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Monday Morning Manager: Soriano streaking in pinstripes

New life in pinstripes? That’s certainly the definitive case for Alfonso Soriano.

He entered Sunday’s game with 15 hits in his last 22 at-bats, and had 18 RBI in five games, which tied an MLB record.

The 37-year-old outfielder who was traded from the Cubs for a low-level minor-league pitcher has nine home runs since the All-Star break and eight homers in 21 games with the Yankees, giving New York some right-handed pop that was much needed.

And Brian Cashman is going to the well again. The Yankees GM picked up Mark Reynolds off the waiver wire from Cleveland last week, and he hit a home run in his first at-bat Friday after being in a dreadful slump with the Indians. And then he came through with an pinch-hit single off the bench that drove in a run at Boston on Sunday night.

Sure, the Yankees have lots of money at their disposal, but they seem to know how to bargain hunt with the best of them as well.

On to this week’s Monday Morning Manager:

WHO’S HOT

Alfonso Soriano, Yankees: See above. He entered Sunday’s game with 15 hits in his.

Joe Mauer, Twins: He’s overlooked in a league with Miguel Cabrera and Mike Trout, but Mauer is quietly having another fantastic season. He’s hitting .323 with 11 homers on a poor team and  is hitting .419 in August.

Yu Darvish, Rangers: He’s been dominant since the All-Star break, allowing just eight earned runs in six starts. He’s at 12-5 with a 2.64 ERA and has put himself squarely in the AL Cy Young race — which seems to be Max Scherzer’s to lose at this point. Darvish leads the majors in strikeouts with 214 in 161 innings.

WHO’S NOT

Carlos Ruiz, Phillies: Epitomizing what has happened to the Phillies this year. Went 4 for 4 in a win on Sunday, but still has just two homers and 14 RBI in 62 games this season after a career year in 2012.

Austin Jackson, Tigers: Detroit needs him to get on base, and he’s not doing it as well as he should. Their leadoff hitter’s OBP is just .333 and he broke a 1 for 24 skid with two hits Sunday.

Jake Westbrook, Cardinals: He was 7-4 with a 2.95 ERA on July 24, but has been hit hard in his last four starts, all losses. His ERA has swelled to 4.35.

TOP 10

1. Los Angeles Dodgers (72-51, last week No. 3)

2. Atlanta Braves (76-48, last week No. 1)

3. Detroit Tigers (73-51, last week No. 2)

4. Boston Red Sox (73-53, last week No. 4)

5. Texas Rangers (71-53, last week No. 6)

6. Pittsburgh Pirates (72-51, last week No. 5)

7. St. Louis Cardinals (71-52, last week No. 7)

8. Cincinnati Reds (70-54, last week No. 9)

9. Tampa Bay Rays (70-52, last week No. 8)

10. Oakland A’s (70-53, last week No. 10)

BOTTOM 5

26. Milwaukee Brewers (54-70, last week No. 27)

27. Philadelphia Phillies (54-69, last week unranked)

28. Miami Marlins (47-75, last week No. 28)

29. Chicago White Sox (49-74, last week No. 29)

30. Houston Astros (41-82, last week No. 30)

Source: About.com
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