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Yankees Rivalry Roundup: Minnesota rolls with Royce

Carlos Correa’s injury opens door for Lewis to make big league debut; Red Sox fall to last place in AL East; Rays win a wild one

Oakland Athletics v Minnesota Twins Photo by David Berding/Getty Images

It was a rain-soaked evening east of the Mississippi. The Yankees saw their series opener against the Rangers postponed to a Sunday doubleheader — one of six games rescheduled thanks to Friday’s sprawling wet front. There was still a decent slate of games to usher us into the weekend, so let’s recap the results of the Yankees’ AL rivals.

Boston Red Sox (10-17) vs. Chicago White Sox (12-13)

The Red Sox welcomed their stocking color counterparts to Fenway Park, but the White Sox had no time for niceties. Chicago scored a pair of runs on a mammoth Luis Robert third inning blast over the Monster off Boston starter Nathan Eovaldi while former Phillie and noted pinch-fielding extraordinaire Vince Velasquez gave up one run on three hits across five strong innings. Neither offense looked particularly sharp with the White Sox eventually winning, 4-2.

This was Boston’s third loss in a row and fifth in the last six games. They drop to 10-17, grabbing sole possession of last place in the AL East after the Orioles-Royals game got postponed to Sunday by the inclement weather. When it rains it pours, though I reckon the Red Sox might’ve preferred a rainout to last night’s performance.

Houston Astros (16-11) vs. Detroit Tigers (8-17)

This one was a close affair throughout, with all of the scoring done in the first three innings. The Astros did all their damage in the second inning on back-to-back home runs by the eight and nine hitters — first a two-run shot by Chas McCormick followed by a solo shot from Martín Maldonado.

The real story of this game was Astros starter Luis Garcia. Known as much for his elaborate windup as he is for his actual pitching ability, Garcia all but silenced the Tigers lineup, giving up two runs (one earned) on two hits with nine strikeouts on 91 pitches. His seven innings of work put Houston well on course for their eventual 3-2 victory. The win improves the Astros to 16-11, but with the Angels shutting out the Nationals, Houston only manages to hold serve in the division and still find themselves a game-and-a-half back.

Minnesota Twins (16-11) vs. Oakland Athletics (10-16)

Carlos Correa exited Thursday’s game with a finger injury, and though scans for a fracture came back negative, the Twins handed top prospect and 2017 first overall pick Royce Lewis his MLB debut. Lewis, a shortstop lauded for his arm and top-end speed, missed out on two straight years due to the COVID cancellation of the 2020 minor league season and then a torn ACL in 2021. The Twins rookie singled to right in the eighth for his first hit in The Show and finished the night 1-for-4.

Minnesota scored on a pair of solo shots, one from José Miranda in the second and one from Byron Buxton to lead off the fifth. It was Buxton’s ninth home run of the year, tying him with Aaron Judge, Anthony Rizzo, and the Rockies’ C.J. Cron for the MLB lead. The A’s tried to rally in the top of the ninth — loading the bases off Emilio Pagán — but came up short, falling 2-1 to the Twins.

Tampa Bay Rays (17-10) vs. Seattle Mariners (12-15)

The nightcap involved a wild see-saw game out in Seattle. Eugenio Suárez opened the scoring in the bottom of the first with a two-out, two-run bomb down the left field line. However, the Rays answered back scoring three on a procession of singles in the second. The Mariners briefly grabbed the lead back in the fourth, but once again the Rays responded, tying it up in the fifth before taking the lead in the seventh.

Heading into the bottom of the eighth down a run, M’s top prospect Julio Rodríguez legged out a one-out infield single. That brought outfield partner in crime Jarred Kelenic to the plate as a pinch-hitter. It’s been a trying start to the season for the former top prospect, out of the lineup since May 4th with just nine hits in his first 80 plate appearances. So of course he had to crush the go-ahead home run. You can see how much it means to him, perhaps this is just the moment needed to get the 22 year old’s season on track.

Paul Sewald entered the ninth having retired his first 18 batters faced. Of course, this is the Rays we’re talking about, so no happy endings allowed. Randy Arozarena and Brandon Lowe reached on a pair of one-out singles allowing Manny Margot to deliver the dagger. He drilled a middle-middle fastball to dead center for the go-ahead three-run bomb. It continues his torrid start to May, now with eight RBI in six games, but more importantly gave Tampa Bay a decisive 8-6 lead.

Eugenio Suárez homered again to made it interesting in the bottom of the ninth but the Rays managed to hold on for an 8-7 victory. What a crazy game.