Don’t look now but the Tampa Bays Rays are streaking again.
After finishing out the Toronto series with 2 wins, the Rays swept the Detroit Tigers on their way to an MLB best 5-game winning streak. The Rays have now won 7 of the last 10 and lead the Red Sox by 3 games.
Speaking of teams that are 7-3 over the past 10, the Minnesota Twins are leading the American League Central.
The Twins took 3 of 4 from the White Sox to narrow the margin and with a victory over the Indians on Sunday; they’ve taken over the division lead.
The biggest story for the Twins leading up to Sunday’s game was the much-anticipated return of one time ace, Francisco Liriano. After dominated his last 11 starts at Triple-A, Liriano was impressive in his first start since April. He picked up the win by going 6 innings while giving up 3 hits and striking out 5 batters. He walked 3, but did not allow a run.
The Twins weren’t the only team to do well in a huge divisional matchup.
The Chicago Cubs have won 7 of their last 8 games including a 4 game sweep over the Milwaukee Brewers. The Cubs not only took all 4 games at “Wrigley North”, but also did so by outscored the Brew Crew by a 31-11 margin. Chicago now holds a 5 game lead in the National League Central.
The Cubs and Brewers made a commotion a few weeks ago by acquiring Rich Harden and C.C. Sabathia. The non-waiver trade deadline has now come and gone and it provided a little bit more of a shake up.
The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim were able to deal Casey Kotchman to the Atlanta Braves for slugger Mark Teixeira.
The Angels add Teixeira to an already potent lineup that includes Torii Hunter and Vladimir Geurrero. They own the best record in baseball and this only solidifies their chances to reach the World Series.
The last minute blockbuster stole the day as the Boston Red Sox, Pittsburgh Pirates and Los Angeles Dodgers got together and worked out a deal that including Manny relocating.
The Red Sox had to give up 2 prospects and pay Manny’s remaining 7 million dollars on his contract, but they rid the team of a clubhouse cancer.
When the smoke had cleared, the Red Sox ended up with Jason Bay, the Dodgers got Manny Ramirez and the Pirates received 4 prospects including Andy LaRoche.
Manny has won over Dodger fans after just 3 games in California by starting out with an 8 for 13 stretch that included 4 Runs, 1 Double, 2 HR and 5 RBI.
Xavier Nady is also settling in quite well in New York after a hot week at the plate. Nady hit .526 this week with 7 Runs, 3 Doubles, 3 HR and 10 RBI.
Zach Greinke was the ace of the week with wins over the Athletics and White Sox. Greinke went 13.2 innings, giving up 13 hits, allowing 4 runs, issuing 1 walk and striking out 17 batters.
Injury Report 8-3-08
Wells may be returning earlier than expected and be back in about a week.
Crede continues to have issues with his back during his minor league rehab. No word if this will affect his return timeline.
Zimmerman has been out of the lineup recently after being hit in the hand by a pitch.
Upton is still about a week away from his return.
Greene could miss the rest of the season with a fractured hand.