The Yankees are continuing their winning ways, putting away another game against the Orioles thanks to Aaron Judge’s bat, Michael King’s dominance, and Aroldis Chapman’s luck to not blow the game completely in the ninth. That makes it three straight wins for New York, who once again put the onus on their rivals to keep pace in a highly-competitive American League field so far. Let’s see how the competition did last night:
Detroit Tigers (13-24) vs. Tampa Bay Rays (22-15)
Ever the pesky team, the Rays are up near the top of the league once again, and they won a blowout on Tuesday. Ji-Man Choi knocked home a run in the first inning to give the Rays the early lead, Kevin Kiermaier added a solo shot in the second, then Kiermaier singled home another in the fourth to give Tampa a 3-0 lead. Detroit added one in the fifth inning, but from there it was all Tampa: Brett Phillips and Randy Arozarena both hit a solo shot and lifted a sacrifice fly to plate four runs in total, and Choi singled another home to bring us to an 8-1 final.
Seattle Mariners (16-21) vs. Toronto Blue Jays (20-17)
This one was decided in just one inning — Logan Gilbert pitched a great game, but he couldn’t evade damage in the second inning. Alejandro Kirk led off the frame with a double to left, and then Gilbert plunked Matt Chapman to set up runners on first and second. Santiago Espinal singled in-between strikeouts of Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and Ramiel Tapia, and then George Springer cleared the bases with a triple that landed right in front of a diving Steven Souza Jr.
That would be all the run support that José Berríos needed, as he threw seven innings of shutout ball for the home team. Gilbert matched him in length, and threw nine strikeouts to Berríos’ four, but the second inning was his undoing in this one.
Houston Astros (24-13) vs. Boston Red Sox (14-22)
The wheels have fallen off the Red Sox at several points already this season. They’ve endured walk-offs and nail-biting losses as well as absolute blowouts, and this game was one of the latter ones. Tragically, it also can be hung solely on one pitcher’s head — Nathan Eovaldi’s, specifically. Eovaldi has been Boston’s ace this year, and he started off this game on great footing. Eovaldi got the Astros to make three outs in just five pitches in the first inning, and then got an early 1-0 lead courtesy of a Rafael Devers solo home run.
Then the second inning started.
Eovaldi got in immediate trouble, coughing the lead up on a leadoff homer to Yordan Alvarez. Yuli Gurriel got gifted a free pass thanks to Franchy Cordero being unable to hold onto the throw at first, and then Kyle Tucker took Eovaldi deep. Jeremy Peña stepped up next and got in on the act with a back-to-back homer, and Jose Siri finally made the first out of the frame. Martín Maldonaldo and Jose Altuve reached to set up Michael Brantley’s three-run jack, Alvarez stepped back into the batter’s box and got a single, and Gurriel took Eovaldi’s final offering out to center field for the fifth Astros homer of the inning. Eovaldi became just the third pitcher ever to allow five home runs in an inning, ballooning his ERA from 3.15 to 4.32 in just 1.2 innings of work.
The Red Sox briefly showed signs of life, but allowed another four runs in the fourth inning and promptly shut down for the night. The Astros wound up winning 13-4, which isn’t as much of a blowout as you’d think considering the circumstances, but it’s a win all the same.
Minnesota Twins (21-16) vs. Oakland Athletics (16-23)
The Twins were the only rival that lost ground last night, losing to the Athletics 5-2. Oakland managed to capitalize on two key innings that were both primarily pitched by Josh Windar, who came into the game to start the fourth inning after Dylan Bundy started and made it through three in his first game back off of the COVID-IL.
Windar ran into immediate trouble in the fourth, giving up a double to Elvis Andrus before Kevin Smith brought him home on a two-run shot. That lead was cut in half immediately in the top of the fifth thanks to a Royce Lewis solo homer, and in the sixth, old friend Gary Sánchez hit his second home run in as many days to tie it. Windar got in trouble again in the seventh, however, an a pair of hits from Seth Brown and Sean Murphy plated three runs to seal it for Oakland.