10 to 1: The Yankees have spent the past 100 days in first place, but after they fell 4-3 to the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field on Monday afternoon, what had been a 10-game lead in the AL East on July 18 was knocked down to one game over Baltimore. Chris Gimenez — Chris Gimenez! — snapped a 3-all tie in the eighth inning with an RBI single that barely bled its way under the glove of Robinson Cano and into right field. Fernando Rodney finished for the save, and added some mimed archery for the Rays, who closed within 2 1/2 of first. Everyone's closing in on the Yankees! Not even the return of Alex Rodriguez, out since July 24 because of a broken left hand, could spur the Bronx Bombers, who are 24-25 in the second half. Meanwhile, over in a foreign country, the Orioles beat the Blue Jays 4-0 to get right up in the Yanks' business. Joe Saunders tells the haters to hate elsewhere today.
I'm still here: The Red Sox fell 4-1 to the Mariners on Monday for their seventh straight loss, and GM Ben Cherington described his team as being "hard to watch," but he didn't replace manager Bobby Valentine. Via the Associated Press:
The fact that the GM and principal owner John W. Henry both made the trip to Seattle should not be seen as ''death watch,'' according to Cherington. He said this trip was planned a month ago and that Henry was on the West Coast already and decided to join the team.
Cherington said the recent slump by the team ''is a reflection of mostly me.'' He was asked several times if manager Bobby Valentine's job is in jeopardy as a result of the collective nosedive.
Cherington apparently didn't say "no" to the question, only that he and Valentine are "being evaluated on work we do every day.'' It sounds like he really doesn't want to fire him. He still might. Henry said Valentine will be the manager for the rest of the regular season. But come the offseason ...
Small potatoes, bigger fish to fry: The Washington Nationals won their 82nd game, beating the Cubs 2-1 to assure themselves the franchise's first winning season since they were called the Montreal Expos. And it's the first winning season for a team in D.C. since the Senators in 1969. But manager Davey Johnson was, like, whatever:
''I guess,'' Johnson said and paused. ''I wasn't real concerned about it.''
Johnson's reaction makes sense, considering he said during spring training that the Nats could contend for a World Series. Why pop champagne just because there's no way you'll finish 81-81?
Giants win in 10: Marco Scutaro singled home the winning run in a 9-8 decision for the Giants. After converting 19 in a row, Arizona's J.J. Putz blew a save for the second consecutive day when San Francisco tied the score in the ninth on a double by Buster Posey.
Dodgers win in 11: After Andre Ethier preserved overtime with a tying home run in the bottom of the ninth, A.J. Ellis lined a two-out RBI single to right in the 10th for a 4-3 victory. Giants lead the Dodgers by five games in NL West.
* * *
Quote of the Day:
"I'm bored." — Miami Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen, who added that he would start posting on his Twitter account soon.
* * *
Photo of the Day: I glare at you!
Jason Motte of the Cardinals delivers a pitch with conviction and Bette Davis eyes.
* * *
Three Facts for the Water Cooler
• Kris Medlen of the Braves is 6-0 with an 0.54 ERA in seven starts after striking out 12 in a 6-1 victory against the Rockies.
• Jamey Carroll of the Twins hit his first home run since Aug. 9, 2009 — a span of 1,348 at-bats in what was the longest active streak in the majors — in a 4-2 loss to the White Sox.
* * *