Cheap Aaron Rodgers Jersey Selig to hold traditional internet chat Tuesday

Continuing what has become one of the most popular events of All-Star Week, Commissioner Bud Selig will again interact with baseball fans around the globe during a live internet chat before Tuesday night’s Midsummer Classic.

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Selig will answer questions in front of a live audience during the T-Mobile All-Star FanFest at New York’s Jacob K. Javits Center beginning at 1:30 p.m. ET on Tuesday. MLB.com’s Jeremy Brisiel will be the moderator, and the session will be carried live on MLB.com.

Fans can submit their questions now via e-mail at allstarchat@website.mlb.com.

The 2013 All-Star Game will be played at Citi Field on Tuesday. MLB.com will provide extensive online coverage of the All-Star Week festivities.

This will be the 13th consecutive year for a tradition that began in 2001. The format calls for the Commissioner to answer questions about baseball and the state of the game that have been received by MLB.com, and then, time permitting, to field questions from the floor.

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Major League Baseball is experiencing another exciting season. Going into the weekend, there were 22 teams either positioned in a playoff spot or within eight games of one. Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera is chasing a second straight Triple Crown. Rookies like Yasiel Puig of the Dodgers, Shelby Miller of the Cardinals, Evan Gattis of the Braves and Jose Fernandez of the Marlins have made immediate impacts.

The FanFest, which began Friday, is the world’s largest baseball theme park, occupying more than 450,000 square feet. Among the attractions will be appearances by Hall of Famers such as Lou Brock, Orlando Cepeda, Andre Dawson, Rollie Fingers, Ferguson Jenkins, Juan Marichal, Phil Niekro, Gaylord Perry and Ozzie Smith.

The five-day celebration of baseball features interactive activities and historical exhibits, including more than 400 artifacts from Coopperstown, free autographs from Hall of Famers and MLB legends, youth skills clinics taught by current and former Major Leaguers and much more.

The final phase of All-Star Game voting will again have fans participating in the official voting for the Ted Williams All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet. During the Midsummer Classic, fans will vote exclusively online at MLB.com via the 2013 All-Star Game MLB.com MVP Vote, and their voice will represent 20 percent of the total vote determining the recipient of the Arch Ward Trophy.

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The 84th All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX Sports, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, and worldwide by partners in more than 200 countries via MLB International’s independent feed. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB Network and SiriusXM also will provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com.

Now, they will cross their fingers and hope that legging out four ground balls didn’t force Jeter back onto the list of the walking wounded.

“His right quad tightened up a little bit,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “He said something, and I said, ‘You’re done. We’re going to take you out.’ We hope it’s not much, but we won’t really know until [Friday].”

Well before his quad grabbed him in the fifth inning, Jeter’s presence added a healthy dose of interest to the matinee. A paid crowd of 40,381 rose by the thousands to cheer as Jeter discarded the weight hugging his Louisville Slugger, digging in for his first big league at-bat of the season.

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Jeter said that he had made up his mind to swing at the first pitch and followed through, rolling a slow grounder that third baseman Miguel Tejada fumbled as Jeter reached on an infield hit. Serving as New York’s designated hitter, Jeter finished the afternoon 1-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI.

“Just having him back is great,” said Yankees starter Andy Pettitte, who allowed four runs (three earned) in 5 2/3 innings for his seventh win. “I’m not too sentimental or nostalgic, but it’s great to have Derek Jeter back in the lineup; great to see him in the dugout. I just love having him back out there.”

Pettitte needed help from Jeter and the rest of the lineup as the Yankees fought to take the veteran left-hander off the hook from what was shaping up early to be a rough and labored start.

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Royals catcher Salvador Perez raked a two-run double down the third-base line and Lorenzo Cain lifted a sac fly in a three-run first, and Pettitte’s fielding error on a second-inning bunt also helped set up an Alcides Escobar RBI single.

“It’s the same old story,” Pettitte said. “It seems like, for me, every bunt is a perfect bunt.”

Pettitte settled in and clamped the damage long enough for the Yankees to erupt, as the Bombers pounded Royals starter Ervin Santana for eight runs on 10 hits in five-plus innings.

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Derek Jeter continued his progression toward New York on Wednesday night in a rehab game with the Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders. Jeter played seven innings, went to the plate three times and saw his most defensive chances since his return to the field.

Before the game, it was reported by George A. King of the New York Post that the Yankees had sent Jeter’s equipment to the Bronx. Early Thursday morning, MLB Network analyst Ken Rosenthal reported on FoxSports.com that Jeter would be in the Yankees’ lineup for their series finale with the Royals in the afternoon. Rosenthal said Jeter would play either shortstop or designated hitter, according to Major League sources.

While the Yanks would love a Thursday return for Jeter, he has yet to play a full nine-inning game with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, but he took a step in that direction on Wednesday night. Following the game, he expressed no concerns over his ankle.

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“I feel good,” Jeter said. “There are a lot of different situations that happened, but I felt good.”

It didn’t take long for the ball to find Jeter, as Rochester’s Eric Farris grounded a ball to short. Jeter ranged to his left, collected it cleanly and threw to first for the out.

He led off for the RailRiders and hit a routine grounder to shortstop Doug Bernier to begin the bottom of the first. While the grounder was routine in nature, Jeter hustled down the line, and a nearly sold-out crowd at PNC Field saw no signs of distress in his ankle.

In the third inning, with a runner on second, a ball was hit into the hole off the bat of Bernier. Jeter raced to the ball with ease, and he tried to retire an advancing Jermaine Mitchell at third base. His throw went off the tip of third baseman David Adams’ glove, and Mitchell was ruled safe.

“There were a couple of different types of plays,” said Jeter. “The one I flipped to third in the hole, I do that a lot, but the timing was off, but it was good to do an array of things tonight.”

