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  • May 30, 2017 8:17 PM CDT

    The last two seasons injuries have ruined any chances the Toronto Blue Jays might have had of contending, especially those to the pitching staff. Jarrad Davis Lions Jersey . This time around the injury bug has bitten hard on the Tampa Bay Rays, New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox. Tampa Bay has three of their elite starting pitchers sidelined right now. Over the weekend, Alex Cobb strained a left oblique muscle during a stellar performance against the Cincinnati Reds. Hes gone four-to-six weeks. Lefty Matt Moore is due to play catch on the side today in Baltimore as doctors are trying to decide if he needs Tommy John surgery or whether his left elbow will get better with treatment and rest. Right hander Jeremy Hellickson, who also has an elbow issue, is hoping to be back in May or early June. Even a team as deep and talented as the Rays cant afford to lose three starting pitchers. The Red Sox also have problems. Star second baseman Dustin Pedroia has had to return to Beantown to get his left wrist checked out. Shane Victorino is out as well with a thumb injury and 39-year-old closer Koji Uehara is being examined to determine the cause of shoulder stiffness. The Yankees are no different. They lost their new closer David Robertson to the 15-day DL with a groin muscle pull, first baseman Mark Teixiera is injured again, catcher Francisco Cervelli has a hamstring problem, second baseman Brian Roberts had to sit out with back tightness and team captain Derek Jeter missed two games in a row over the weekend with quad tightness. The Yankees were so thin in the infield, they had to move Kelly Johnson back to third base, rookie Yangervis Solarte to second and have Carlos Beltran play his first game ever at first. The Baltimore Orioles biggest concern is star third baseman Manny Machado, who continues to rehab his surgically repaired knee. The Blue Jays have a few problems of their own with Maicer Izturis tripping on the dugout steps Sunday in Baltimore and spraining his left knee and then having to go on the 15-day DL. On the plus side, Jose Reyes and closer Casey Janssen could be back by next weekend in Cleveland and lefty J.A. Happ is already back up from Triple-A Buffalo. The bottom line is, the Blue Jays, Yankees and Rays are locked in a three-way tie for first in the A.L East at 7-6. The Orioles are second at 5-7 and the Red Sox are bringing up the rear at 5-8. By the weekend, the Jays should have the healthiest line-up in the division and this is the time for them to take advantage of their rivals injury woes and do some real damage. - The team that has really come of nowhere in the first two weeks of the season is the Milwaukee Brewers. Coincidentally, they had an identical record to the Blue Jays a year ago at 74-88. They are off to a torrid start this time around, winning nine-straight through Sunday and a 10-2 record. This is the second-best start in franchise history after 1987 when they started the year 13-0. Their starting rotation of Yovani Gallardo, Kyle Lohse, Matt Garza, Marco Estrada and Wily Peralta have nine quality starts in 12 games, and the staff ERA is a sparkling 1.80. Ryan Braun has had a good bounce back year, so far, from his Biogenesis PED suspension and has made a successful move from left field to right to clear a spot for youngster Khrys Davis, who is regarded as a budding star. The other big story for the Brewers is closer Francisco Rodriguez, once a star with the Angels. He stepped on a cactus is Spring Training and was still pulling out spines until about a week ago. His left foot, his plant foot when throwing, was so tender that he had to pay extra attention to his delivery to keep it consistent. K-Rod has been perfect so far, going four-for-four in save situations. The teams payroll, according to Cots Baseball Contracts, is about $103.4 million. Thaats roughly $29 million less than the that of the Jays. The interesting thing is that they have a dozen players on their roster making the minimum of between $500-534K. In other words, there is a good mix of veterans and youth. The Brewers lead the NL Central by three games on the St. Louis Cardinals and they open an early season showdown series at Miller Park on Monday night against the Redbirds. - There is a Milwaukee connection to one of the players the Blue Jays have in Buffalo. Juan Francisco is a 62", 245-pound  first/third baseman, who was released by the Brewers during spring training. The Jays picked him up to add a little punch with the Bisons. The 26-year-old left-handed hitter has provided just that. In fact, last season he hit 18 homers split between the Brewers and the Atlanta Braves. The knock on Francisco is that hes not every good defensively, but hes turned into a good pick-up for Buffalo especially since the Brewers are picking up $331,967 of his salary. - Tuesday marks the 11th-annual Jackie Robinson Day where the MLB honours the man who broke the colour barrier in 1947 with the Brooklyn Dodgers. The year before Jackie broke in with the Dodgers organization, he played with the old Montreal Royals in the