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David Price leads Blue Jays past Yankees in series opener

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Behind seven scoreless innings from David Price and a heck of late-inning escape from Brett Cecil, the Blue Jays beat the Yankees 4-2 on Monday night in the first game of a critical AL East showdown at Rogers Centre.

Price gave up just two hits and one walk while striking out seven batters. The Blue Jays got most of their offense early, scoring three runs in the first inning. Adam Warren didn’t make it out of the fourth inning for New York.

The Yankees finally got something going in the eighth, as Didi Gregorius walked and Dustin Ackley singled off Aaron Sanchez to begin the frame. Cecil took over from there and gave up an RBI single to Jacoby Ellsbury, but the southpaw escaped the jam by striking out Brett Gardner, Alex Rodriguez, and Brian McCann in succession. Young closer Roberto Osuna gave up a solo homer to Greg Bird with two outs in the ninth, but he was able to finish off the victory for his 17th save.

Price improved to 17-5 with the win and leads the American League with a 2.34 ERA. The southpaw has a 1.95 ERA over 10 starts with the Blue Jays. By the way, four of those starts have been against the Yankees. He has a 1.71 ERA in those outings. Talk about a difference-maker.

The Blue Jays lead the Yankees by 3 1/2 games in the American League East with 12 games to play. Their magic number sits at ten.

Angels release Matt Harvey

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Among several transactions made on Sunday, the Angels announced that pitcher Matt Harvey has been released. The right-hander was designated for assignment on Friday.

Harvey, 30, was hoping to bounce back with the Angels after signing a one-year, $11 million contract in December. It didn’t work out. In 12 starts spanning 59 2/3 innings, Harvey allowed 47 earned runs on 63 hits and 29 walks with 39 strikeouts. Harvey missed time between May 24 and July 12 with an upper back injury.

Since his 2015 campaign with the Mets, after recovering from Tommy John surgery, Harvey has a 5.65 ERA in exactly 400 innings. Given his age, he could still find an opportunity with another team short on pitching depth, but he is running out of leash, as they say.