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The Yankees' disappearing AL East lead

The Yankees' AL East lead/deficit graphed through Game

The Yankees' AL East lead/deficit graphed through Game 124. Credit: Newsday

After holding a 10-game lead in the American League East in mid-July, the Yankees had just a three-game edge over the Tampa Bay Rays heading into Thursday night. Here are some of the key moments in their rollercoaster ride through the standings (the image above is a game-by-game chart of the Yankees' rise and fall in the standings):

April 21 - The Yankees take a 1/2 game lead in the AL East after a 15-9 win at Boston.

May 5 - The Yankees fall to 4.5 games out of first after a 5-1 loss to the Royals in Kansas City. It ends a stretch during which they lose four of five games to the Royals and Baltimore Orioles.

May 14 - The Yankees get to within 1.5 games of first place after beating the Orioles, 8-5, in Baltimore.

May 21 - The Yankees fall to a season-worst 5.5 games out of first place after a 6-0 loss to the Royals at Yankee Stadium. The loss ends a 2-7 skid.

June 11 - The Yankees beat the Braves, 3-0, in Atlanta to earn a share of the AL East lead.

June 12 - The Yankees beat the Braves, 6-4, in Atlanta to take a one game lead in the AL East.

July 18 - The Yankees beat Toronto, 6-0, at the Stadium to take a 10 game lead in the AL East.

Aug. 22 - After the win over Toronto, the Yankees go 15-18, and hold just a three game lead in the AL East. Their lead hadn't been that small since June 25.

New York Sports