By Keith Antigiovanni
Texas went on a 12-game win streak to take a commanding lead in the AL West with the Anaheim Angels at 3 games back after winning two of the three games between the two teams.
The KC Royals continue to struggle with their small payroll at 40-58 and last place.
The Tampa Rays hold third place in the AL East at 52-45 after dropping 2 of 3 to both the Yankees and Red Sox at home in pivotal series. The Rays will have to play much better the remainder of the season to overtake at least one of the big market clubs.
Arizona has cooled off somewhat after a hot streak before the All Star Break but maintains second place in the NL West at 4 ganes back. The Colorado Rockies now find themselves 10 games back after a split series with Atlanta while the Padres sweep over the Marlins puts them in fourth place now over the Dodgers who reside in last place.
St Louis is one game back in the NL Central at 51-47 and must take at least 2 of 3 this weekend from the Pirates to get into a tie for first. Houston is at 33-65 but won 2 of 3 from the Nationals this week and hopes to build on that success.
Atlanta is in 2nd place in the NL East which also puts them 1st in the Wild Card standings. The Braves are only 4 games out but know as long as they continue to win they can put pressure on the Phillies and continue to get a Wild Card spot.
Florida is in last place at 47-52 but has won 15 of 26 games since Veteran Jack McKeon took over as manager. McKeon is most likely a transitional manager who will put the Marlins on the right path before another manager comes in for next year. Whatever progress he can make this year will hope to build towards next year.