AL – With all the talk of the Rays stumbling going into the All-Star break, it's the Red Sox who falter out of the gate in the second half, getting swept by the Angels, a team that has beaten them in five out of six meetings this year. K-Rod may have this single-season saves record wrapped up by August at this rate after picking up his 40th yesterday in the 5-3 win. The Angels put the rally monkey to work, getting three in the 8th to them up to stay… Meanwhile, the concomitant Rays and Red Sox slumps coupled with the Yankees surge you knew was going to happen have put the Bombers within striking distance of the Wild Card after capping a sweep of the A's to go eight games above .500 for the first time this year…Cliff Lee becomes the AL's first 13-game winner, spreading out 11 hits in a complete game victory over the Mariners, who also lost starter David Silva in a development sure to affect their late-season pennant hopes. They had really put themselves in a position for a historic run. Why else would you be 20 games under .500 at the break, right?… The Rangers bounce back from allowing 14 runs to the Twins on Saturday to win – wait, what? -a pitcher's duel on Sunday. Taylor Teagarden, who might be one of Polly Pocket's friends, broke up Scott Baker's perfect game in the 6th, providing the only run support Vicente Padilla would need in blanking Minny 1-0.
NL – The plot thickens in each of the NL division races. Two of the three are tied (even the NL West where you needn't have a better record than the Tigers to contend) and the lead in the other, better one, is separated by two games. The Mets caught the Phillies in the NL East race yesterday by winning their 11th of the last 13, 7-5 in extra innings over the Reds, as the two teams face off for a three-game set in Shea. Naturally, as soon as their bullpen comes together, Billy Wagner falls apart…The Marlins aren't to be forgotten either, winning two of three against Philly over the weekend, including their league-leading ninth walk-off win yesterday, to pull a half-game out of the top spot… The Dodgers get five runs in the 9th off the Dbacks' Brandon Lyon to beat Arizona 6-5 and tie the NL West race at a gaudy 48-50. The conquering team's race to 78 wins should be thrilling…Ryan Dempster got his first road win in two years by shutting out the Astros yesterday. Glad that's settled. The Cubs probably don't need to end any other draughts this year…Aaron Miles might only have three homers on the season, but two have come in the last week! Power surge! The diminuitive one hit a wall-off gland slam to put the Cards over the Padres 9-5.
British Open – Another Greg Norman choke job (sorry Gene) leaves the door open for injured Padraig Harrington, who probably won't receive the Tiger Woods heroic treatment for winning hurt. Of course, that treatment involves European models he can't afford. Elsewhere, Michelle Wie is disqualified from the LPGA State Farm Classic for failing to sign her scorecard after the second round. Can you blame her? Those three letters in her last name have to wear the ol' signing hand out.
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