The Twins defeated the Yankees on Friday to improve to 9-4 against AL East opponents this season. It wasn’t too long ago that the Twins were being manhandled by the division.
Entering Sunday’s game against the Yankees, the Twins have not lost a series to an AL East team this season, taking two of three from the Blue Jays, Rays, Orioles and Red Sox. The Twins are taking advantage of a wacky division.
The Rays were expected to compete for the division title but are battling the Astros for the worst record in the AL.
The Red Sox, the defending World Series champions, lost 10 consecutive games in May.
The Orioles consider themselves to be challengers, but catcher Matt Wieters’ elbow injury hasn’t helped. And where would they be without Nelson Cruz?
The Yankees just aren’t as deep as they were a few years ago, and have earned their mediocre record in Derek Jeter’s final season.
That leaves the Blue Jays, a team many thought was the worst in this division, in first place and looking like a force. Toronto entered Saturday second in the league in runs scored while the other four teams are in the bottom half.
Toronto is a sizzling 20-9 in May, entering Saturday’s game. Edwin Encarnacion has smashed 16 homers this month, tying Mickey Mantle for the AL record and getting within one of Barry Bonds’ record for home runs in May. Mark Buehrle, a former Twins nemesis, is 9-1 with a 2.33 ERA. Knuckleballer R.A. Dickey looks more like the pitcher Toronto wanted when it traded with the Mets for him.
With about a third of the schedule complete, teams now know what they have, and the transaction wire in this division will light up over the next several weeks.
Boston already has signed Stephen Drew and reportedly is looking for a center fielder so Jackie Bradley Jr. can be shipped to the minors. The Red Sox could be finished if some of the players who helped them win the title last season don’t come around.
The Yankees reportedly are considering signing free-agent first baseman Kendrys Morales to help their sagging offense, but they need CC Sabathia (right knee) to return from the disabled list in midseason form.
Baltimore, which can’t put a complete game together, is crossing its fingers as Wieters tests his elbow with light throwing. Meanwhile, former Twin Johan Santana, recovering from shoulder surgery, could join the rotation sometime in June.
The Jays aren’t sitting back, as they check on available pitchers. The team that makes the best trade — or gets healthy the earliest — could take the East.
The rulebook states that every division has to have a winner. In a season where up is down and down us up in the East, why not the Blue Jays?
Nothing can force change like losing to the lowly Astros. The Royals were swept by Houston last week, outscored 21-5 in three games. The Royals did not focus on the fact their pitching was poor. They looked at the offense, where they have fallen to last in the American League in slugging percentage, home runs and runs scored. Hitting coach Pedro Grifol was fired and replaced by third base coach Dale Sveum. The Royals have hit 24 home runs through Friday — 24!
• The Tigers signed Joe Nathan in hopes he would be the solution to the closing problem that has plagued them in recent seasons. But Nathan has already blown more saves and given up more home runs and earned runs than all of last season.
|Tennessee||12/18/14 7:25 PM|
