What a truly miserable day of baseball. Credit to the Houston pitchers, but the Yankees strung together far too many uncompetitive at-bats to give the Astros a shot at the combined no-hitter. Oh well, tomorrow’s a new day, one in which the Yankees can rebound by splitting the series with the team that is the clear 1B to the Yankees’ 1A in the AL. For now, let’s recap how the rest of their AL rivals performed on Saturday.
Pittsburgh Pirates (29-42) vs. Tampa Bay Rays (39-32)
The Rays jumped out to a 2-0 first inning lead against Corey Kluber on a Vidal Bruján single that plated a pair. The Pirates tied it in the third thanks to a Diego Castillo leadoff home run and Bryan Reynolds RBI-single and grabbed a 5-3 lead in the sixth on a booming 443 foot three-run blast from Jack Suwinski.
Unfortunately, the Rays clawed back in the final innings, boosted by a four-hit afternoon for Randy Arozarena. Noted nobody-turned-power-hitter and new Yankee killer Isaac Paredes completed the comeback, first with a solo shot in the eighth to cut the deficit to one, followed by a two-run walk-off single off of one of the best closers in the game in David Bednar. Paredes now has five home runs in his last three games having entered this season with a grand total of two long balls to his name.
Toronto Blue Jays (40-31) vs. Milwaukee Brewers (41-33)
Corbin Burnes is one of, if not the best starting pitcher in the NL, and he showed us why with 7.2 strong innings against a potent Blue Jays lineup. Even though he gave up three runs on a pair of home runs — one from Matt Chapman in the fifth and the other from Bo Bichette in the eighth — he largely neutralized the Toronto bats, getting 18 whiffs and nine strikeouts on an afternoon when maybe he didn’t even have his best stuff.
The Brewers meanwhile scored five runs (two earned) in the first three innings off Yusei Kikuchi, though would manage no more for the rest of the game. The big blows came in the second and third, the former a two-run home run from Andrew McCutchen and the latter a leadoff solo shot by Mike Brosseau. The Jays made it interesting in the top of the ninth, scoring a run off Milwaukee closer Josh Hader, however the Brewers managed to hang on for the 5-4 win.
Boston Red Sox (41-31) vs. Cleveland Guardians (36-31)
With ace Shane Bieber on the mound and dealing through the early innings and one of the stingiest bullpens in the majors, the Guardians looked well on their way toward an easy victory over the Red Sox. They scored a pair in the third, which looked to be enough with Bieber putting up zero after zero.
That’s when things fell apart in the sixth. After J.D. Martinez and Xander Bogaerts reached on a pair of two-out singles, Alex Verdugo crushed a 447-foot three-run bomb to give the Red Sox their first lead of the contest. Jarren Duran provided an insurance run in the ninth on an RBI-single — his fourth hit of the night. Rookie pitcher Josh Winchowski picked up his third win in a row while the Boston bullpen combined to throw 3.2 scoreless innings of one-hit ball en route to a 4-2 victory.
Colorado Rockies (31-41) vs. Minnesota Twins (40-33)
How fitting that a day that began with a no-hitter should almost end with one as well. Chris Archer tossed five scoreless innings giving up just one hit and one walk against five strikeouts while the Minnesota bullpen combined for four no-hit innings to lockout the Rockies. Colorado’s only hit came via a C.J. Cron line drive single to lead off the second.
On the offensive side for the Twins, Alex Kirilloff did most of the heavy lifting, contributing three on a sac fly and two-run double. Luis Arraez, Kyle Garlick, and Gary Sánchez all had multi-hit nights as the Twins coasted to a 6-0 victory. They grab a one-game lead in the AL Central over the Guardians, though Cleveland has played six fewer games thanks to a COVID-19 outbreak among the coaching staff earlier in the season that forced them to reschedule games.