AL EAST NOTES

Blue Jays

Former top prospect Kyle Drabek is back with the Blue Jays, but this time it’s in a very different role. Once expected to become an integral part of Toronto’s starting rotation, he made 30 starts over the past four seasons and posted a 5.14 ERA in 161 innings. His biggest problem was a lack of command, with 104 walks compared to 107 strikeouts. With a move to the bullpen, he simplified his repertoire and focused more on being aggressive with the fastball.

The move appeared to pay off as Drabek posted a 2.77 ERA in 26 relief innings with 16 strikeouts and five walks.

Orioles

Nick Markakis had a career night in Monday’s 8-2 victory over the White Sox. The Woodstock High graduate made a highlight-reel grab to rob Conor Gillaspie of a go-ahead home run in the seventh inning, then hit a two-run blast in the eighth.

“He’s the rock,” manager Buck Showalter said of Markakis, who became just the fourth left-handed hitter this season to put up a multi-hit effort off White Sox ace Chris Sale. “He’s as consistent a guy as you ever want to have. We’ve got a lot of guys who you know what you’re getting when they walk through the door every day. Nick’s one of those.”

Rays

The roars from the 31,042 fans in the stands for the Rays’ 3-2 loss to the Yankees last weekend — the only Tampa Bay sellout this year aside from Opening Day — were overwhelmingly for New York. The volume hit its crescendo when Derek Jeter grounded the go-ahead single through the right side in the ninth off Rays reliever Jake McGee.

That rubbed manager Joe Maddon the wrong way, to say the least.

“It’s great that it’s sold out, I understand that people like Derek Jeter — but you’ve got to come out and root for the Rays, too. I mean, I totally appreciate what’s going on, but … if you’re gonna come out, root for the Rays. We’d appreciate that.”

Red Sox

The Red Sox optioned center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. to Triple-A Pawtucket and recalled outfielder/infielder Mookie Betts. The 21-year old Betts, a second baseman at the start of the season, is back in the majors for the third time this year. He moved to the outfield at Pawtucket before hitting .244 with a homer and two RBIs over 13 games in his previous two stints with the Red Sox.

Yankees

The Yankees have called Chase Headley’s presence a “rental” for the season’s final two months, with Alex Rodriguez expected to return in 2015, but Headley is hoping that it can be something more.

“I’ve loved it. I’ve loved every second of being here,” Headley said.

The 30-year-old Headley played his entire career in a Padres uniform before being acquired by the Yankees on July 22. In 23 games, Headley has batted .253 with two home runs and eight RBIs.

Compiled by Rachel Lister from wire reports.