Jeter grounded out to short again in the third, but was tested multiple times defensively. He was charged with an error in the fifth inning on a grounder by Ray Olmedo. Jeter was able to field the ball cleanly, but his throw to first was in the dirt, and Olmedo was able to reach before Dan Johnson could dig it out.

Jeter struck out in his final at-bat in the sixth, as home-plate umpire Chad Whitson called a 2-2 pitch on the inside corner a strike, ending Jeter’s night at the plate. What is uncertain is whether the punchout will be Jeter’s final at-bat before his return to New York.

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When asked if he felt like he was ready to return to Yankee Stadium, Jeter was clear in his answer.

“I do, but I said I was ready in January,” said Jeter. “I’m excited about the opportunity to get back as soon as I can.”

Ortiz drove in two more for the Red Sox in the third inning with a thundering home run, scoring Dustin Pedroia from first. It was the slugger’s eighth hit in his first nine plate appearances of the series.

“I’m the kind of guy, I just take what they give me,” Ortiz said. “If they don’t give me anything to hit, what should I do? Walk to first base? I hang with it until I get my pitch. That’s what I’ve been doing all season.”

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Jacoby Ellsbury played well after taking two games off with a left wrist injury. He hit a leadoff single in the first and hit a double in the fourth inning, scoring on Shane Victorino’s single to give the Red Sox a commanding 5-0 lead. Ellsbury finished 3-for-4 at the plate, extending his hitting streak to 18 games, the longest active streak in the Majors.

Boston nearly batted around in the sixth, adding four runs. Only a fielder’s choice by Brock Holt broke up a parade of singles by Saltalamacchia, Iglesias, Ellsbury and Victorino. Ortiz added a sacrifice fly for good measure.

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Making his big league debut in relief of Doubront, Brandon Workman allowed three runs in the eighth inning. The right-hander would settle down, as he notched four strikeouts.

“That’s not the way I saw it going in my head, but I made some pitches up over the plate and they hit them hard,” Workman said. “I sharpened up a little in my second inning and it was better.”

Colon Custom Angels Jersey edges Locke, with help from outfield, ‘pen

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Grant Balfour’s save Monday night in Pittsburgh may have been record-breaking, but Coco Crisp’s was applauded just the same in a 2-1 A’s victory.

Oakland’s outfielder made a sensational diving catch to his right on an Andrew McCutchen liner with two outs that prevented at least one run — maybe two — from crossing the plate in the seventh, preserving a one-run lead and another Bartolo Colon win.

Crisp’s heroics in no way took away from Balfour’s historic feat, with the A’s closer picking up his 41st consecutive save dating back to last year to pass the Oakland record of 40 previously held by Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley, but it at least spread the attention around.

That is how Balfour, who does not enjoy talking about himself, likes it.

And everyone in the visitor’s clubhouse at PNC Park understood that perhaps Balfour would not even have been standing on the mound in the ninth on this night had Crisp not stood at the spot from which he lunged in the air to make the catch.

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“I think that’s where the game was decided, to tell you the truth,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “There was more game to be played after that, but if that ball gets by him, it’s a different game. When he hit it, I didn’t think he had a chance to get to it; I really didn’t. And I’ve been around Coco long enough to know he can get to some balls. But that one was terrific. That’s the play of the year.”

“That was the key to the game,” added Colon, through A’s coach and translator Ariel Prieto. “When the ball was hit off the bat, I would have never imagined he was going to catch that. But then I saw him running, and he got it. Three times I said, ‘Thank you,’ when we were coming back to the dugout.”

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Crisp deflected much of the praise sent his way, casually telling reporters, “I mean, it wasn’t that difficult of a play, just a diving play. He hit the ball well, and I was just able to make the play.”

So he knew from the moment bat met ball there was an out to be made?

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“I knew before he hit it,” Crisp said, smiling, “that it was going to go right there and I was going to make the play.”

That’s just the way things are going for these first-place A’s, who have now won nine of 12 and stand a season-high 16 games above .500 with a 53-37 ledger, their best mark after 90 games since 1990 (57-33).

Oakland managed just three hits off tough lefty Jeff Locke but also tallied three walks, and together they resulted in plenty of support for the 40-year-old Colon, who mostly cruised through seven innings for his 12th victory.

Oakland’s lone All-Star scattered seven hits in that time, walking just one while fanning five and totaling 108 pitches. He stranded eight on base, including two in the seventh, when he got more than a little help from Crisp. His ERA is down to 2.69.

“I’ve never had a year like this,” Colon said. “I believe this year is my best year. It was always in my thoughts, but I never imagined having the kind of numbers that I do right now before the All-Star break.”

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The not-so-secret secret, Custom Angels Jersey says, is “working hard.”

“He probably has one of the best personalities I’ve ever played with,” Crisp said. “He just goes about his day and does the best he can and doesn’t let too many things bother him. He’s been doing good for us the whole year and is fun to play behind.”

Jed Lowrie was responsible for two of the A’s three hits, and he scored the first run of the game in the fourth on Josh Donaldson’s sacrifice fly, before Oakland added on in the seventh by way of Derek Norris’ bases-loaded walk. Grant Green went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts in his Major League debut.

Everything added up to a one-run save opportunity for Balfour, whose 41 straight saves include 18 involving one-run leads.

“He’s had a ton of tense ones,” Melvin said. “That’s what he’s built for. He does kind of thrive on not giving up anything.”

Angels 59Fifty Caps O’s best Rivera, Yankees on Jones’ clutch homer

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Redemption came in the form of a Mariano Rivera fastball.

The Orioles were shut out for the first eight innings Sunday against the Yankees, and they went into their final at-bat against the game’s all-time saves leader. And then the improbable happened.