International League. I was curious to find out who was the first African-American to play for the Toronto Maple Leafs in that same league. It didnt happen until 1951. In July of that year, Jack Kent Cooke, the communications mogul who later owned the Washington Redskins and Los Angeles Kings, bought the Leafs. A week-and-a-half later, he signed two African-American players, pitcher Leon Day and catcher-third baseman Charlie White. Later in that season, another black pitcher, Frank Barnes, joined the Leafs. He only made two appearances with the club and had an ERA of 45. Of the three, though, according to my research, Barnes is the only one of the trio still alive. He is 87-years-old. Yankees great Mariano Rivera was the last player to wear the number 42. Now that Rivera has retired, the number 42 will never be worn again. Jarrad Davis Womens Jersey . - The Oakland Athletics say they are stopping negotiations to extend their lease at the Coliseum. Michael Roberts Jersey . He could have transferred when academic sanctions barred the Huskies from the NCAA tournament his junior season.BOSTON - The Atlanta Hawks have the best record in the Eastern Conference and have won 10 straight for the first time in 17 years.Life is so good for the Hawks, they even have the depth to platoon starters during a busy stretch.DeMarre Carroll and Jeff Teague responded from a night off with 22 points apiece, helping the Hawks to a 105-91 victory over the Boston Celtics on Wednesday night.Its just the start. Its a long season, so were not too excited, Teague said.Not even a little?The Hawks have their first double-digit winning streak since winning 11 in a row early in the 1997-98 season. They also have won 10 straight on the road, the longest streak in club history.Teague, Paul Millsap and Carroll were well-rested after getting a night off Tuesday, when Al Horford led the Hawks past Philadelphia with his first career triple-double. On Wednesday, it was Horford and veteran outside shooter Kyle Korver resting up as their teammates easily took care of the Celtics.I dont like it, but its Coachs call and it paid off for us, said Millsap, who had 18 points and 10 rebounds for his ninth double-double of the season.He might know what hes doing, Millsap added.Avery Bradley had 17 points and Jared Sullinger finished with 14 points and nine rebounds for Boston. Kelly Olynyk had 12 points and eight rebounds and Marcus Thornton scored 10 points for the Celtics, who never recovered after the Hawks blew open the game in the second quarter.I thought our offence was pretty poor all night and I think theyre obviously a difficult enough offence to guard, Boston coach Brad Stevens said. But when you give them run-out dunks it doesnt help anything and we just turned the ball over too much.Boston had 17 turnovers, five during the second quarter.Atlanta shot 63 per cent in the second quarter, going 12 for 19 from the floor after being evenly matched by the Celtics through the first quarter. A 24-24 tie quickly turned into a 10-point lead for the Hawks, who answered every time the Celtics strung together a few points. Jarrad Davis Jersey. Boston pulled to 52-45 with 35 seconds left in the period, but the Hawks had one more surge before halftime. Teague hit a 3-pointer with 15 seconds to go and Millsap swiped the ball from Evan Turner and took it in for a layup just before the buzzer to give Atlanta a 57-45 lead.Our thing is finish quarters, Teague said. We like to finish quarters on a high note and we did that finishing the half.Boston opened the fourth quarter with six straight points to pull to 89-80, but the Hawks put a quick end to the threat and cruised to another win.___TIP-INSHawks: Atlanta improved to 31-8 overall and 15-5 on the road. ... Atlanta continued to win through a stretch of four games in five nights. ... Korver had played in all 38 games before the mandated night off Wednesday. The Hawks fared fine without him from beyond-the-arc, making 10 of 29 3-pointers.Celtics: Bostons latest acquisition joined two others picked up during the Celtics trading frenzy on the inactive list. Nate Robinson, traded back to Boston in a deal with Denver on Tuesday, and Tayshaun Prince and Austin Rivers were inactive as the Celtics continued reworking the roster for the future.Stevens said the Celtics needs on the court are the same regardless of who is coming and going.I think its what we need, Stevens said. We have to learn the importance of attention to detail for us on every single possession. We have to learn the importance of taking care of the ball.CHEERSBoston Bruins defenceman Dougie Hamilton gave Boston fans something to cheer for even as the Hawks pulled away. Hamilton was shown sitting courtside during the second half on the big-screen monitor and received few chants of Doug-ee! The Bruins have won four straight and host the New York Rangers on Tuesday.UP NEXTHawks: Visit Toronto on Friday night.Celtics: Host Chicago on Friday night. Cheap NFL JerseysCheap NFL Jerseys China Cheap Jerseys From China Cheap NFL Jerseys Authentic Wholesale Jerseys China Cheap NFL Jerseys China NFL Cheap Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys ' ' '