Victorious Over Rangers: Yankees Share AL East Lead

Micheal Robinson@nyyrobinsonSenior Analyst IIMay 28, 2009

BOSTON - APRIL 11:  Hideki Matsui #55 of the New York Yankees is congratulated by teammate Alex Rodriguez #13 after Matsui hit a solo home run in the fifth inning against the Boston Red Sox on April 11, 2008 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

For the first time this season, the New York Yankees lead the AL East with a 27-20 record.

Now, if the season ended today, the Boston Red Sox(27-20) would claim the AL East due to leading the season series on the Yankees, five games to none.

After defeating the Texas Rangers 9-2 on Wednesday night in Arlington, the Yankees have now won seven out of their last 10 games, and 12 out of their last 15.

With the return of Alex Rodriguez, a splash of decent pitching, comeback wins and a hot Mark Teixeira, the Yankees are finding ways to win on any given night.

Jorge Posada is also slated to return as soon as this Friday, returning from a strained hamstring that put him on the shelf for nearly a month.

A.J. Burnett turned things around on Wednesday, winning his first game since April 14.

“I basically went after them,” Burnett said. “I didn’t leave anything over the plate. That’s a big difference. When you don’t make mistakes, they can’t capitalize.”

Not going unnoticed, struggling Chien-Ming Wang pitched two perfect innings out of the bullpen to close the game out, striking out two and walking none. 

His ballooned ERA has shot down to 20.45 on the season after his first three disastrous starts had his ERA over 30.

“That’s as good as I’ve seen him this year,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.

The Yankees get a well deserved day of rest on Thursday as they travel to Cleveland to prepare for a four game series at Progressive Field against the Indians.

Andy Pettitte (4-1, 4.30) will take on Cliff Lee (2-5, 3.04).  Lee defeated the Yankees earlier this season, giving up a run on seven hits in six innings pitched.

Melky Cabrera is returning to New York for another evaluation of his bruised right shoulder following an MRI examination on Wednesday in Texas.

Cabrera was injured in the first inning of New York's 7-3 loss to the Rangers, colliding with the center-field wall.

Word is out that he will miss five to seven days at the minimum.