The Yankees’ 4-0 today against the Mets returns them to first place in the AL East for just the third day this season. The Rays lost 4-1 in Florida to Marlins ace Josh Johnson.
This is the first time the Yankees have held sole possession of first place in the division since the end of play on April 21.
“We like being in first place. We really do. There’s something about this division and having a chance to be at the top of this division,” said Mark Teixeira, who provided all the scoring with his third-inning grand slam off Johan Santana. “We’re not halfway there. But at the same time, we’ve put in a lot of work. We’ve had a lot of injuries and we’ve fought through. The work we’ve put in has paid off so far. But we have a long way to go because everyone knows how tough our division is.”
No doubt about that. The Rays (42-27) trail the Yankees (43-26) by a full game. The Red Sox (42-28) can remain in a tie for second if they defeat the Dodgers tonight on Sunday Night Baseball, so the race is awfully tight.
Here’s a complete look at the standings. If Boston wins tonight, the three teams will lay claim to the three-best records in baseball. The Braves are the next-best at 42-28 and, at +67, have the third-best run differential behind the Yankees (+101) and Rays (+92).