AL EAST

USA TODAY Sports Weekly - - AL EAST - News and notes by Mau­reen Mullen BOB DECHIARA, USA TO­DAY SPORTS Con­tribut­ing: Wire re­ports

Bal­ti­more Ori­oles

The Ori­oles’ start­ing pitch­ers had a com­bined 5.63 ERA en­ter­ing the Sept. 9 game. So man­ager

Buck Showal­ter, look­ing at all pos­si­ble op­tions, had lit­tle to lose by giv­ing right-han­der Gabriel

Ynoa his first start for the team. Ynoa, mak­ing just his sixth ap­pear­ance for Bal­ti­more af­ter go­ing 6-9 with a 5.25 ERA in 21 starts for Class AAA Nor­folk (Va.) this sea­son, re­tired the first seven bat­ters he faced but gave up three runs in 42⁄ in­nings and took the 3 loss against the Cleve­land In­di­ans, who won their 17th straight game. But Showal­ter did not hold that against Ynoa.

“It was fine,” Showal­ter said. “It’s ob­vi­ously a good of­fen­sive team. I thought he pre­sented him­self well. … He’d had his strug­gles, ob­vi­ously, in Nor­folk. Had two or three good starts in a row there.

“We’re go­ing day to day right now. … We wanted to see how things went to­day, see how he feels and see where we are af­ter each game.” uTim Beck­ham hit .350 with 10 dou­bles, two triples, eight homers, 21 RBI and 30 runs scored in his first 37 games for Bal­ti­more. Be­fore the Ori­oles ac­quired him from the Rays at the trade dead­line, he hit .259 with five dou­bles, three triples, 12 homers, 36 RBI and 31 runs in 87 games for Tampa Bay. Bos­ton Red Sox

In seven starts from Aug. 1 to Sept. 3, Chris Sale was a pedes­trian 4-3 with a 4.57 ERA. But on Sept. 9 he faced the right team — the Rays — to get him back on track.

Sale pitched six shutout in­nings and im­proved to 16-7 with a 2.76 ERA as Bos­ton pum­meled the Rays 9-0.

“If you can save 20 ex­tra pitches, es­pe­cially at the very end of the game, we’re kind of look­ing ahead, too,” Sale said.

Sale has 57 strike­outs against the Rays this sea­son, the most by any pitcher against Tampa in one sea­son. It is the high­est strike­out to­tal by any pitcher against any op­po­nent since Randy John­son had 68 strike­outs against San Diego while with Ari­zona in 2001.

Sale has 134 strike­outs in 90 ca­reer in­nings against the Rays for a 13.40 strike­outs-per-ninein­nings ra­tio, the high­est by any pitcher against any op­po­nent since 1920 (min­i­mum 75 in­nings).

uJerry Remy, the team’s 30year broad­caster and for­mer sec­ond base­man who is un­der­go­ing treat­ment for his fifth bout with lung cancer, re­turned to the broad­cast booth on Sept. 8. Remy un­der­went surgery in July and ini­tially thought he wouldn’t re­turn un­til 2018. uDavid Price (el­bow) threw two in­nings in a sim­u­lated game Sept. 9 and was sched­uled to pitch three sim­u­lated in­nings Sept. 13.

New York Yan­kees

Aroldis Chap­man, re­moved from the closer role last month af­ter four con­sec­u­tive bad out­ings, got his first save since Aug. 15 when he pitched a 1-2-3 in­ning against the Texas Rangers on Sept. 9.

Com­mand had been an is­sue for Chap­man while he strug­gled. But 11 of his 13 pitches against the Rangers were strikes, and he

fanned two of the three bat­ters he faced.

“I feel good about him out there,” man­ager Joe Gi­rardi said. “I’ve told you, this is a guy who’s been too good for too long to lose it. So it was good to get him back out there, and he threw well.”

Chap­man ended the game by strik­ing out Mike Napoli on a 102 mph fast­ball.

“I felt nor­mal,” Chap­man said. “Noth­ing out of the or­di­nary for me.”

uGene Michael, the for­mer short­stop who be­came gen­eral man­ager of the Yan­kees and was the ar­chi­tect of the 1990s dy­nasty, died on Sept. 7. He was 79.

uCen­ter fielder Ja­coby Ells­bury set an un­usual record Sept. 11 when he reached first on catcher’s in­ter­fer­ence for the 30th time in his ca­reer. He had been tied with Pete Rose at 29 and set the sin­gle-sea­son record (12) last year. One im­por­tant dif­fer­ence: Rose had 15,829 plate ap­pear­ances, and Ells­bury needed only 5,308 to achieve a cu­ri­ous bit of im­mor­tal­ity.

Tampa Bay Rays

Hop­ing to gain some ground in the wild-card race as Hur­ri­cane Irma bore down on Florida, the Rays in­stead gave up nine or more runs in three straight games for only the sec­ond time since 2008 and lost all three. Blake Snell against Min­nesota

and Chris Archer and Matt An­driese at Bos­ton went a com­bined 82⁄ in­nings, each giv­ing up 3 six earned runs for an 18.69 ERA. At the same time, the Rays’ typ­i­cally solid de­fense strug­gled with four er­rors over the three games, all of which led to runs.

“They found a way to hit balls hard and hit balls soft and find hits, but if I ex­e­cute at a higher level, I’m at least able to limit the dam­age,” Archer said. “It doesn’t mat­ter what their ap­proach is. If I ex­e­cute my pitches bet­ter, I give my team a chance to win, and I didn’t do that.”

uThe Rays’ club-record streak of home­r­ing in 18 straight games was snapped Sept. 9. It was their long­est streak within one sea­son and sec­ond long­est over­all. The long­est streak in the ma­jors this sea­son is Hous­ton’s 19.

Toronto Blue Jays

Richard Urena opened some eyes in his first week in the big leagues.

The 21-year-old short­stop hit .300 in his first six games. He hit his first homer in the Blue Jays’ loss to Detroit on Sept. 8 while mak­ing sev­eral im­pres­sive plays in the field.

“You never like los­ing, and that still eats at you, but when you do see a game like he had, that does bring a smile to your face,” man­ager John Gib­bons said. “He’s an up-and-com­ing kid who we’ve al­ways liked in the or­ga­ni­za­tion.”

Even though the team likes him, Urena was an un­ex­pected ad­di­tion when ros­ters ex­panded at the be­gin­ning of the month.

“Prob­a­bly got here a lit­tle ahead of his time, but he has done a tremen­dous job,” Gib­bons said. “That’ll do won­ders for him and his con­fi­dence.”

uJays re­liev­ers had pitched 529 in­nings this sea­son through Sept. 10, sec­ond only to Cincin­nati’s 541. Their 564 strike­outs al­ready were a club record and were sec­ond in the ma­jors only to Hous­ton’s 587.

uToronto en­tered the week 13-22 against left-handed starters this sea­son af­ter go­ing 23-20 last sea­son and 20-15 in 2015.

“Sign steal­ing has been go­ing on in base­ball for a long time. … I’ve been in the game for 40 years. I’ve known of it for 40 years. … Do I think sign steal­ing is wrong? No, I don’t. I guess it de­pends how you do it.”

Red Sox pres­i­dent of base­ball op­er­a­tions

Dave Dom­browski, af­ter his team ac­knowl­edged us­ing elec­tronic equip­ment to steal signs against the Yan­kees

Chris Sale has 134 strike­outs in 90 ca­reer in­nings vs. the Rays for a 13.40 strike­outs-per-ninein­nings ra­tio, the high­est by any pitcher against any op­po­nent since 1920 (min­i­mum 75 in­nings).

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