Adam Jones delivered his first home run in nearly three weeks, a shot that lifted the Orioles to a 2-1 win and pushed them a half-game ahead of the Yankees in the American League East. Closer Jim Johnson, who blew a save in the series opener, came out and retired the final three batters to seal the win.

The victory — a thunderclap turnaround for a team that had trailed since the second inning — was stunning on a number of levels. Rivera had converted 41 straight save opportunities at home, a streak that took him all the way back to September 2010, before Jones took him deep to left field.

“It’s off the greatest closer in the history of the game. I’ll always remember it,” said Jones, who was elected as an All-Star starter for the AL on Saturday. “You’ve got to win, and we haven’t been playing that well. We need to tighten up. We need to clean it up around here.”

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New York (48-40) and Baltimore (49-40) have played extremely close this season, but the Orioles own a 7-5 advantage and won’t see the Yankees again until the end of August. Baltimore had just three hits in the first seven innings Sunday, and only two runners were able to reach scoring position.

The Orioles, down to their last two outs in the ninth, appeared poised to fall to a series sweep and their fourth straight loss by one run. And there was something else at stake: The Orioles hadn’t lost a 1-0 game since getting shut out by this very team, the Yankees, on Sept. 20, 2008.

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The ninth inning, in this case, brought real drama. Nick Markakis drilled a long foul that narrowly missed being a home run off Rivera, and then he singled with one out. That brought Jones to the plate, and the All-Star outfielder drilled a shot over the left-field fence to give the Orioles their first lead.

Baltimore manager Buck Showalter credited the Yankees’ relievers — namely setup man David Robertson and Rivera — but said that the victory felt good for a number of reasons.

“Any time you’re sitting there with Robertson and Rivera, you don’t like your chances,” he said “But there was a good vibe in the dugout. The guys were grinding. And it’s tough. Very challenging conditions. … That’s why if you can achieve things, it’s so gratifying, because it’s so hard to do. These are the days where you can challenge yourself to be a little different than the common athlete.”

The Yankees, so accustomed to Rivera’s dominance, fell to 40-2 when leading after eight innings. The Orioles improved to 3-29 when trailing at that point of the game. For Rivera, it was just his second blown save of the season and the first homer he’s allowed at home since August 2011.

“I’ve faced him for years now,” said Markakis. “He’s still got late cut on the ball. He puts the ball where he wants it. His velocity might be down, but that’s expected from a guy who’s been around as long as he has. He’s still the best closer in the game. You’ve just got to go up there and battle.”

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Prior to the Jones homer, Baltimore had searched to find a spark. Hiroki Kuroda left after seven shutout innings, handing the ball to Robertson and Rivera. Two of Baltimore’s first three hits were doubles — one by Matt Wieters and one by Markakis — but both runners wound up stranded at second base.

The Yankees, despite the loss, peppered starter Jason Hammel in the early innings. Zoilo Almonte drew a leadoff walk and moved to third base on a hit in the second inning, and shortstop Eduardo Nunez sent him home with the game’s first run on a sacrifice fly to medium-depth left field.

Hammel would come out after the fifth inning, and Baltimore’s bullpen held the game close. Third baseman Manny Machado made a sensational play to close out the sixth inning. The All-Star third baseman bobbled the ball, drifted into foul territory and made an incredible throw to nab the runner.

“When you can shake hands with the beer man in the front row after you get through with a play, you know it’s pretty challenging,” said Showalter. “Or the Oriole fan that was there.”

Showalter and Jones both took time to laud Markakis for his grind-it-out approach at the plate. Markakis, who narrowly missed election to the All-Star Game, admitted after the game that he thought his foul ball might stay fair, but he said that he couldn’t afford to dwell on the near miss.

“Those are situations you’re going to deal with. The game’s not over,” he said. “Down 0-2, I’m just looking to make contact there. I wasn’t trying to do too much. Like I’ve said, I just thought he was trying to get it out there a little further, and it caught more plate. … That’s the good thing about this team: You get on base, and you’ve got those guys hitting behind you. Good things happen.”

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“He’s one of the guys that I’ve seen bring it for six years, every single day,” added Jones. “He’s one of the guys that I’d give up my spot for. He’s one of the guys that I’ve seen year-in, year-out earn it. I’m not saying other people haven’t, but he’s one guy that earns it. He brings it every day. He can flat-out hit. He can flat-out play the game, plays a great right field. He was the catalyst of it today.”

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The victory also meant a chance for Johnson to make good. The right-hander leads the league in saves (30) and games finished (38), but he’s also blown six saves this season. Two of Johnson’s blown saves have come against New York, lending more impact to Sunday’s save.

Eleven of the 12 games played in this season series have been decided by three runs or fewer, and Baltimore and New York have played five one-run games in 2013.

Showalter said he was thrilled to see his team’s resilience on Sunday, and he was especially happy for his closer.

“You don’t wallow around in, ‘What happened yesterday means it’s going to happen tonight,'” he said. “I’m so proud of Jimmy. I told you many times, there’s nobody here who wants the Orioles to win more than him and I’d ask him to do anything and he’d do it. It means a lot to a lot of these guys. We’ve got some guys who have been with the Orioles a long time, and it means something to them to win.”

Moore Custom Angels Jersey picks up 12th win as Rays down White Sox

On a night the Rays turned back the clock by wearing 1970s-era uniforms, starting pitcher Matt Moore went back in time as well.

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Not as far as the Rays’ in-game entertainment staff did when they trotted out a parody of “The Gong Show.” Moore only had to go back to mid-May.

Moore returned to early-season form Saturday, scattering five hits over 6 1/3 innings to help the Rays shut out the White Sox, 3-0. The Rays have now won seven of their last eight games and 10 of their last 13.

Moore’s 12 wins give him the second most in the American League, but he didn’t hear his name called when All-Star rosters were announced shortly before first pitch.

Had Moore not lost three straight starts at the beginning of June, things might be different.

