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MLB Standings: Yankees Continued Strong Play Keeps Red Sox At Bay

The New York Yankees have played 17 games without their captain. Judging by their record over that span, you'd hardly know it. 

The Yankees are 14-3 since Derek Jeter went on the disabled list with a calf strain. He's set to return Monday night at Cleveland and continue his pursuit of 3,000 hits (he's only six hits shy), but there's reason for the rest of the team to be more than a little concerned about his return, if only because the team has played so well without him in the lineup and with Brett Gardner batting leadoff. 

The rest of the American League East is surely looking forward to Jeter's return, however, as the Yankees have put some distance between themselves and the division without Number 2 around.

Heading into this afternoon's play, the AL East looked like this:

New York Yankees (50-31)

Boston Red Sox (48-34, three games back)

Tampa Bay Rays (46-37, six games back)

Toronto Blue Jays (40-44, 13 games back)

Baltimore Orioles (35-45, 14 games back)

Boston hosts Toronto for three games and Baltimore for four before the all-star break. The Rays have three games at Minnesota and New York plays three at Cleveland before the two teams meet for four games in the Bronx to close out their first halves.