Yankees sweep, Red Sox get swept

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So much for momentum.

The Yankees finished off a sweep in Oakland with their 10th straight victory over the A’s on Wednesday, while the Red Sox lost their third in a row to the White Sox at home, giving the Bombers a two-game lead in the AL East.

The Red Sox, apparently worn out after a four-game series in Detroit that included a day-night doubleheader on Sunday, have lost four in a row to fall back to 30-26 on the season.  Before dropping the second game of Sunday’s doubleheader, they had won 13 of 15, a stretch that started when they swept the Yankees in New York on May 13-15.

Boston dropped Wednesday’s game 7-4 after Paul Konerko singled in the go-ahead run in the seventh and put the game away with a two-run homer in the ninth.  An apparent bad call by second-base umpire Marty Foster led to a two-run fifth inning for the White Sox, erasing what was a 3-1 lead for the Red Sox at the time.

On that play, Tim Wakefield picked Juan Pierre off first base, with Pierre continuing to second on the throw.  In the rundown, Dustin Pedroia appeared to perform a swipe-tag on Pierre for what would have been the third out of the inning.  Pedroia reacted as though there was a tag.  Pierre reacted as though there was a tag.  Foster, though, said no tag and refused to ask for help when the Red Sox argued.

The Yankees have won four in a row after dropping their first two games in Seattle last weekend.  Mariano Rivera finally got back into the save column with the 4-2 win on Wednesday.  He had gone three weeks without one since saving 13 of the team’s first 33 games.  He had just one opportunity during the span, blowing a 1-0 lead in a game against the Orioles on May 18.

Both the Yankees and Red Sox now have Thursday off.  The Yankees go to Anaheim to face the Angels on Friday, while the Red Sox will get their chance to take on the A’s in another series at Fenway.

Mike Trout has a torn thumb ligament, could require surgery

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Yesterday Mike Trout left the Marlins-Angels game after hurting his thumb while sliding head first into second base. After the game the Angels talked about it as if it were just a sprain. Trout had an MRI today, however, and the diagnosis is far worse: he has a torn thumb ligament.

While a treatment option has not yet been chosen, surgery is a possibility. A certainty is that he’ll miss, at the very least, several weeks of play. He has been placed on the disabled list for the first time in his career.

Trout, the reigning AL MVP and, without question, the best player in baseball, is batting .337/.461/.742 with 16 home runs, 36 RBI, 36 runs scored, and 10 stolen bases in 206 plate appearances this season. Even with the one of the weaker supporting casts in baseball, Trout had the Angels near .500 and in at least arguable contention in the AL West.

Without him, they are likely sunk. Without him, baseball is worse off.

Basebrawl! Harper, Strickland punch away, Nats-Giants fight

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SAN FRANCISCO — Nationals slugger Bryce Harper and San Francisco reliever Hunter Strickland both landed punches to the head during a wild brawl that erupted Monday after a hit by pitch.

Harper was hit in the right hip by Strickland’s 98 mph fastball in the eighth inning with Washington ahead 2-0.

Harper pointed the bat toward Strickland, charged the mound and fired his batting helmet wide of the pitcher. They started to swing away and they each connected as the benches and bullpens emptied.

At least two Giants players forcefully dragged Strickland from the middle of the brawl all the way into the dugout. Harper and Strickland were both ejected.

In the 2014 NL Division Series, Harper hit two home runs off Strickland. After the star’s second shot, in Game 4, he stared at Strickland as he rounded the bases.