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“We’re all subject to peoples’ opinions and by no means do I feel right taking away from anyone who did make the team,” Moore said. “I didn’t have a goal to make the All-Star team at the beginning of the season. If I hadn’t had that rough streak, I’m sure I could have had a chance.”

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While Moore would not make his own case for having an All-Star-worthy first half, others in the clubhouse took the baton.

Moore could make his way to the roster if the Midsummer Classic interferes with selected starting pitchers’ schedules.

“To me, he’s an All-Star-caliber pitcher, and we wouldn’t be eight games above .500 without him, that’s for sure,” outfielder Sam Fuld said.

Opposite Moore on Saturday was Chicago’s Chris Sale, who was named to the American League All-Star roster. Sale allowed just two earned runs (three total) over seven innings, but he still recorded his sixth straight loss.

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“You can’t expect him to blank everybody,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said.

The Rays nicked Sale in the bottom of the second inning when Yunel Escobar led off with a single. An error by White Sox third baseman Conor Gillaspie brought up designated hitter Luke Scott, who laced an RBI double to right field.

Left-handed hitters were hitting just .107 off Sale entering Saturday, and Scott’s double was the first extra-base hit Sale surrendered to a lefty this season.

“You want to make sure you take advantage of every situation where you can drive in a run because it’s going to be slim pickings for the night, and it was,” Scott said.

The White Sox looked prepared to counter in the top of the third when Moore threw eight straight balls, hitting Alejandro De Aza and walking Alexei Ramirez in the process.

A wild pitch put both runners in scoring position, but Moore was bailed out by his two-time Gold Glove third baseman Evan Longoria when he snared Alex Rios’ line drive and dove to third base to double off De Aza

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“How strange is this game?” Rays manager Joe Maddon wondered. “You can make the argument that had we not thrown the wild pitch, there would not have been a double play had the same ball been hit. It’s just awkward how this thing works out. I don’t know. The world changed the moment the wild pitch was thrown. That’s probably a good sign from somewhere.”

The Rays posted another run in the sixth inning when Wil Myers led off the inning with a single, Scott was hit by a pitch and Fuld lined a single up the middle to score Myers.

Ironically, Scott and Fuld, the only left-handed bats in the lineup, had two of the three RBIs against Sale.

“If you look at his numbers, it doesn’t inspire confidence,” Fuld Custom Angels Jersey said. “Unfortunately, I did look at those numbers before the game. I’ve faced him before. In some ways, you just simplify your approach and shorten up with a guy who has outstanding stuff like that.

With the win, the Rays guaranteed their fourth straight series win, helped in large part by their starting pitchers falling into a rhythm.

“We’re going to need that from them,” Fuld said. “It seems to be coming together and it’s fun to watch.”

Moore is just one component, although a vital one, in a starting rotation that recently received a boost with the return of David Price. Jeremy Hellickson has also settled down and has won his last four starts.

Los Angeles Angels Black Jersey D-backs honor fallen firefighters before game

As sports venues often are following tragedies, Chase Field transformed into a ballpark-size homage on Friday to the 19 firefighters who lost their lives Sunday while battling a wildfire near the Northern Arizona town of Yarnell.

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With remembrances to the victims spread out across the stadium including a black No. 19 painted behind home plate, fans turned out in droves to sell out Chase Field for the first time since Opening Day.

In a special pregame ceremony, the D-backs and Rockies observed a 19-second moment of silence followed by a photo montage in memory of the lost firefighters and a performance of “Amazing Grace” by the Arizona Fire Service Bagpipe and Drum Band, which included more than 45 firefighters from communities all over the state.

“We do it as a tribute to the families and the people that gave their lives,” D-backs Angels Black Jersey manager Kirk Gibson said. “You’re always trying to figure out what can you do, so I know the organization is doing all it can. You can’t replace the people that you lose, but we want to remember their spirit.”

Yarnell is located about 85 miles northwest of Phoenix, and the firefighters that were killed were members of an elite fire suppression unit known as the Granite Mountain Hotshots, which is based in nearby Prescott.

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The deaths marked the largest loss of life among firefighting personnel since 340 perished in the World Trade Center during the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. It was the largest in a wildfire since 1933, when 29 firefighters lost their lives in Los Angeles.

The D-backs wore their black jerseys Friday, but whereas they used to say “D-backs” across the front, they instead read “Arizona” and had a patch over the heart bearing the No. 19.

The two clubs also donned Prescott Fire Department hats during batting practice to show support. The D-backs are petitioning MLB to allow the club to wear the hats during games this weekend, like the Yankees and Mets did following 9/11.

“It’s to honor those guys and their families,” Willie Bloomquist said. “We’re all in this together and we all feel a part of it. We sympathize with them and we’re going to do the best to honor them.”

Said Brad Ziegler, “We want them to know we’re thinking of them. It’s unfortunate we have to do this, but at least this is a way we can show our support because those that were taken were heroes.”

In addition to the symbolic tributes, the D-backs also have launched a number of fundraising efforts for the families of the victims. The organization has already matched $100,000 in donations from fans at dbacks.com/19 and pledged on Friday to match an additional $100,000 in contributions.

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Beginning Friday through July 14, the club is also auctioning off game-worn and autographed black Arizona tribute jerseys from this weekend and signed nameplates from the D-backs Clubhouse online at dbacks.com/auctions. There will be a 50/50 raffle each game this weekend at Chase Field that will support the families as well.

“Nothing can give back to those families what they’ve lost, but whatever we can do to help, we’re going to try to do,” Cliff Pennington said. “This organization is first class when it comes that and it makes me really proud to put on this uniform.”

After spending the better part of eight months recovering from a fractured left ankle suffered in the American League Championship Series last season, Derek Jeter is finally nearing a return to action.

