Yankees made a wide turn in July

The Yankees may look back at July as the turning-point month of the 2015 season for them. They entered July with a 41-37 record and in third place in the American League East albeit only a half-game out of first.

They won the first three games in the month and went on to a 17-7 record for a .709 winning percentage, the best mark in the major leagues and their most victories in a calendar month since September 2012 when they were 17-11 (.607).

By the end of July, the Yankees had a 58-44 record and were in first place in the division with a six-game lead. They have had a non-losing record in July in each of the past 23 seasons with a winning mark in 22 of them. The exception was 2012 when they played .500 ball at 13-13.

Mark Teixeira emerged as a serious candidate for American League Most Valuable Player honors by batting .333 with nine home runs and 19 RBI in 23 games and 87 at-bats while playing superlative defense at first base. It was his highest homer total in a calendar month since June 2011 when he also had nine. Alex Rodriguez matched Tex in homers last month and hit .286 in 84 at-bats.

Third baseman Chase Headley batted .370 with 15 RBI in 21 games and 81 at-bats in July to raise his season batting average from .246 to .273. It marked his most hits in a calendar month since July 2014 (31) and his most RBI since September 2012 (30). His .370 average was his highest in a calendar month in his career (minimum 15 at-bats).

Shortstop Didi Gregorius hit .317 with 13 RBI in 24 July games and 82 at-bats, his most in a calendar month in his career. His previous high was 10 RBI in May 2013. Gregorius has raised his batting average each month this season (.206 in April, .232 in May, .258 in June and .317 in July).

The Yankees did not import any starting pitching prior to the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, but they will bring up one of their top pitching prospects to join the rotation next week. Righthander Luis Severino, 21, will start for the Yankees Wednesday night against the Red Sox at Yankee Stadium. Severino was 7-0 with a 1.91 ERA in 11 starts for Triple A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre after his promotion from Double A Trenton where he was 2-2 with a 3.32 ERA.

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