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yankees

The Yankees Are Back in First Place

Well, tied for first place. Also, it's June, so sitting atop the division now doesn't really matter. And yes, sure, their steady climb to the top of the division may have a little to do with playing thirteen of their last sixteen games against some of the worst teams in the majors. But it's still nice, isn't it?

Also nice: Jorge Posada, who'd struggled as the designated hitter since returning from a foot injury, not only caught yesterday for the first time since being activated, he hit a grand slam for the second straight day. (Alex Rodriguez, on the other hand, missed the whole series with right hip flexor tendinitis, though Joe Girardi hopes he'll be able to return tomorrow.) Even without Rodriguez, they completed a sweep of Houston, to go along with recent series wins against Baltimore (twice) and Cleveland (once).

Keep this in mind, though: The Red Sox — the team with the fourth-best record in the American League — have won just four of nine games against the Orioles, a team that's won just seventeen games all year. So credit the Yankees for winning the games they'd have no excuse for losing.

The Yankees now get a day to rest before a jarring return to the world of truly competitive baseball: They'll face Roy Halladay tomorrow when they begin a three-game series against the World Effing Runners-Up at Yankee Stadium.

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Photo: Jim Luzzi/Getty Images