The Yankees’ captain will begin a rehab assignment with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Saturday, and he’s scheduled to play five innings at shortstop in the RailRiders’ 7:05 p.m. ET game against Lehigh Valley. He will have 20 days to complete his rehab assignment.

“It’s really good news. It obviously means his ankle feels a lot better,” manager Joe Girardi said. “He’s been dying to get out there since Spring Training, and he’s had some setbacks, but this is a really good sign.”

Girardi said he will be looking to see how Jeter handles playing on consecutive days, and he wouldn’t speculate on when the shortstop could return to the Yankees. Jeter has to be “comfortable playing,” Girardi said, and he won’t know until he sees him play in a few games.

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“I think we’ll have our people watching him, because he’d be here tomorrow if it was up to him,” Girardi said, laughing. “He’d tell us he feels great at the plate.”

Jeter initially suffered the injury in Game 1 of the ALCS on Oct. 13. He played in five Spring Training games after undergoing offseason surgery, but he was sidelined again after feeling discomfort in the ankle. Doctors found a second break in his ankle on April 18, and he hasn’t played a game since then.

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The shortstop has been working out at the Yankees’ Minor League complex in Tampa, Fla., taking simulated at-bats and doing fielding drills. He ran the bases for the first time on Monday, and he told The Associated Press on Thursday that he was “anxious to be playing in games.”

“It’s a long process. I’ve been doing this pretty much since November, December,” Jeter Los Angeles Angels Black Jersey said on June 22. “I’m over it now. It’s just too long. The process has been too long.”

Jeter could return to the Yankees around the same time third baseman Alex Rodriguez does. Rodriguez played two rehab games for Class A Charleston this week, and he was scheduled to play in a rehab game for Class A Tampa on Friday before it was rained out.

There’s still no timetable for the return of either player, though.

“Those guys will be ready when they’re ready. That’s it,” general manager Brian Cashman said. “We’re not going to drop them into the deep end of the pool until they’re physically ready to do it.”

“You got to make sure they’re here before you actually pencil them in, but I know they’re both anxious to get back,” Girardi said.

Adrian Peterson Elite Jersey Davis homers, drives in three to beat White Sox

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Scott Feldman played with Chris Davis for parts of several seasons in Texas, but suffice it to say the right-hander had never played with this version of Davis before.

The Orioles first baseman continued his incredible breakout season on Wednesday night, extending his Major League lead to an eye-popping 32 homers and driving in three more runs to raise his RBI total to 83 through the club’s first 85 games.

Davis’ efforts, which included a tie-breaking, two-run double in the eighth, led to a 4-2 victory over the White Sox in Feldman’s debut with the Orioles.

“He’s doing something special right now,” Feldman said of Davis, who has four homers in his last four games and leads the Majors with 223 total bases. “I’ve always been cheering for him ever since he got traded [to Baltimore]. It’s nice to see him succeeding like this. It’s awesome.”

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Davis’ continued dominance highlighted the win in front of 26,001 at U.S. Cellular Field, and keeps the second-place Orioles (48-37) within 3 1/2 games of the Red Sox in the American League East. But the 27-year-old was hardly the only familiar face in Feldman’s debut, which featured a slew of old Rangers comrades who are now his new teammates.

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“Probably myself and Scott, and myself and Tommy [Hunter] have pitched in a lot of box scores together,” said reliever Darren O’Day, who followed up close friend Feldman’s outing with a scoreless seventh. “We won a lot of games over there. Hopefully that [win tonight] will be the first of many wins here with Scott joining us.”

Acquired in a trade from the Cubs on Tuesday, the 30-year-old Feldman — making his first start in exactly a week — held the White Sox to two runs over six innings in a solid first performance. The 13th different pitcher to start a game for the Orioles this season, Feldman allowed six hits and struck out six, not issuing a walk in the 98-pitch debut, before handing the ball off O’Day.

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“That’s Scott,” said Orioles manager Buck Showalter, who had Feldman in Texas. “You saw a guy with six days’ rest, whose command was off a little early, but you could see in his eyes that he got a little confident as the game went on. He’s got a lot of things — catcher catching a guy for the first time, he’s got a pair of pants he’s never had on. It didn’t look like they fit too well. Had a brand new pair of shoes that probably hurt his feet a little bit. I thought he handled all the adjustments in his life well, but Scotty’s been down this road before.”

Feldman, who admitted he was so excited he fell asleep around 4 a.m. Wednesday morning, was helped by some solid defense and exited the game in a 2-2 tie before Davis struck again.

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After Nick Markakis led off the eighth wit a single off former Orioles reliever Matt Lindstrom, Adam Jones singled one out later to bring on lefty Matt Thornton to face Davis. Davis wasted no time, sending the first pitch he saw into the right-field corner for a double to score the pair and give the Orioles a 4-2 lead.

“Credit [the Orioles],” said White Sox second baseman Gordon Beckham, who hit a solo homer off Feldman in the fifth. “They’ve got a guy that’s hitting .330 and driving in a million runs and hitting a million home runs. He’s really good. It’s tough to say anything about our side when he’s doing what he’s doing.”

Coupled with his fourth-inning blast, the O’s slugger — who is one shy of tying his career-high for homers in a full season — is within one double of tying Frank Thomas (1994) for the most homers and doubles before the All-Star break.

Davis took the same approach off White Sox starter Hector Santiago as he did Thornton, ambushing a first-pitch fastball to send it just over the left-field fence. The last American League player with as many first-half homers as Davis was Ken Griffey Jr. in 1998.

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“You watch his first at-bat, [Santiago] threw a couple fastballs by him. The second one, he didn’t. Davis was ready for it,” O’Day said. “He’s always had the physical gifts and now he’s mentally locked in. Nothing he can’t do right now.”

“He knows the short distance between success and failure,” Showalter added. “He does dwell on it for a night and then gets back in his routine and gets ready to contribute to his team again.

