The Closer: Great. The Yankees.

Notes from a day in baseball:

1. Damn Yankees. Just when you thought they were done, New York goes and sweeps the Rangers to take the lead in the AL wild card race and come within 1½ games of the first-place Red Sox in the East. The Yankees beat the Rangers 8-7 on Wednesday as Jason Giambiiiiino! hit a two-run homer in the ninth. Alex Rodriguez (remember him?) also homered. We hate it when they call Giambi that, by the way.

2. Ozzie Guillen Death Watch? If you're waiting for the Twins to fall back to earth, it hasn't happened yet. Led by two-run home runs by both Michael Cuddyer and Justin Morneau, Minnesota beat the Sox of White 7-4, pulling into a tie for second with Chicago. This all places Guillen one homophobic remark from forced retirement, doesn't it? No? OK.

3. No Prior Commitment. We remarked with dismay yesterday on Dusty Baker removing Mark Prior after 5 2/3 innings of no-hit ball, as the Mets went on to edge the Cubs 1-0. We mention it again because Pedro Martinez announced that he is being activated from the DL and will start on Friday against the Braves. So, anyway ... Pedro.

4. They Got The Blues. The Dodgers may have lost eight straight, but you gotta admit they put on quite a show. Pitcher Brad Penny and outfielder Kenny Lofton got into it in the dugout during the third inning of LA's eventual 10-3 loss to San Diego, and the two had to be seperated by teammates. The Dodgers are 1-13 since the All-Star break, having been outscored 81-29.

5. A Clemens Glares Fom Dugout Steps .... Oh yeah, if figures: When Roger Clemens isn't pitching, the Astros go nuts on offense. Lance Berkman's two homers lead 8-5 win over Reds.