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Yankees Rivalry Roundup: Blue Jays and Red Sox both falter

The Yankees benefited from a pair of their rivals falling to terrible teams.

Baltimore Orioles v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images

No team is really challenging the Yankees in the standings these days, but we’re still here to scoreboard watch and keep you updated on how the team’s nominal rivals are doing. There wasn’t too much action around the AL last night, with the games pertinent to the Yankees involving the Blue Jays and Red Sox. Here’s what went down.

Baltimore Orioles (28-37) vs. Toronto Blue Jays (37-26)

The Jays threw out Kevin Gausman to start this one. The right-hander is in the midst of a stellar campaign, having carried a league-leading 1.76 FIP into yesterday's’ game. Baltimore countered with Tyler Wells, a little-known right-hander with 12 major league starts to his name.

So of course, the Orioles pounded Gausman, Wells dazzled Toronto, and Baltimore came away with a split of their series with Toronto.

The O’s wasted little time putting the hurt on Gausman, scratching a run out in the first, and then running him out of the building in the third. Two singles, two doubles, an error, and a sac fly all added up to six runs in the third frame, with Gausman exiting after just 2.1 innings with seven hits and seven runs (five earned) on the card.

Meanwhile, the Blue Jays had few answers for Wells. The 27-year-old rarely found himself in trouble, and was only dinged for a Teoscar Hernandez solo shot in the fifth. Wells finished at six solid innings, allowing one run, five hits, and one walk.

Baltimore tacked on a few more against the Toronto bullpen, ultimately taking the game 10-2. Rougned Odor, Tyler Nevin, and Ryan Mountcastle all led the way with two RBI apiece.

Oakland Athletics (22-43) vs. Boston Red Sox (34-30)

The A’s have been of little help to the Yankees this year. Cellar-dwellers of the AL West, the Yankees have not yet played Oakland, meaning they haven’t gotten a chance to beat up on the hapless A’s. Conversely, the Red Sox have played two series with the A’s, and won all five matchups so far.

That was until yesterday, when Oakland finally made themselves useful and took a game from Boston. Paul Blackburn started for the A’s, and put together the kind of outing that’s typified his breakout 2022. Blackburn danced through 5.1 innings, allowing eight hits, but limiting Boston to one run, while striking out four.

The A’s did just enough against Rich Hill to make Blackburn’s effort stand up. While Hill was effective for most of the afternoon, Oakland clustered their hits, roping four in a row in the third inning, with Chad Pinder knocking an RBI single, and Christian Bethancourt notching a two-run single:

Oakland’s bullpen nearly gave the lead back, with Sam Moll yielding a pair of runs in the bottom of the eighth to bring the score to 4-3, but Dany Jimenez came on to record a four-out save, his 11th of the season. The Red Sox, despite a still-respectable record, fell to 13.5 games back in the AL East.