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Soriano Returns to the Yankees, Rays Take Top Spot From Red Sox

After rumors had been circulating throughout the week, on Friday it was finally a done deal as the New York Yankees (54-49) traded for Chicago Cubs (46-55) outfielder Alfonso Soriano.

For the veteran player, he waived his no-trade clause to return to a familiar place: Soriano played for the Yankees between 1999 and 2003. He was traded by them to the Texas Rangers for Alex Rodriguez.

Alfonso Soriano

Alfonso Soriano

Soriano said of the news via MLB.com, “I’m very happy. This is my house, my home. So I’m happy that I’m back after 10 years. It’s never too late, and I’m happy that I’ve come back.”

With the acquisition of Sorryiano  Soriano, the team believes he can bring his home run success to New York. In July, he’s had eight vs. the team’s seven for the month. They are also hoping he can bring some much-needed right-handed offense.

In his 93 games with the Cubs this season, Soriano, as the team’s fourth batter, had a .254 batting average with 51 RBIs, 17 home runs and 10 stolen bases. On Friday, Soriano immediately put on a Yankees uniform wearing No. 12 and assumed the role of left fielder against the Tampa Bay Rays (61-42).

Unfortunately he didn’t bring any home run magic with him as the Yankees lost to the Rays, 10-6. For the game, Soriano was 0 for 5; he scored one time and drove in a single run. In the ninth inning, he hit an RBI with the bases-loaded forceout.

Yes, Yankees fans, this is what Cubs fans were used to from the veteran player.

But Soriano has had past success with the team. From round one with the Yankees, Soriano batted .284 and hit 98 home runs, bringing in 270 runs during his time with the team. His best year was 2002 as he hit .300 with 39 home runs, 102 RBIs with 41 stolen bases; that year he was the third-place finisher for the AL’s MVP Award, reported MLB.com.

As for the Cubs, they have to pay the rest of Soriano’s contract with them. This came to $17.7 million from the $24.5 million balance owed to the player whose contract runs through next season. The Yankees had to pay $6.8 million with $5 million to be paid in 2014.

The Cubs also got the Yankees Class-A pitcher Corey Black.

Fair deal? Maybe not.

With Friday’s win by the Rays, they nudged ahead of the Boston Red Sox (61-43) by a half game. They have won their last 16 of 18 games and sit at 5 to 1 to win the AL pennant. Meanwhile, the Yankees sit seven games behind them and still have hopes for a playoff run. They are 16 t0 1 to win the AL pennant and 33 to 1 to win this year’s World Series.

The three-game series continues on Saturday with Yankees righty Ivan Nova (4-3) against Rays right Ray Archer (5-3).

Looks like another Rays win (-109, 8.5 o/u).

Red Sox Lose to the Orioles, 6-0

It wasn’t the Red Sox’s night on Friday as they lost to the Baltimore Orioles (58-46), 6-0. With the win, the Orioles ended a three-game losing streak and the Red Sox bid goodbye to their division lead.

Chris Tillman

Chris Tillman

In his seven innings on the mound, Orioles righty Chris Tillman (13-3) pitched a two-hitter with a career high of eight strikeouts. He is now the team’s first 13-game winner since 2007’s Erik Bedard.

Contributing to the win were home runs by Adam Jones (two),  J.J. Hardy and Manny Machado.

So who was on the mound for the Red Sox? Righty John Lackey (7-8).

From the night, he tied a season-high five runs and nine hits over 6 1/3 innings. Lackey had one walk and two strikeouts–his lowest since June 10.

The Red Sox will look to breakout of their rut (losing 4 of 7 since the break) on Saturday in the battle of the former Cubs pitchers who have traded up. It’s Red Sox righty Ryan Dempster (5-8) vs. Orioles righty Scott Feldman (9-7).

Baltimore gets another win (-120, 9 o/u).


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