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MLB Standings Update: 6 More Interleague Road Games Could Leave Tribe Well Behind Detroit

The Indians have slipped behind the Detroit Tigers by virtue of having been swept over the weekend in San Francisco while the Tiger took two-of-three from the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Unfortunately for the scoring-challenged Tribe, there are six more games upcoming on the road in interleague play, and thus six more games where pitchers hit and Travis Hafner is relegated to pinch-hitting.

Here is the latest look at the standings in the Major Leagues, again with emphasis on the American League Central.

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The Detroit Tigers (42-36) took over possession of first place on Sunday, although being tied with the Cleveland Indians (40-36) in the loss column. Detroit plays a make-up game on Monday against the Toronto Blue Jays before jumping back into interleague play on Tuesday against the New York Mets in Detroit. The Indians, meanwhile, will travel to Arizona beginning Monday for three games with the Diamondbacks.

In third place in the Central are the Chicago White Sox (38-41, 4.5 games behind), who will be taking on the Colorado Rockies in Denver beginning Tuesday.

Rounding out the AL Central are the Kansas City Royals (33-45) and the Minnesota Twins (32-44), who are locked in a virtual tie, nine games behind the Tigers. Kansas City plays in San Diego against the Padres on Monday, while Minnesota will be at home to face the Los Angeles Dodgers to open a three-game set.

The New York Yankees (45-31) are owners of the best record in the American League, but lead the East by only a half-game over the Boston Red Sox (45-32). Breathing down the leaders' necks are the Tampa Bay Rays (44-34, 2 games behind), while the Blue Jays (39-39, 7 games behind) are showing some life, having won three straight. The Baltimore Orioles (35-40, 9.5 games behind) are last in the East.

Meanwhile, in the AL West, the defending American League champions are on top, with the Texas Rangers checking in with a tepid 41-38 mark -- tepid but still good enough to lead the Seattle Mariners (39-39) by a game and a half. The Los Angeles Angels (39-40, 2 games behind) are right in the mix, while there is a slight drop off to the Oakland Athletics (35-44, 6 games behind).

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The National League has the team with the best record in baseball with the East-leading Philadelphia Phillies (49-30). The Phillies lead the Atlanta Braves (44-35) by five full games for the largest lead at present in the Majors.

Third in the East are the Washington Nationals (40-38, 8.5 games behind), who are holding their own record-wise. Next are the New York Mets (39-39, 9.5 games behind), while last place in the East goes to the Florida Marlins (34-44, 14.5 games behind).

The NL Central is opening up at the top with the Milwaukee Brewers (44-35) leading the pack. The St.Louis Cardinals (41-38, 3 games behind) have been slipping, and are being threatened by the Pittsburgh Pirates (39-38) and the Cincinnati Reds (40-39), both of whom are four games behind Milwaukee.

The rest of the NL Central is in real danger of being basically out of the race by July 4. The Chicago Cubs (31-46, 12 games behind) and the Houston Astros ((28-51, 16 games behind) will soon need telescopes to see the four teams in front of them, if they do not find lightning in a bottle and turn things around quickly.

The world champion San Francisco Giants (44-34) have won five in a row -- the last three courtesy of the Tribe. Meanwhile, Cleveland's next opponent, the Arizona Diamondbacks (43-36, 1.5 games behind) were in first place as recently as Saturday morning, but are now looking up at the Giants.

Third place in the NL West goes to the Rockies (38-39, 5.5 games behind), followed by the Los Angeles Dodgers (35-44, 9.5 games behind) and the San Diego Padres (34-45, 10.5 games behind) needing to turn things around to have any hope, now that the Giants are getting things together.

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Look for your next update on the goings-on in the standings on Friday morning, when baseball prepares to enter its last weekend of interleague play in the 2011 season.

Photographs by spatulated, Triple Tri, and chrischappelear used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.