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Abreu adds depth to Yankees' lineup

8/2/2006

BASEBALL TONIGHT EXTRA

By Mark Simon, ESPN Research

Bobby Abreu's Yankees career started on a positive note. He had a key walk and run scored in a 5-1 win over Toronto, and the victory put New York back into first place for the first time since June.

Things are looking up for the Yankees. Boston has suffered some injury woes, and with Abreu in the lineup, the Yankees suddenly appear quite formidable.

Even though obtaining a big-name star doesn't guarantee glory in October, there are some examples of recent success.

WHO'S YOUR PAPI?

By BUSTER OLNEY, ESPN Insider | Olney Archive

David Ortiz is unbelievable. If Michael Jordan got the ball with five seconds remaining, you knew he was going to make the game-winning shot, and that's the way you feel with Ortiz right now when the game's on the line.

Only there's a slight difference -- the greatest basketball players make shots more than 50 percent of the time, but the greatest baseball players hit homers only 10 to 12 percent of the time. It's not supposed to look that easy.

And yet Ortiz comes through again and again and again. Amazing. He's the Most Valuable Player in the American League right now, and over his last 161 games, he's got 60 homers and 166 RBI.

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ELIAS SAYS

• Justin Verlander was the winning pitcher for the Tigers, pushing his record to 10 games over .500 (14-4), joining Francisco Liriano (12-2) in that club. Since 1900, there has been only one other season in which two rookie pitchers were both 10 games over .500 on-or-before August 1. It also happened in 1911 when Grover Alexander and Vean Gregg did it.

• There have been only 21 runs scored in the last five games played at Coors Field. That's the fewest runs scored by both teams combined, by far, over any five home-game span in the history of the Rockies. The previous low was 30 runs scored over five games, done earlier this season. The scores during these five games: 3-1, 4-2, 3-1, 4-2, 1-0.

• Jose Reyes hit 17 triples in 2005, and he hit his 13th triple this year in the Mets game at Florida. Reyes is the first National League player to have 30-or-more triples over a two-season span since Juan Samuel hit 32 for the Phillies spanning 1984 (19) and 1985 (13).

More from Elias Says

RUMOR CENTRAL

National arms

Livan Hernandez The Nationals have three pitchers -- Livan Hernandez, Tony Armas Jr. and Ramon Ortiz -- who could attract some suitors this month, The Washington Post reports.

Any deal, however, requires a player to clear waivers.

More from Rumor CentralInsider