Indians transfer reliever Rafael Perez to 60-day disabled list

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Showing decreased velocity led to Rafael Perez being placed on the disabled list with a strained shoulder muscle in late April and yesterday the Indians transferred the left-hander to the 60-day DL, which means he’s not eligible to return until the end of June.

Perez was initially expected to miss 4-6 weeks, but now he’ll miss at least eight weeks and general manager Chris Antonetti danced around whether the reliever has experienced a setback in his recovery when asked by Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

Perez has quietly been one of the top left-handed relievers in the league since debuting in 2006, throwing 329 innings with a 3.64 ERA and 268/117 K/BB ratio, but he’s steadily lost velocity on his fastball and was working in the mid-80s before being shut down.

Red Sox beat Yankees 11-6 to clinch AL East for third consecutive season

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The Red Sox have clinched the AL East for a third consecutive season, beating the Yankees 11-6 in the Bronx on Thursday night. It’s the third consecutive season in which the Red Sox have won the division, the first time that’s ever been done in club history. In fact, the only other times the Red Sox won the division in back-to-back years were 1903-04 and 1915-16.

AL MVP candidate Mookie Betts went 4-for-5 with a two-run single in the second inning off of Masahiro Tanaka and a three-run homer in the eighth against Aroldis Chapman to put the game out of reach. Jackie Bradley and Brock Holt also hit homers. Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez was on the hook for five runs in 3 2/3 innings, but three of them scored when Heath Hembree inherited a bases-loaded situation, then served up a grand slam to Giancarlo Stanton in the fourth. The rest of the bullpen combined to fire five scoreless innings. Steven Wright had three of them followed by zeroes from Ryan Brasier and Craig Kimbrel.

With the loss, the Yankees’ lead over the Athletics for the first Wild Card slot shrinks to 1.5 games. Meanwhile, the Red Sox will try to clinch home field advantage throughout the playoffs. With a 104-49 record, their closest competitor is the 95-57 Astros. With nine games remaining in the regular season for the Red Sox, they would have to lose every game remaining in the regular season and the Astros would have to win their 10 remaining games in order to fail to claim home field advantage.