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Yankees Rivalry Roundup: Nick Pivetta’s unexpected dominance

The middle Red Sox righty threw a two-hitter against Houston while the Rays and Twins each won in a breeze.

Houston Astros v Boston Red Sox Photo By Winslow Townson/Getty Images

The Yankees might have only scored three runs last night in Baltimore, but thanks to a workmanlike outing from Gerrit Cole and more dominance from Clay Holmes, it was enough for a 3-2 victory — their ninth in ten games and fourth in a row. They’ve now won nine consecutive series and sit at a frankly absurd 28-9. Keep it up!

That’s what happened in the Charm City, but this is what happened elsewhere around the American League.

Detroit Tigers (13-25) vs. Tampa Bay Rays (23-15)

The Rays took advantage of an injured and ineffective Eduardo Rodriguez to turn this afternoon getaway day matchup into about as much of a no-contest as a 6-1 win can be. They led off the game with three straight singles before a bases-loaded walk to Randy Arozarena and two-run single from Francisco Mejia made it 3-0, Tampa. Rodriguez left with the Tigers’ trainers after recording only one out.

From then on, it was the Isaac Paredes Show, as the former Tigers infielder put the hurt on his former team with his first two homers of the season. The solo shots put the Rays’ pitching staff in a good spot, and Drew Rasmussen threw five shutout frames in the victory.

Minnesota Twins (22-16) vs. Oakland Athletics (16-24)

Minnesota and Oakland also played a matinee on Wednesday for their series finale, and suffice to say, the Twins’ bats came to play. Remarkably, they scored 14 runs without the benefit of a single dinger, instead blistering the A’s pitching staff with a barrage of singles and doubles. Old friends Gary Sánchez and Gio Urshela plated three in the first, and El Gary tacked on another in the fourth on a two-bagger to make it 4-1, Minnesota.

The middle innings were where the Twins really broke it open. They finally knocked A’s starter Daulton Jeffries out of the game in the fourth with a pair of RBI doubles from Luis Arraez and Carlos Correa (making his return from the IL). Two frames later, they lit up reliever Kirby Snead for five runs on three hits and three walks, crossing the double-digit threshold and effectively ending the ballgame as Sonny Gray kept the A’s at bay. The Twins captured this road series in Oakland and now lead the AL Central by 3.5 games over the White Sox (who fell to the Royals, 6-2).

Houston Astros (24-14) vs. Boston Red Sox (15-22)

The Red Sox might have won the opener of this three-game set on Monday, but after getting homered to death in Game 2 by a 13-4 score, they were probably in bad shape with Nick Pivetta and his 5.08 ERA on tap to face Houston, right? Actually, no!

Pivetta gave up a leadoff homer to Jose Altuve and somewhat inexplicably dominated the dangerous Astros lineup from then on, retiring the next 18 batters in a row and going the distance in a 112-pitch two-hitter. It was his first complete game since June 8th, 2019, and Boston’s first since Chris Sale three days prior. Meanwhile, Boston only tallied five hits as part of their Wednesday offense. One of them was a Xander Bogaerts homer though, and each of Rafael Devers, Christian Vázquez, and Kiké Hernández registered RBI knocks in the 5-1 win.

Seattle Mariners (17-21) vs. Toronto Blue Jays (20-18)

Kevin Gausman has been a rock for the Blue Jays early on in 2022, but he’s now lost back-to-back outings. Although Seattle scored only two runs against him (one on a homer by their No. 9 hitter, catcher Cal Raleigh), they wore him down and forced him from the game after five innings. His counterpart, Marco Gonzales, kept the Toronto offense frustrated over six innings of one-run ball, the lone blemish coming on a bases-loaded walk to Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

The Raleigh dinger put the Mariners in front though, and both Ty France and Abraham Toro tacked on insurance homers against the Blue Jays’ bullpen. Andrés Muñoz, Paul Sewald, and Diego Castillo blanked Toronto over the final three frames to help Seattle match Boston with a 5-1 triumph of its own, avoiding a sweep.