“He knows they’re going to pitch him tough and he’s got such good range with the bat. If you go back through his home runs and doubles, a lot of them are balls, so it’s a fine line between being aggressive and being selective.”

Davis’ Adrian Peterson Elite Jersey eighth-inning RBIs held up as the decisive score, with Hunter following O’Day with a 1-2-3 eighth and closer Jim Johnson, fresh off his 100th career save Sunday night, picking up his 29th save this season with a scoreless ninth .

“It was funny, it went from me to O’Day to Tommy. And then Chris had, how many RBIs, three?,” Feldman said. “It’s kind of what these guys have been doing all year. Getting good pitching out of everybody and Chris has obviously been doing his thing all year long, too.”

Price Adrian Peterson Elite Jersey shows little rust in return from injury

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David Price returned to the mound in Cy Young form Tuesday, and Desmond Jennings had three hits, including a homer, drove in four runs and scored another as the Rays won for the seventh consecutive time at Minute Maid Park.

Price (2-4) was clocked at 96 mph on his fastball after missing 44 games with a left triceps strain, and he limited the Astros to three hits over seven innings in an 8-0 win. He threw 70 pitches in his return, 48 of those for strikes, and did not allow an Astros hitter past first base.

It was the fourth straight victory for the Rays and seventh in their last nine games, during which time the pitching staff allowed 16 total runs.

“That’s probably the best I’ve felt on a baseball field maybe in my entire life,” Price said. “I felt like that’s the most control I’ve had of a baseball game in a very long time. I think that was better than I threw the ball really at any point last year.”

Price faced just one batter over the minimum in his seven innings on the mound.

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“We were mixing it up well,” he said. “That’s what [catcher Jose Molina] does. He is who he is because he has the time, and he pays attention. He makes it a lot easier for me. I didn’t have to shake much. We were on the same page, and we had some good results.”

A double play and a pick-off erased two of the three batters that reached base off Price.

“It was awesome; it was what I needed,” Price Adrian Peterson Camo Jersey said. “I can’t speak enough about the defense tonight and the early runs, it makes it a lot easier to just go out there and do your job.”

Astros third baseman Matt Dominguez appeared as awed by Price’s performance as anyone.

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“He was throwing hard and throwing in and out and hitting his spots; that’s a damn good pitcher,” Dominguez said.

Houston manager Bo Porter echoed the sentiment: “That’s why he’s a Cy Young winner, and he pitched like it tonight.”

Price said he was not surprised by the performance. “Absolutely not,” he said. “I hold myself in the highest regard, and I want to throw a perfect game every time I go out there. I feel like that’s just myself doing a job.”

However, he did say there were butterflies early and that his legs “didn’t stop shaking until I got back to the dugout after that first” inning.

After a 1-4 start to the season, Price said he felt like going on the disabled list was actually a blessing in disguise.

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“It let me regroup with everything mentally,” he said. “I put more pressure on myself than anyone could.”

Rays manager Joe Maddon was perhaps the happiest in the clubhouse to see Price perform at the highest level.

“I loved the focus; he wasn’t over-amped,” Maddon said. “He was under control emotionally. He went out and did what he wanted to do. He executed. He was on top of his game. It was really fun to watch.”

Maddon said he could have gone longer with Price but did not want to push it.

“He was highly efficient,” Maddon said. “We felt like after the seven innings that would be enough, just physically, on him. He could have pitched longer. But based on everything that led up to this particular moment, we decided to do that.

“He had great stuff, command of everything, under control emotionally, spectacular. The anchor is back.”

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After producing 12 runs in Monday’s series opener, the Rays wasted little time getting back to it Tuesday. Jennings stroked a line single up the middle on the first pitch of the game from Astros starter Erik Bedard (3-4).

Sean Rodriguez followed with a walk, and both runners moved up when Ben Zobrist lofted a long fly ball to center field. In his first at-bat since Friday, Evan Longoria walked to load the bases before Wil Myers lifted a sacrifice fly to score Jennings, and the Rays had a 1-0 lead.

Ten of the Rays’ 12 runs Monday were scored with two outs, and in the fourth inning Tuesday they piled on to that. James Loney extended his hitting streak to 13 games with a one-out single, and Jose Molina followed with a walk.

Both runners advanced when Kelly Johnson grounded out to the right side and Jennings bounced a two-run single past the glove of Astros second baseman Jose Altuve. Loney scored, and Molina rumbled home behind him as the throw from Houston right fielder Jimmy Paredes was well up the third-base line, and the Rays led by 3-0.

Jennings did not wait for two outs to launch his 10th homer of the year, a two-run no-doubter to right field in the sixth inning. Molina, who opened the inning with a double, scored in front of Jennings to put the Rays up, 5-0.

Getting Jennings to be more selective at the plate is what Maddon said made the difference.

“He’s been working on that very diligently,” Maddon Adrian Peterson Elite Jersey said, adding “he is swinging at strikes, taking balls, better at-bats because of that.”

Jennings said he was happy to help the offense and take some pressure off of Price.

“It felt good; I came up with some good situations,” Jennings said. “I’ve been seeing the ball well. Hopefully we can keep it going. We’ve all been hitting the ball pretty well.”

Jennings also collected his 10th stolen base of the year, becoming just the fifth American League player this season to reach the 10-homer, 10-steal plateau.

Pujols Cheap Adrian Peterson Jersey fond of St. Louis, but has turned the page

Albert Pujols will share some laughs with old friends, Angel Stadium will fill and baseball fans all over the country will be intrigued by a generation’s greatest player facing the franchise he almost singlehandedly elevated.

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But there’s an unavoidable storyline here, which makes this marquee reunion a little, well, awkward: Since Pujols left St. Louis, he and his new team have struggled while his old team has thrived.

Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto believes that narrative lacks perspective, particularly the part about Pujols not yet living up to the expectations of his contract.

“Frankly, you might be hard-pressed to find 10 players in history that can match up with the numbers Albert posted in St. Louis,” said Dipoto, who 18 1/2 months ago signed Pujols to the 10-year, $240 million contract that still draws heavy scrutiny. “Nobody was holding him to an OPS number or a walk rate [with the Angels]. You’re signing a player for the next 10 years of his career. Inasmuch as many would like to be critical of what Albert has done with the Angels — and I’ve heard all the hubbub — he’s been a heck of a player.”

When the Cardinals arrive in Anaheim for a three-game series on Tuesday, they’ll notice the same old Albert. The stance is still violent, the handshake is still firm and the glare is still frightening.

But Pujols’ numbers — a .250 batting average and a .752 OPS that’s tied for 86th in the Majors — are unrecognizable, mainly because the plantar fasciitis on his left foot and the occasional swelling of his right knee have limited his mobility and sapped his power.

Dipoto sees it differently.

“Most players would have expensed significant disabled-list time, and he just keeps going out there and plowing through,” the second-year GM said of Pujols, who has instead started 49 of his 80 games at designated hitter.

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“He finds a way, regardless of what’s ailing him at that moment in time.”

Pujols doesn’t like to talk about his ailments, leaving him exposed to the criticism that comes with analyzing his numbers in a vacuum. Broach St. Louis, and the 33-year-old puts his guard up.

“Let’s talk about our team,” Pujols said Sunday. “Two years passed already, so we don’t need to talk about that. … Write about how we’re playing and the series coming up, not about how I feel about St. Louis. That’s not what it’s all about.”

Oh, but for the next few days, it will be. Because for the first time — scrimmages excluded — Pujols will face off against the franchise he’ll be forever linked to, after winning three National League MVP awards, mashing 445 home runs and compiling a .328/.420/.617 slash line.

Pujols wants to move on, but it’s hard to remove yourself from that kind of success.

“I still follow them real close,” Pujols said of the Cardinals. “I’m pretty good friends with almost half the guys. Those are guys we had great success with. It was a hell of a run. Now, it’s time to turn the page and bring the success I had there over here.”

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Pujols  Adrian Peterson Jersey Sale is working on that. Last year, the Angels fell short of the playoffs despite winning 89 games. Through 82 games this year — fresh off signing Josh Hamilton to a five-year, $125 million deal — they’re four games below .500, nine out of first and 7 1/2 out of the second American League Wild Card spot despite winning six straight games.

The Cardinals, meanwhile, haven’t missed a beat since Pujols left. They have the fourth-best winning percentage in the National League since the start of 2012, were one win away from the World Series last fall and sit 17 games above .500 as the NL Wild Card leaders.

Pujols may deserve some credit for that.

“I think he made an impact on a lot of players,” said Cardinals skipper Mike Matheny, who took over for Tony La Russa a month before Pujols switched teams.

“It’s a compliment to Albert that he was part of setting that trend and keeping that tradition going. I think he influenced many guys that don’t even realize they were influenced by him.”

Perhaps none more than Yadier Molina, who this season has coupled an NL-leading .345 batting average with his trademark defense behind the plate.

“He’s family to me,” said Molina, who will spend Monday’s off-day at Pujols’ house, enjoying some of his wife’s cooking. “A lot of people don’t know Pujols. He has a great heart and he’s a great human being. He tries to help everyone. For me, I’m happy to have him in my life because he helped me a lot.”

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Pujols’ Cardinals career ended with a second World Series title, but the two sides didn’t necessarily part ways amicably. Pujols felt disrespected by the way negotiations played out over the ensuing offseason, and though he won’t talk about it publicly, some noticeable bitterness remains.

Still, his foundation’s headquarters reside in St. Louis. His house sits close by. And his appreciation for the Cardinals is ever-present.

“They pretty much raised me and took me to who I am today,” Pujols said. “I’m blessed and thankful for all the fans and the Cardinals organization, from the guy that handled the clubhouse to the guys that cleans our shoes to our trainers. All those guys; those are memories that you can take with you.

“They obviously for 11 years were great to me and I stay in touch with them, but it was time to move on.”

Asked what Pujols’ legacy will be with the baseball-crazed fans of St. Louis, Dipoto said: “He will always be beloved, he will always be respected for what he did on the field, and sometimes it just takes a little time to pass.”

Time, Dipoto Cheap Adrian Peterson Jersey said, “gives you great respect for what that player did — and that player did a lot.”

Time will also see Pujols’ salary increase, all the way up to $30 million during his age-41 season in 2021.

And it’s the Angels, not the Cardinals, picking up the tab.

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“You’re always looking at 2014, ’15, but I’m not going to sit here and try to dream of what a single player will look like at that given moment in time,” Dipoto said. “That’s really not very productive. What I know is who the person is, who the competitor is, and what his contributions are. And I believe he will always find a way. That’s what he does.”

Cuddyer Adrian Peterson Elite Jersey extends hitting streak to 27 in final at-bat

Rockies outfielder Michael Cuddyer bounced a single up the middle in the eighth inning on Sunday to extend his club-record hitting streak to 27 games, the longest in the Majors this season.

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The hit came with two outs in the eighth off Giants reliever Sandy Rosario, who entered at the start of the inning with the Giants leading, 5-1. Cuddyer would score on Wilin Rosario’s double, but the Rockies lost, 5-2.

The 46-game streak of reaching base is the longest in the Majors since the Orioles’ Kevin Millar reached in 52 straight from June 20-Aug. 25, 2007.

Cuddyer, who went 1-for-4 and has a .344 batting average, admitted having some intrusive streak-related thoughts during the last at-bat.