|Philadelphia||12/20/14 3:30 PM|
|San Diego||12/20/14 7:25 PM|
|Minnesota||12/21/14 12:00 PM|
|Baltimore||12/21/14 12:00 PM|
|Detroit||12/21/14 12:00 PM|
|Cleveland||12/21/14 12:00 PM|
|Atlanta||12/21/14 12:00 PM|
|Green Bay||12/21/14 12:00 PM|
|Kansas City||12/21/14 12:00 PM|
|New England||12/21/14 12:00 PM|
|NY Giants||12/21/14 3:05 PM|
|Buffalo||12/21/14 3:25 PM|
|Indianapolis||12/21/14 3:25 PM|
|Seattle||12/21/14 7:30 PM|
|Denver||12/22/14 7:30 PM|
|Atlanta||65||3rd Qtr 11:40|
|Dallas||40||2nd Qtr 6:27|
|Utah||38||2nd Qtr 8:05|
|Orlando||43||2nd Qtr 6:22|
|Brooklyn||12||1st Qtr 8:15|
|Ottawa||1||2nd Prd 10:42|
|Boston||1||1st Prd 14:27|
|James Madison||38||2nd Half 16:01|
|SIU Edwardsville||38||2nd Half 14:25|
|St Francis-PA||55||2nd Half 9:38|
|North Florida||34||2nd Half 18:27|
|Catawba||45||2nd Half 13:24|
|Ferrum||28||2nd Half 14:16|
|Hampton||34||2nd Half 14:02|
|Gardner-Webb||50||2nd Half 12:13|
|Longwood||25||2nd Half 15:46|
|Arkansas State||49||2nd Half 11:51|
|Tennessee||38||2nd Half 12:23|
|NC A&T||36||2nd Half 11:13|
|Manhattan||31||2nd Half 12:30|
|Robert Morris||31||2nd Half 14:47|
|Char Southern||32||2nd Half 12:58|
|Kennesaw St||65||2nd Half 11:52|
|Barber-Scotia||27||2nd Half 13:51|
|Liberty||23||1st Half 0:19|
|TX A&M-CC||7||1st Half 11:58|
|Ark-Pine Bluff||4||1st Half 15:30|
|UT Martin||8||1st Half 13:25|
|Milligan||12||1st Half 15:20|
|Abilene Christian||5||1st Half 16:00|
|USC Upstate||15||1st Half 12:03|
|Alcorn State||7||1st Half 16:18|
|Central Mich||4||1st Half 16:00|
|Georgia State||11||1st Half 12:44|
|TX-Pan American||6||1st Half 15:15|
|Ill-Chicago||5||1st Half 14:59|
|Texas State||6||1st Half 13:55|
|Stephen F Austin||11|
|SC State||4||1st Half 16:29|
|Missouri State||12||1st Half 10:49|
|Chicago State||13||1st Half 14:46|
|Morehead State||0||1st Half 17:39|
|Northern Colorado||10||1st Half 13:23|
|New Mexico St||8:00 PM|
|San Diego St||8:00 PM|
|Eastern Mich||8:00 PM|
|Loyola Marymount||8:00 PM|
|Incarnate Word||8:00 PM|
|Central Arkansas||9:00 PM|
|Grambling St||10:00 PM|
|Nevada||12/20/14 10:00 AM|
|Utah State||12/20/14 1:20 PM|
|(23) Utah||12/20/14 2:30 PM|
|Western Mich||12/20/14 4:45 PM|
|South Alabama||12/20/14 8:15 PM|
|BYU||12/22/14 1:00 PM|
|Marshall||12/23/14 5:00 PM|
|Navy||12/23/14 8:30 PM|
|San Diego St|
|Central Mich||12/24/14 11:00 AM|
|Fresno State||12/24/14 7:00 PM|
|(21) Miss State||66||FINAL|
|Florida A&M||60||2nd Half 1:14|
|Oklahoma||53||2nd Half 7:39|
|Savannah State||53||2nd Half 1:43|
|Northern Colorado||18||2nd Half 15:25|
|Youngstown St||26||2nd Half 12:19|
|Siena||57||2nd Half 6:51|
|Vermont||47||2nd Half 10:13|
|(1) South Carolina||52||2nd Half 9:00|
|Fla Gulf Coast||71||2nd Half 10:28|
|Texas Southern||63||2nd Half 13:09|
|Northwestern||57||2nd Half 15:08|
|NC A&T||51||2nd Half 13:48|
|NC Central||33||2nd Half 11:30|
|Drexel||33||2nd Half 13:00|
|Cincinnati||36||2nd Half 11:58|
|Alabama State||35||2nd Half 14:53|
|Morehead St||38||2nd Half 20:00|
|Arkansas State||39||2nd Half 11:51|
|American Univ||42||2nd Half 11:21|
|UNC Greensboro||49||2nd Half 9:37|
|Arkansas-Monticello||25||1st Half 0:21|
|Prairie View||25||1st Half 4:17|
|Sam Houston St||16|
|McNeese State||6||1st Half 14:46|
|Yale||18||1st Half 12:47|
|Oakland||4||1st Half 16:58|
|Eastern Kentucky||11||1st Half 14:54|
|SIU-Edwardsville||8||1st Half 14:52|
|McMurry||0||1st Half 13:41|
|North Texas||9:00 PM|