Removing the Devil from their name proved to be a winning exorcism for the Tampa Bay Rays, who solved the unsolvable Mariano Rivera to ascend to first place in the AL East. Gabe Gross singled with no outs in the 11th to drive in the first run Rivera has allowed this season in a 2-1 victory over the Yankees. That's drama, folks! At 23-16, Tampa Bay is seven games over .500 for the first time ever, has won 15 of its past 20, six straight and a team-record 11 straight at home. What else could possibly go right?
With Boston's 5-4 loss to Baltimore on Tuesday, the Rays moved a half-game ahead of the Red Sox to record another historic first: both Florida teams are in first place at the same time in May. The Marlins (also 23-16) lost to the Reds, 5-3, but are still 1 1/2 games ahead of the Phillies in the NL East. J.P. Howell III (3-0) went two scoreless innings for the win. Rays bloggers are whistling Zip-A-Dee Doo-Dah out of their asses, as Clark Griswold would say.
• Wedge Politics. Cleveland got seven hits one night after manager Eric Wedge ripped his hitters for poor preparation at the plate. The Indians are now a half-game out of first in the AL Central after Paul Byrd and two relievers combined for a 4-0 win over the Athletics; Cleveland's fourth shutout in seven games. Ryan Garko did the honors on offense with a three-run homer.
• Fire Millen? Time to check in on the Tigers, who at 16-23 are last in the AL Central. Tuesday's 3-2 loss to the Royals gives Detroit a 2-8 record over its past 10 games. Kansas City's Jose Guillen, who was hitting .165 on May 5. has gone 10-for-18 since then, with five doubles, to raise his average to .216. He had a two-run double on Tuesday.
• Big Unit Playing Out The String. Randy Johnson didn't look so hot and lasted only five innings, but it was enough to get his 287th career victory, 8-4 over the Rockies. Stephen Drew's three-run homer was the big blow. Johnson (3-1), who gave up four runs on nine hits, left the clubhouse without talking to reporters. What an all-around pleasant fellow.
• Down In Old Napoli, That's Amore ... Jered Weaver, he of the 7.02 ERA, suspended his general suckiness of late to throw a one-hitter over seven innings in the Angels' 2-0 win over the White Sox. Mike Napoli's sacrifice fly in the eighth was all the offense needed.
• Wizard Cat Defensive Player Of The Day. Grady Sizemore, Cleveland Indians. One of two tremendous plays by the Clevelanders on Tuesday (second baseman Asdrubal Cabrera had the other), center fielder Sizemore — who owns two cats — makes this diving catch with no outs in the sixth off the bat of Oakland's Kurt Suzuki. Wizard Cat gives this catch: Four wands.
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