April 6-9 AL sim: Here come the Yankees

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New York’s Aaron Judge: Back in pinstripes.. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

With Stanton and Judge back, the New York Yankees kick the season into gear

Here come the New York Yankees.

The prohibitive AL East leaders saw their lineup restored to its pre-season potential this week when Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge both returned from pre-season injuries.

The combination of their return plus a fortuitously timed visit to the Bronx by the Baltimore Orioles enabled New York to sweep a four-game series and move into a contending position in the AL East race.

In the AL Central, Minnesota took two of three from Cleveland to retain its advantage, although only by a game and a half ahead of surging Chicago. In the AL West, the Houston Astros swept a pair of games from the New York Mets, but still couldn’t shake pesky Texas.

The Rangers held a share of the division lead by taking a pair of games from visiting Colorado in Denver. Here’s the link to that series.

Tampa Bay’s Yonny Chirinos ran his season-opening string of innings without having allowed an earned run to 14 in the Rays’ 14-3 Monday victory over Boston. The Red Sox’ three runs all came home as a result of a fourth inning Willy Adames error.

Chicago’s Lucas Giolito is going almost as well. Giolito gave up his first two earned runs of the season Wednesday to Seattle in a 3-2 Sox victory at Guaranteed Rate Field. The decision was Giolito’s third without a loss, matching Houston’s Zack Greinke for the early lead in wins.

Kansas City’s Hunter Dozier continued to hold a surprising lead among hitters. Dozier’s five hits included four on Thursday as the Royals beat Detroit 5-2. Still, his average fell, although only to .451, 30 points ahead of Tampa Bay’s Yoshitorri Tsutsugo.

Josh Donaldson’s seven-RBI game Monday against the visiting Indians boosted his total for the season to 21, that coming in just 13 games. He also hit for the cycle in that game. Donaldson had eight RBIs for the mid-week series.

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