make room for Jennings. Former Rays #1 pick Delmon Young signed a minor league contract with the Rays.  He was released by the Philadelphia Phillies after being DFA’d for OF Casper Wells, clearing waivers but refusing his assignment to Lehigh Valley.  Washington Nationals OF David DeJesus was acquired by Tampa Bay for a PTBN or cash considerations.  He had only been with the Nationals for 4 days.  OF Jason Bourgeois was DFA’d to make room for DeJesus.

Boston Red Sox: (RECAP) The Red Sox started their latest late season swoon last week after dropping 2 to Toronto.  Since Aug.8th, Boston is just 6-9, allowing the Rays to overtake them in the AL East.  This past week, Boston went 4-3 after dropping a series to the Yankees at Fenway, then heading out west to play the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers.  3B Will Middlebrooks had a big week, jacking 2 HRs, giving him 11 for the season, and driving in 4 RBIs.  Since being called up Aug.10, Middlebrooks is hitting .366 with a .460 OBP.

(News & Notes): LHP Jon Lester is 4-1 in his last 5 decisions.  Red Sox starters in all 4 wins this week, got a W.  Starters, prior to this week, only had 2 wins through all of August.  Boston is now 0-13 on Red Sox fan and new Batman, Ben Affleck’s Birthday (Aug.15) since 2000.  Former Blue Jays coach John Farrell sounded a bit chippy in his post game this week after having to defend his coaching actions despite a Red Sox 12-1 victory over the Giants on Aug.21.  Boston optioned RHP Rubby de la Rosa, C Ryan Lavarnway and IF Brock Holt to AAA Pawtucket after promoting Top Prospect SS/3B Xander Bogaerts, RP Bryan Villarreal, and activating C David Ross from the DL15.  RHP Clay Buchholz is scheduled to make 3 rehab starts before rejoining the Red Sox rotation in September.  RHP Ryan Dempster was suspended 5 games for intentionally drilling Yankees 3B Alex Rodriguez.  Despite this, it was a moral victory for baseball fans everywhere.  Thank you Dempster.

Baltimore Orioles: (RECAP) Baltimore started a 9 game homestand last week and finish it off against the Oakland Athletics today.  During the stand, they’re 4-4, going 4-3 for the week against teams like Tampa Bay and the Colorado Rockies.  This currently leaves Baltimore 5 GB of the Rays and Red Sox for the AL East title.  On Friday, Jim Johnson notched his 40th save of the season against the A’s.  Bud Norris, despite getting shelled in the Friday start, is now 3-1 for Baltimore and 9-10 on the season.  Chris Davis hit 2 more HRs, with his league leading 46th coming in a 4-2 win over the Rays, Aug.21.

(News & Notes): Since Aug.2, RHP Chris Tillman is 0-1 and the Orioles are 1-4 in games Tillman has started, despite Tillman dropping his ERA from 3.89 to 3.66.  IF Ryan Flaherty now has 2 more HRs than he did all of last season, after hitting his 8th last night.  CF Adam Jones had a hot week, hitting 3 HRs while adding 8 more RBIs, giving him 94 for the season.  Baltimore optioned OF Henry Urrutia to AAA Norfolk and recalled IF Danny Valencia.  3B Wilson Betemit was sent on a rehab assignment and should be activated this week.  Stud Prospect pitcher Dylan Bundy said that he’s feeling well and right on schedule for next season.  Bundy underwent ligament reconstructive surgery 6 weeks ago.

New York Yankees: (RECAP) Since Rodriguez got plunked last week by Dempster, the Yankees have been on a bit of a hot streak.  Of course, it helps when the team you’re playing happens to be the Toronto Bison, not that it matters.  New York has gone 12-1 against Toronto this season.  The Yankees swept yet another series against the Blue Jays and won 5 in a row until they ran into Tampa Bay, dropping their last 2.  The losses to the Rays hurt as they left New York 7 GB in the division.  They finish up with the Rays tonight in Tampa Bay.

(News & Notes): Since Rodiguez’s monster game the night Dempster hit him Aug.18, he’s only hit .111 with 7 Ks in 18 ABs.  LHP CC Sabathia continues to struggle in August.  He’s 2-2 with a 5.58 ERA.  In 30.2 IP this month, he’s has 16 BB to go along with 32 H.  That’s a 1.58 WHIP fellow Yankee haters.  I will toast to that!  RHP Phil Hughes has lost 10 of his last 12 decisions since May 10.  He has a sweet 5.08 ERA to go with it.  Utility player Jayson Nix went on the DL15 after fracturing his knuckle on a R.A. Dickey wild knuckleball.  US scientists and Myth Busters personnel are investigating on how that could have possibly happened. SS Derek Jeter is, again, on rehab assignment and expected back tomorrow.

Tags: Baltimore Orioles Boston Red Sox New York Yankees Tampa Bay Rays Toronto Blue Jays

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