The Yankees played a frustrating one down in Tampa yesterday, dropping a game with their ace on the mound. The Bombers still maintain the best record in baseball, as they’ve continued to win even as injuries have mounted, so this represented a rare opportunity for the rest of the AL to gain some ground. Here’s what went down.
Baltimore Orioles (20-28) vs. Boston Red Sox (22-25)
The O’s and Sox played two yesterday, and things kicked off with a strong outing from Nate Eovaldi in game one. With Boston looking for length from their top starter, Eovaldi delivered a crucial complete game performance.
The right-hander wasn’t perfect, as Anthony Santander singled home a run in the first inning, and Robinson Chirinos popped a two-run homer in the fifth. But for the most part, Eovaldi kept Baltimore off balance, finishing the game with seven hits allowed, six strikeouts, and one walk. Eovaldi’s start was just the seventh complete game recorded across the league this season .
The Red Sox did enough to make Eovaldi’s work stand up. Bobby Dalbec broke a 3-3 tie in the sixth with a solo shot, and Boston tacked on an insurance run in the next inning with an RBI single from Christian Arroyo, ultimately taking the game 5-3.
The nightcap featured a matchup of unheralded starters, Denyi Reyes for the Orioles, and Josh Winckowski for the Sox. After matching zeroes for the first couple innings, the O’s damaged Winckowski, picking up an RBI single from Ramon Urias, and then a three-run bomb from Rougned Odor:
Reyes only lasted 3.2 innings, but the Baltimore bullpen did fine work holding down the Red Sox lineup. The O’s managed a 4-2 win to scrape together a split at Fenway.
Toronto Blue Jays (26-20) vs. Los Angeles Angels (27-21)
This was a tight, topsy-turvy one, with a pitchers’ duel morphing into a slugfest by the end. The Blue Jays struck quickly in the first, with Vlad Guerrero Jr. doubling home a run off of Michael Lorenzen, but went quiet for a time. The Angels put two across Yusei Kikuchi in the fifth, and took a 2-1 lead into the seventh, when things started to get wild.
Joe Maddon tried to push Lorenzen a bit, letting him come out for the seventh. He was burned, with Cavan Biggio doubling home a run and Alejandro Kirk giving the Jays a 3-2 lead with an RBI single. But the Angels struck back in the home half of the inning, with Mike Trout slamming a two-run homer to retake the lead:
Not to be outdone, the Jays put two runners on in the eighth with two walks to start the inning. Two outs later, Matt Chapman plated two runs with a line drive to right to put Toronto up 5-4. They extended their lead by a run on a Raimel Tapia double.
Yet the Angels mustered a rally in the ninth, taking normally-excellent Toronto closer Jordan Romano to task. Romano struggled with control, walking two, hitting a batter, and allowing a single to cut the lead to 6-5. Ross Stripling replaced Romano with two outs, the bases loaded, and former Yankee Andrew Velazquez at the plate. Stripling retired Velazquez to earn the save and end a thriller.
Houston Astros (29-18) vs. Seattle Mariners (20-27)
Looking to make it two in a row over the Astros, the Mariners sent Logan Gilbert to the mound, and boy did the young righty deliver. Gilbert scattered five hits across seven scoreless innings with walking a batter as the Mariners downed Houston 6-0.
Across from Gilbert, Jose Urquidy compiled one of the stranger lines you’ll see: 4.2 innings, 12 hits, six runs (five earned), two walks and four strikeouts. Seattle consistently battered him, keeping runners on the bases and scoring runs off Urquidy in four of the five frames in which he appeared.
Gilbert’s dominant performance pushed his ERA on the season down to 2.29. He’s quietly been one of the strongest starters across the AL this year.
Kansas City Royals (16-29) vs. Minnesota Twins (28-19)
The Royals have had a rough start to the year, but they’ve been a pest to the Twins this week. They’ve taken two of three so far in a four-game set, including yesterday’s game by the score of 7-3.
Kansas City had one of their more interesting young pitchers on the mound in 25-year-old Brady Singer. He mostly cruised through the first five innings, only getting chased when a Ryan Jeffers single drove home two in the sixth inning. The right-hander finished with three runs allowed across 5.2 innings, and struck out eight while walking none.
Chris Archer started for the Twins and couldn’t quite keep up. The veteran surrendered five runs in four innings and only managed one strikeout. Bobby Witt Jr. recorded RBI doubles in the first and third, and Hunter Dozier went 3-5 with two RBI to pace Kansas City. The Twins do still possess a five-game lead over the White Sox in the AL Central.