Masahiro Tanaka threw today for the first time since hitting the disabled list

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Masahiro Tanaka was placed on the DL at the end of April with tendinitis in his wrist. The MRI was clean and, at the time, it was said that there was no timetable to return to New York’s rotation. Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said that it would be at least a month, “conservatively.”

Today, it seems, Tanaka has started the road back, with Jamal Collier of MLB.com reporting that he threw today for the first time since landing on DL. Tanaka made 50 throws at 60 feet, presumably from flat ground.

The Yankees have been playing some good baseball despite the absence of their Opening Day starter and they currently sit atop the A.L. East, two games ahead of the Rays.

Astros clinch AL West for third consecutive year

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For the third consecutive season, the Astros are AL West champions. The ‘stros clinched the division on Sunday afternoon with a convincing 13-5 win over the Angels. They were backed by three homers from leadoff man George Springer and individual homers from Alex Bregman and Aledmys Díaz.

Springer has the 22nd three-homer game in baseball this season. He’s the first Astro to hit three homers in a game since Yordan Álvarez last month, on August 10.

Justin Verlander lasted five innings in Sunday’s start, yielding two runs on six hits and a pair of walks with five strikeouts. The right-hander is arguably the frontrunner for the AL Cy Young Award, now 20-6 with a 2.53 ERA and a 288/42 K/BB ratio in 217 innings on the year. Verlander is 12 strikeouts shy of the 300-strikeout milestone and six strikeouts short of 3,000 for his career. If the Astros stay on schedule, Verlander would pitch the second-to-last game of the regular season against the Angels.

Sunday’s win marked No. 102 on the season for the Astros. The franchise record is 103 wins set last year. With six games remaining, it seems likely the Astros will set a new record.

The Astros and Yankees both won on Sunday, meaning the Astros remain a half-game ahead in the race for home field advantage. The No. 1 seed will also have the privilege of playing the Wild Card winner, which is down to the Athletics, Rays, and Indians.