AL EAST NOTES

Blue Jays

LHP Brad Mills threw 2 1-3 innings of relief replacing Drew Hutchison, giving up five runs, and was promptly designated for assignment. Mills had been brought up from Triple-A Buffalo to help Toronto’s bullpen. “Bringing in Brad Mills to finish out the game, that didn’t go so well,” manager John Gibbons said.

Orioles

Manager Buck Showalter was asked about all the new players the Yankees had fielded since the last time he and the Orioles encountered them, and he could not help joking. “The line change?” Showalter said. “It’s like a hockey line change, wasn’t it? Somebody jumps off the ice, and somebody jumps on it. That’s kind of how it is. It’s what they do. God bless them. I’d do the same thing if I was them and could do it.” Showalter mentioned Brandon McCarthy, Martin Prado, Chase Headley and Stephen Drew while describing the Yankees’ player carousel. He did not mention LHP Chris Capuano, who was acquired July 24 and has proved to be a solid arm.

Rays

Whatever the reason for 3B Evan Longoria’s struggles at the plate, it has nothing to do with his health, as he made clear there is no injury, no ache or pain, no ailment or vision issue in play. “Everything’s good,” he told the Tampa Bay Times “Couldn’t be any better really.” The fact that he has played in every game and has played mostly outstanding defense should show that, but Longoria understands the questions. “I wish I could say there was something or another, that would make it an easy cop out to say, ‘Oh yeah, this is wrong and that’s the reason why,’” he said. “The truth of the matter is I’ve been doing everything I’ve done the last five-six years to make me successful, and maybe at times even more, and probably put more pressure on.”

Red Sox

Kelly Johnson made his Boston debut, playing 1B. The former Yankees 3B was activated from DL. … C David Ross, who hasn’t played since Aug. 1 because of plantar fasciitis in his right foot, appears on course to be activated today when he is eligible to come off the DL.

Yankees

The team could be excused for struggling, as a roster that was questionable to start the season has rarely been healthy. According to Baseball-Reference.com, the Yankees had already used 31 pitchers, a team record, and had 52 batters step to the plate, four short of the franchise record set last season. Despite all signs pointing to a terrible season, the Yankees have scraped together a winning record. It is unlikely that they can continue to outperform their run differential, but if the reinforcements the team acquired come through, a playoff berth could be in the future even if all the math says the Yankees were foolish to go for it at the trading deadline.

Compiled by Rick Crotts from wire reports.

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