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The Red Sox lost a drama-filled thriller on Sunday night against the Yankees and are suddenly 3-7 in their last 10 contests with a mere one-game lead over the Rays for the top spot in the American League East standings.
Perhaps as a reaction to all of that -- or maybe just because it was time -- the Boston decision-makers called down to Triple-A Pawtucket late Sunday night and officially promoted top infield prospect Xander Bogaerts.
Bogaerts, who ranked fourth on Baseball America’s Midseason Top 50, has hit .299/.389/.481 with 15 home runs, 23 doubles, seven stolen bases, 72 runs scored and 67 RBI in 115 games this season between the Double-A and Triple-A levels. His natural position is shortstop, but he has been getting steady work over the past few months at third base and will likely play both positions down the stretch for Boston.
The dynamic 20-year-old should be scooped up in any fantasy league where he’s still available.
Three-Headed Monster For AL MVP
Without a true standout position-player candidate, it’s very possible that MVP honors in the National League will go to Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw, who has all but locked up the Cy Young Award. Andrew McCutchen and Paul Goldschmidt are Clayton’s only real challengers.
In the American League, MVP status is being dangled between three thoroughbreds.
Mike Trout is enjoying another fantastic season in all facets of the game, boasting a .333/.430/.574 batting line with 28 stolen bases and a major league-leading fWAR of 8.4. But because the Angels are yet again going to miss the playoffs, the 22-year-old outfielder likely won’t get as many votes as he deserves. So the Miggy vs. Crush watch is on.
Miguel Cabrera went 2-for-3 with a walk, a home run and three RBI in the Tigers’ 6-3 defeat of the Royals on Sunday and is now hitting .360/.452/.689 with 40 homers and 120 RBI in 116 games this season. Chris Davis finished 4-for-5 with a double, a homer, three runs scored and two RBI, leading the Orioles past the Rockies 7-2. Davis is batting .306/.383/.688 with 45 homers and 115 RBI.
Cabrera leads in two of the three Triple Crown categories and his team is in a much better position to make the playoffs than the O’s. And these things -- right or wrong -- matter to the MVP voters.
National League Quick Hits: Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright threw seven innings of one-run ball, fanning 11, in Sunday’s victory over the Cubs … Craig Kimbrel earned his 39th save of the season Sunday in the Braves’ defeat of the Nationals … Marlins closer Steve Cishek collected his 27th save of the year Sunday against the Giants … Braves starter Julio Teheran delivered six shutout innings with five strikeouts Sunday against the Nationals … The Mets placed young right-hander Jenrry Mejia on the 15-day disabled list with an elbow injury … Yadier Molina had two doubles and two runs scored in the Cardinals’ defeat of the Cubs on Sunday … Reds outfielder Shin-Soo Choo reached base in all five of his plate appearances in Sunday’s 9-1 defeat of the Brewers … Madison Bumgarner surrendered four runs in five innings Sunday against the light-hitting Marlins … Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez is day-to-day with a stiff neck … Homer Bailey held the Brewers to one run on three hits over eight innings Sunday for his eighth win of the season … Brian Wilson (elbow) is expected to join the Dodgers early this week … Marlins catcher Jeff Mathis was 2-for-3 with a walk, a double and a home run in Sunday’s win over the Giants … Carlos Ruiz went 4-for-4 in the Phillies’ defeat of the Dodgers on Sunday … The Pirates optioned outfielder Andrew Lambo back to Triple-A Indianapolis.
American League Quick Hits: Tigers ace Max Scherzer limited the Royals to two runs over eight innings Sunday to earn his 18th victory of the season … Alex Rodriguez went 3-for-4 with a homer, two RBI and two runs scored in the Yankees’ win over the Red Sox on Sunday night … Matt Moore (elbow) made 55 throws from 75 feet on Sunday morning and reported feeling “great” … White Sox closer Addison Reed earned his 31st save of the season on Sunday against the Twins … Evan Longoria finished 2-for-3 with a walk, a double and a homer in the Rays’ win over the Blue Jays on Sunday … Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy is day-to-day with back spasms … Rays starter Chris Archer allowed just one run over seven innings on Sunday against the Blue Jays … Todd Redmond tossed six innings of one-run ball Sunday in a no-decision against the Rays … Bruce Chen was shelled for six runs over five-plus innings Sunday against the Tigers … Coco Crisp (wrist) is expected to return to the A’s starting lineup on Monday … Royals outfielder Lorenzo Cain (oblique) expects to miss another four-to-six weeks … Chia-Jen Lo and Josh Fields have emerged as a two-man committee at closer for the Astros.