“It’s hard not to,” Cuddyer Adrian Peterson Camo Jersey said, laughing. “But at the same time, what kept me from being anxious was the fact we needed baserunners in that situation.”

Cuddyer took a slider for a ball and a fastball for a strike, and was able to tap a 2-1 slider that Rosario tipped with his bare hand before the ball rolled past shortstop Brandon Crawford and into center field.

Before Sunday, Cuddyer was 3-for-6 with a double against Giants starter Madison Bumgarner, but was fruitless in three tries against him Sunday.

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With runners at first and third and one out in the first, Bumgarner enticed Cuddyer to whiff on a 2-2 curveball low and out of the strike zone.

“Obviously, it [the streak] is in your head, but there’s a job at hand,” Cuddyer said. “I was upset with myself that first at-bat because the job was to get that guy in from third with less than two outs, and I didn’t. That was bigger than the streak to me, and I didn’t come through.”

Cuddyer grounded to short to open the fourth inning, and grounded to third in the sixth.

Cuddyer’s streak is the longest in the Majors since the Red Sox’s David Ortiz hit in 27 games, but across two seasons — July 2, 2012-May 7, 2013. The last longer same-season streak was fashioned by the Braves’ Dan Uggla, who recorded a hit in 33 straight games in 2011 from July 5-Aug. 13.

Cuddyer has hit safely in 53 of his 59 starts.

“It’s been fun watching him do this,” Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. “It’s nice to see him get some recognition. He’s a great player.”

After taking a short hiatus last season, the American League East appears ready to resume its traditional position as the alleged best division in baseball, and this time the sobriquet has actual merit: not only are all five teams in the East within seven games of first place, but all five teams in the division are at or over .500. What this means, of course, is that with their infighting, the East has more or less conceded one of the two Wild Card spots to the second place team in the AL West, unless some sort of game-changer opens things up even more.

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The big story in the East right now is the Toronto Blue Jays, who were at one point 12.5 games back of first place but stormed back to as close as 5 games behind first-place Boston. Then the schedule threw them back into the AL East meatgrinder, with back-to-back series against the Rays and Red Sox in which they went 2-4. But the team’s fortunes are still looking up. R.A. Dickey’s knuckleball has looked like the pitch the Jays traded for over his last few starts, and Josh Johnson’s fastball is back in the mid-90’s. Meanwhile, Esmil Rogers — whom the Jays got for Mike Aviles, whom they got in turn for now-Boston manager John Farrell — pitched six shutout innings in the Jays’ win Saturday over the Sox and has looked like a strong addition to the Toronto rotation so far in June. With Jose Reyes finally back from his ankle injury, if things come together for the pitching and stay together for the hitting, the Jays could find themselves near the top of the division before too long.

The Yankees, on the other hand, are headed the other way. They’ve been hovering around .500 over the past month, and quite frankly, that’s about where they deserve to be. Outside of Brett Gardner and Robinson Cano, the team doesn’t have credible, healthy major league starters at any position. (The jury’s still out on Zoilo Almonte, but it’s not very likely that he’s one, either.) A good but top-heavy staff and a fantastic bullpen can only carry a team so far if it can’t hit. New York has the money and the reactionary ownership to take a shot at fixing this, should they desire, but with so much salary already tied up on the disabled list, and this year’s anemic roster already the result of cost-cutting measures, it’s possible they try to ride out the storm and focus on the bats returning — Granderson, Jeter and perhaps Alex Rodriguez, pending hijinks.

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The Rays and Orioles are keeping their heads above water, each so far covering up their weaknesses with their current strengths. In Baltimore, Manny Machado continues to double, and Chris Davis continues to have only Miguel Cabrera as his competition in the early MVP race, with 31 home runs and 25 doubles in the first half. Their offensive output has covered up an Orioles rotation and pen that has been mediocre to ineffective all season long. Similarly, Tampa Bay’s pitching continues to be uncharacteristically bad, considering how much young talent the team has in its rotation, but Evan Longoria, Ben Zobrist and the recently called-up Wil Myers have hit the ball fantastically well for the Rays in June, helping them power through the poor pitching performances. Unfortunately for the Rays, Longoria has been fighting plantar fasciitis recently — injuries have been a recurring problem for him for a few years now — so the Rays’ top bat (hitting .275/.370/.604 in June) had to sit over the weekend to rest his feet and hopefully relieve some of the irritation. If Longoria misses any substantial amount of time, as he did in 2012, the Rays soon could be overtaken by the Blue Jays.

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That leaves the Red Sox atop the division, precarious as their grip is, relying on one of the oddest offensive outbursts in baseball. Between Mike Carp and Jose Iglesias, for instance, the team has about 300 PA of 1000 OPS ball from a fourth outfielder and a utility infielder, and they showed no sign of slowing down in June, as both they and David Ortiz continued to OPS over 1000. Dustin Pedroia is one of the best hitting second basemen in the league — no real surprise there — and right behind him, Daniel Nava is having an impressive season as a regular. He dropped off a bit in June (only a 749 OPS), but that’s all right, because Shane Victorino and Jonny Gomes each stepped up with an 830-ish OPS, and Jacoby Ellsbury did them even better with 890 on the month. Add that to John Lackey and Felix Doubront performing well recently, and the Sox pen being very solid despite some expected hand-wringing over not having a proven closer, and the Red Sox look to be in a very good spot moving forward.

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However, some dark clouds loom — Jon Lester hasn’t been right for seven or eight starts now, and Clay Buccholz, who was having a Cy Young season up until a couple weeks ago, was sidelined by a neck injury from which he hasn’t yet been able to come back effectively. The Sox have the pieces to add another starter and a Proven Closer, as well as perhaps to get help at third base where Will Middlebrooks has been a disappointment. But those moves aren’t to make them a contender; they’re to help separate them from the pack even more, as the (current) best team in the most competitive division in baseball. What a difference a year makes.