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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.