The Yankees weren’t able to close out the sweep yesterday, dropping a tough one in the bottom of the ninth to the Orioles. Most of their direct rivals were off, however, so it didn’t represent much of an opportunity for the rest of the league to catch up.
We did have a couple of games to keep an eye though, so let’s get you up to speed on what went down.
Boston Red Sox (16-22) vs. Seattle Mariners (17-22)
The Red Sox had stabilized a bit recently, having won five of their last eight, but they got off to a very shaky start last night. The Mariners struck off starter Rich Hill in the second, with infielder Dylan Moore taking the wily lefty deep for a three-run dinger. Ty France added an RBI double later in the inning to give Seattle a 4-0 lead.
But Trevor Story, off to a rocky beginning in his Boston tenure, took matters into his own hands. He hit a two-run shot off Seattle rookie George Kirby in the second, then added another two-run blast to tie the game in the third:
For the 2nd time tonight...— Red Sox (@RedSox) May 20, 2022
It's Story Time! pic.twitter.com/d6wt3HCXt3
Story wasn’t done there, driving in a run with a single in the sixth, and later coming around to score on Jackie Bradley Jr.’s double to give Boston a 6-4 lead.
Boston took a 9-5 advantage into the eighth, when Story went deep one last time, capping off a three-homer night for the shortstop:
Tonight's Story Time:— Red Sox (@RedSox) May 20, 2022
5 R pic.twitter.com/UAhBBJl9EW
Just in one game, Story raised his OPS 117 points, and drove in seven runs. The Red Sox would go on to win 12-6, with J.D. Martinez and Alex Verdugo totaling four and three hits, respectively.
Houston Astros (25-14) vs. Texas Rangers (17-20)
Both of the teams here struck quickly, and then went silent. Corey Seager picked an RBI single off Houston starter Framber Valdez in the top of the first, but the Astros came back with RBI singles from Aledmys Diaz and Kyle Tucker in the bottom half of the frame off former Yankees farmhand Glenn Otto.
The game remained 2-1 in Houston’s for almost the entirety of the contest. The Astros at last broke the deadlock in the bottom of the eighth, when Martín Maldonado cleared the bases with a three-run double that extended the lead to 5-1:
We needed Moore runs, so Machete delivered. pic.twitter.com/c5O17kzY9A— Houston Astros (@astros) May 20, 2022
Otto allowed the two runs over six innings but was tagged with the tough-luck loss. Valdez was brilliant outside of the first inning, finishing with seven innings and seven strikeouts against two walks. Hector Neris and Ryan Pressly combined to shut the door on Texas, and lengthen the Astros’ lead in the AL West.