Settling the Score: Friday’s results

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The Yankees topped the Red Sox 3-2 last night, giving them their eighth straight victory and sole possession of first place in the American League East for the first time since July 7. That’s like an eternity in “Yankee years,” by the way.

The game really turned when Joe Girardi pulled Bartolo Colon with the bases loaded and two outs in the fifth inning. Boone Logan was able to get Adrian Gonzalez to strike out on a check-swing to end the inning, setting up a decisive three-run rally by the Yankees in the top of the sixth. Logan, Cory Wade, Rafael Soriano, David Robertson and Mariano Rivera combined for 4 1/3 scoreless innings of relief in the victory.

Naturally, most of the country will see the Yankees and Red Sox later today on FOX and this will be the matchup on Sunday Night Baseball on ESPN. And we all know why. Still, it’s a little tough to get excited about this series when the eventual loser of the division is a virtual shoo-in to make the playoffs.

Your Friday box scores:

Yankees 3, Red Sox 2

Reds 3, Cubs 4

Blue Jays 5, Orioles 4

Padres 15, Pirates 5

Athletics 4, Rays 8

Cardinals 3, Marlins 2

Indians 7, Rangers 8 (11 innings)

Braves 4, Mets 1

Brewers 8, Astros 1

White Sox 5, Twins 3

Nationals 5, Rockies 3

Tigers 4, Royals 3 (10 innings)

Dodgers 7, Diamondbacks 4

Mariners 0, Angels 1 (10 innings)

Phillies 9, Giants 2

Erasmo Ramirez to be shut down with a minor lat strain

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Mariners right-hander Erasmo Ramirez has been shut down for two weeks with a minor lat strain, reports Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times. It’s a precautionary move, as Ramirez felt some tightness in his arm and could not complete his scheduled bullpen session on Saturday.

There’s no word yet on whether Ramirez will be able to recover in time for the start of the season, though he’s expected to claim a rotation spot again this spring. The 28-year-old righty has been dogged by injuries throughout his six-year career, but finally managed to piece together a full season on the mound in back-to-back stints with the Rays and Mariners in 2017. He went 5-6 in 19 starts for the two clubs and turned in a cumulative 4.39 ERA, 2.1 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 through 131 1/3 innings.

The Mariners are no stranger to pitcher injuries, either. They lost a number of their top arms to various elbow, arm and shoulder injuries last year and cycled through 40 total pitchers as they limped toward a 78-84 finish. Comments from club manager Scott Servais indicate that the team will keep a close eye on Ramirez throughout his recovery, though Divish notes that right-hander Andrew Moore and lefty Ariel Miranda could also slot into the no. 5 spot if Ramirez experiences further setbacks.