Division titles are not won on the first day of summer. Of course, having a leg up certainly helps your chances of playing well past the first day of fall.

After spending seven straight days tied with the Tampa Bay Rays, the Bombers finally grabbed first place in the AL East with Sunday’s win over the Mets in the Bronx. They began a six-game road trip last night at Arizona. The game ended too late for this edition.

“We like being in first place,” said Mark Teixeira, who had a pair of home runs over the weekend. “There’s something about this division and having a chance to be at the top of this division. We’re not halfway there, but at the same time, we’ve put in a lot of work. We’ve had a lot of injuries and we’ve fought through [them].”


To maintain first this week, manager Joe Girardi will have to figure out who sits for six games, as there will be no designated hitter on this interleague trip. Last year, the club rested Hideki Matsui and this time it could be Alex Rodriguez or Jorge Posada, who are both coming back from injuries.

Regardless of plans for rest, first place is the place to be.

“We really aren’t looking at the scoreboard,” Derek Jeter said. “It’s still too early.”

Both Tampa and Boston were a game behind the Yankees in the AL East, but the Bombers don’t play those teams again until after the All-Star break. Andy Pettitte (8-2) faces off against Dan Haren (7-5) tonight in Arizona.

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