Rays Stop Jays Streak; Orioles Lose Again

raysbluejays-wrWhat are the odds a last place team in a division in June is going to reel off 11 wins in a row? Probably about the same as Sam Fuld being the third of three straight home runs to stop the streak. Fuld is a guy who plays because of his speed and defense. He is the guy you bring in to possibly drag a bunt for a single and steal second in a tight game. He is not a home run hitter. But after watching James Loney and rookie Wil Myers go deep in the second inning, he caught long ball fever himself and took one over the right field wall to give the Tampa Bay Rays a 3-0 en route to a 4-1 win over the Toronto Blue Jays in A. L. East action on Monday.

The American League East is the tightest division in baseball from top to bottom. All five teams are in the race for the postseason with the All-Star Break fast approaching. The Blue Jays were well behind before this 11-game win streak, but now find themselves right back in it with star shortstop Jose Reyes expected back soon from the disabled list. Toronto is in fifth place at 38-37 in a division where every team is now above .500. The Rays are just ahead of them at 40-37, 4.5 games out of first place.

The Baltimore Orioles are ties for second place with the New York Yankees at 2.5 games out after dropping their fourth game in a row on Monday. The Cleveland Indians beat the Orioles 5-2 on Michael Brantley’s four RBI night. The Birds are now 42-35 ad the Yankees are 41-34. The Boston Red Sox lead the division with a record of 45-33.

The Red Sox will start a series on Tuesday with the Colorado Rockies in a rematch of the 2007 World Series before taking on the Blue Jays in a four game series starting on Thursday. The Yankees will take on the Texas Rangers for three before taking on the Orioles over the weekend.

After they are done with the Blue Jays, the Rays will welcome the Detroit Tigers over the weekend.

So there are no cupcakes on anyone’s schedule this week for the A.L. East teams. Look for the standings to continue to tighten going into the All-Star Break. What this does is makes it increasingly difficult for a team in the East to compete for a Wild Card spot in the American League. While they beat one another up in June, they have allowed the  Rangers to slip into one of the spots as of now and have let the Indians get into the thick of the race as well. In September, the East teams will face each other for most of the month as well.

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