AL East Round Up: Happy Returns Edition

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Tampa Bay Rays

The Rays are battling through injuries to try and stay in the hunt for the AL East title. Sitting 3 games out of first is not a cause for concern. They’ve been helped out by performances by Grant Balfour, Ryan Hanigan and Erik Bedard…that’s right.

After blowing a save opportunity against the White Sox, Joe Maddon called on Balfour to close out BOTH games of their doubleheader against the Red Sox on Thursday. And he did. According to Bill Chastain at, He became the first pitcher in Rays history to record saves in both games of a doubleheader. So, I’ll give the Aussie a celebratory Brett Lawrie high five for that! What is more interesting is that Joe Maddon came to the mound and Balfour actually argued and changed Maddon’s mind.  Balfour was left in to face David Ortiz. The Aussie was right. You don’t see many players arguing (and winning) against a manager. You can check out his 2 saves here.

Chastain also tells us that Ryan Hanigan has set the record for RBI’s by a Rays’ catcher in April. Among AL East catchers, only Matt Wieters has more RBI than Hanigan. I’m not so sure that the Rays brought him on to carry the offense, but such a contribution in a month of disappointing news for the Rays, is surely a highlight.

Canadian, Erik Bedard is making another return to the major leagues. He sits at 0-1 with an ERA of 5.52. In 4 games, Bedard has allowed 9 ER, walking 10 and striking out 10 to the surprise of no one. When Erik Bedard is making an extended amount of starts for your team, you know there are problems. Yet, on Tuesday, he held the Red Sox to just one run over 5 innings only to have the bullpen lose the game. Bedard will look to improve on his number of innings pitched while putting up more zeroes against an equally potent lineup in the form of the New York Yankees on Sunday.