For a couple weeks now, we've lamented the Red Sox struggles as they fought through interleague play, for the most part without the services of David Ortiz. Meanwhile, the Yankees were able to win big and win often without Derek Jeter in the lineup as he nursed a calf injury.
Both Jeter and Ortiz came back in big ways this week, with Ortiz belting big home runs against Baltimore and throwing (without connecting) fists at Kevin Gregg, and Jeter going 5-for-5 in the game in which his 3,000th career hit was a no-doubt home run and his fifth was the game-winning single.
Jeter's return, however, either preceded or caused the Yankees to struggle while the Sox saw the schedule turn in their favor, allowing them to pick on Toronto and Baltimore before heading into the All-Star Break.
Of course, no AL East team suffered as brutal a loss as Toronto's 5-4 loss to Cleveland in which they led 4-0 in the ninth before Travis Hafner poked a walk-off grand slam to win it for the Tribe.
With one game left on Sunday afternoon before the Mid-Summer's Classic, the AL East standings look like this:
Boston Red Sox (54-35)
New York Yankees (52-35)
Tampa Bay Rays (49-40, 5 games back)
Toronto Blue Jays (44-47, 12 games back)
Baltimore Orioles (36-51, 16 games back)
For complete Major League Standings, check out MLB.com
For more on the Red Sox, be sure to check out our team page and visit our team blog, Over the Monster.