The New York Yankees have been in a neck to neck battle with the Baltimore Orioles since losing there 10 game lead in the division. How close has the AL East been? This close…. 

They haven’t given up easily with a intense four game series that happened last weekend, Yankees savaged 2 out of the 4 games. The Yankees have had a extensive disabled list towards the end of their season. But hope has made its way into the club house! Joe Girardi announced the return of Ivan Nova to the starting rotation taking Freddy Garcia out. Nova won 16 games last season for the Yankees. He started off the season strong but got himself into some issues going 10-6 ERA 4.92 before having a shoulder injury. Nova will start off this Saturday against the Rays.

Andy Pettitte is eager to rejoin the Yankees rotation. Pettitte who is 40 years old, was sidelined after suffering a fractured bone in his left ankle. “I feel like my body’s bouncing back pretty good,’’ said Pettitte, who also fielded bunts and covered first base. “I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t be good the next time I went out and threw. I’m ready,’’ Pettitte said after the 55-pitch session at Fenway Park. “Can I give you 100 pitches? No. But I feel that my stuff has been crisp.’

Girardi was pleased with Pettitte’s outing today. “He’s worked hard to get to this point. We’ll see how he bounces back,’’ Girardi said. “I’ve been pleased with his arm strength.’’

The earliest Pettitte could rejoin the team by would be Tuesday as the Yankees take on forth place Toronto. 

In Baltimore news, they seem to be gaining a larger fan base after becoming the underdog in the AL East. They have seen record merchandise sales, being the number three MLB team in merchandise sales following the San Francisco Giants and New York Yankees. There sales are up 71% so far this year and 500% for the first 10 days of September over the comparable period last year.

But the Baltimore Orioles are no stranger to the disabled list themselves. Recently adding Nick Markakis to the list after Saturday’s nights game against the Yankees Markakis injured his left thumb when hit by a pitch. Then again last night Jason Hammel reinjured his right knee after coming down hard on a pitch. Hammel underwent arthroscopic surgery on that same knee in mid-July and was making his second start since returning from the disabled list. Leaving two spots open on there 40-man roster. Orioles called up outfielders Endy Chavez and L.J. Hoes  from Triple-A Norfolk. No word on the extent on Hammel injury and if he will be able to return for the post-season. Markakis thumb injury will have him missing the remainder of the season but he maybe able to make it to the post-season…that’s if the O’s can make it to post season.