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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 8/31/15

AL East still a two-team race, A-Rod returning to first, the Braves mourn the fan who fell from the upper deck, and Spencer vs. Schwarber.

maybe avoid the two-hand approach this time, Al
maybe avoid the two-hand approach this time, Al
Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN New York | Wallace Matthews: The Blue Jays might be scalding hot, but the Yankees kept pace with them this weekend anyway thanks to a sweep of the Braves. The AL East is far from lost yet with the team only a game and a half behind Toronto, and the Yankees' players offered some thoughts on their competition. | Bryan Hoch: With Mark Teixeira still out with a bad bone bruise, Joe Girardi said that he would consider giving Alex Rodriguez another start at first base with lefties due on the mound in Boston. Teixeira won't play today and while Greg Bird is certainly healthy, Girardi might seek the platoon advantage. A-Rod worked out at first base in warmups during the Braves series, but has not played the field since May and hasn't started at first since his awkward debut on April 11th.

Sporting News | Gabrielle McMillen: The Braves released a statement mourning the loss of the fan who fell to his death on Saturday night's game at Turner Field, Greg Murrey. Girardi commented that the game perhaps should have been stopped after the tragedy, or at least delayed.

BP Bronx | Andrew Felder: The rise of young sluggers like Kris Bryant, Miguel Sano, and Kyle Schwarber brings back memories of Shane Spencer and his incredible 10-homer run at the end of 1998. Spencer was somehow even hotter than these rookies!

LoHud | Charles Odum: The Yankees' bats returned to life during their series against Atlanta, and Girardi noted that given their offensive talent, the team was simply due for an explosion like 38 runs in three games.