What a remarkable walk-off win for the Yankees. I’m not sure any of the other action around the AL can top the Bombers’ emotional eleven inning victory over the Orioles. That said, all of their AL rivals played tonight, so we have quite a lot to get through.
Miami Marlins (18-23) vs. Tampa Bay Rays (25-17)
The battle for Florida kicked off with Rays lefty Shane McClanahan taking on Marlins righty Pablo López. McClanahan was the clear winner, tossing six shutout allowing only four hits and two walks against nine strikeouts. On the offensive side, the Rays scored all of their runs via the long ball. Kevin Kiermaier started off with an inside the park home run in the first.
Harold Ramírez followed up with a solo shot of his own in the second and should have added a second in the sixth if not for the stupid catwalks in the Trop. Ji-Man Choi capped the night off with a sixth inning two-run bomb following a Randy Arozarena leadoff walk to give the Rays a 4-0 victory.
Detroit Tigers (14-28) vs. Minnesota Twins (27-16)
This AL Central showdown was dominated by lights-out pitching from an old friend. Sonny Gray logged seven shutout innings surrendering four hits and a walk against 10 strikeouts, and was helped by a spectacular defensive play from one of the game’s most exciting players.
Even though he had an oh-fer at the plate, Byron Buxton can still impact the game in jaw-dropping fashion. The Twins scored on a Gio Urshela RBI single in the second and a Carlos Correa RBI double in the third. The 2-0 victory gives the Twins their sixth straight win during their MLB-leading 23-8 stretch since April 21st.
Toronto Blue Jays (23-20) vs. St. Louis Cardinals (24-19)
Kevin Gausman continued his run as the best pitcher in baseball to start the season. He threw six scoreless allowing four hits and two walks against eight strikeouts, holding down a potent St. Louis offense. Vlad Guerrero Jr. hit a 438 foot bomb in the sixth but the realm offensive hero of this game was Toronto catcher Danny Jansen, who drove in four runs on two dingers in the fourth and seventh. George Springer, Santiago Espinal, and Teoscar Hernández each collected an RBI as the Blue Jays easily downed the Cardinals, 8-1.
Cleveland Guardians (18-21) vs. Houston Astros (28-16)
This game started with a bang as José Ramírez logged one of the more impressive at-bats you are ever likely to see. On the 12th pitch of a monumental battle against Houston starter Framber Valdez, Ramírez crushed a mistake sinker over the Crawford Boxes to spot the Guardians an early lead.
The lead would be short-lived, however, as the Astros would come storming back scoring seven unanswered in the middle innings. The big blow came in the fifth with Kyle Tucker crushing a hanging Zach Plesac curveball 410 feet to center for the three-run shot to blow the doors off this game. The Guardians clawed back a run in each of the sixth and seventh, but the damage was done as they fell to the Astros, 7-3.
Boston Red Sox (20-22) vs. Chicago White Sox (21-21)
The battle of the long stockings wasn’t really a contest at all. Kiké Hernández demolished the first pitch of the game for a 372-foot shot to left and the Red Sox never really looked back from their. They scored three more in the inning, with Trevor Story continuing his torrid stretch with a three-run home run — his sixth in the last five games to go along with 17 RBI over that stretch.
The ball was absolutely flying off the Boston bats, as they scored in each of the first five innings. They scored a pair in the second on a Hernández RBI double and J.D. Martinez RBI single. Rafael Devers led off the fourth with his 10th home run of the year, followed by a Franchy Cordero sac fly and Christian Vásquez RBI single to total three in the frame.
All of this was just an appetizer for the main course: a six-run fifth to hang two touchdowns on the board in Chicago. Alex Verdugo kicked off the inning’s scoring with an RBI double, followed by RBI singles from Story and Cordero, and capped off by a three-run tater to left-center from Vásquez. José Abreu opened his team’s scoring with a two-run homer in the fourth while Tim Anderson added an RBI single in the fifth to preserve at least an ounce of pride as the home team. However, the Red Sox made quite a statement with their 16-3 drubbing of the White Sox, and we’ll see how each team reacts as the series unfolds.