The good times kept rolling for the Yankees on Saturday, winning on the back of another elite pitching performance out of the rotation. Luis Severino was the man to get the call this time, and he diced up the Tigers lineup to the tune of seven shutout with one hit and 10 strikeouts — and in doing so becoming the fifth starter in a row to pitch at least seven innings and allow only a run or fewer. Throw in some Judge and Rizzo bombs, add in a Donaldson sacrifice fly, and you’ve got the recipe for a great win. That put pressure on the rest of the league to keep up once again, so let’s see how they did:
Minnesota Twins (31-24) vs. Toronto Blue Jays (31-21)
The Twins did good work to break up the Blue Jays’ win streak the other day, but they didn’t stand a chance in this one. Toronto scored runs in every inning except the fifth and sixth, taking Dylan Bundy and the Twins’ bullpen to task. Bo Bichette, Alejandro Kirk, and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. all homered in the effort, and Cavan Biggio and George Springer both had multiple hits that brought home more runners. José Berríos got a ton of run support, but he didn’t need much — he went seven strong, allowing just a two-run homer to Jorge Polanco in the first inning before striking out 13 Twins batters. Minnesota tacked on one run in the ninth, but otherwise went down quietly in the 12-3 beatdown.
Chicago White Sox (24-27) vs. Tampa Bay Rays (31-22)
For seven innings, Drew Rasmussen had the ChiSox completely flummoxed. The 26-year-old wasn’t generating many swings and misses, earning only two strikeouts on the night, but he had batters hitting it right to his fielders — he allowed only three hits and a walk with no runs coming across. Rasmussen only needed 81 pitches to do so as well, but Kevin Cash went to his bullpen to start the eighth inning up 2-0, and it cost him.
Brooks Baley came on and promptly allowed a double to Adam Engel, struck out Yasmani Grandal, and then gave up a single to Danny Mendick that scored Chicago’s first run. Jalen Beeks was summoned to replace Raley, but immediately coughed up the lead by serving Jake Burger a middle-middle changeup that got deposited over the center field wall. Kendall Graveman had an adventure in the bottom of the eighth, loading the bases with two outs, but a challenged groundout would be upheld to get him out of trouble and Liam Hendriks got the Rays out in order to secure the 3-2 win.
Boston Red Sox (26-27) vs. Oakland Athletics (20-35)
Nick Pivetta pitched a gem in this one, tossing seven shutout with seven strikeouts and only a pair of hits and walks allowed. His bullpen didn’t fail him this time, as Tanner Houck and Hirokazu Sawamura both kept Oakland off the scoreboard to secure the shutout. On the other side, Boston’s offense scored early and late, posting four runs combined in the third and fourth inning and then a four-spot in the eighth. Boston’s early season slump has kept them from factoring into the division race at all, but they’ve quietly gotten up to par with the rest of the AL Wild Card race — the only teams aside from division leaders that are in front of them are the Jays and Rays by a good portion, and the free-falling Angels by a single win.
Houston Astros (34-19) vs. Kansas City Royals (17-34)
Luis Garcia had a valiant outing for Houston, pitching seven innings of two-run ball with his only mistake coming in the form of a two-run Salvador Perez homer, but his offense couldn’t get anything going for him. Kris Bubic gave up at least one hit in all but one of his five innings, but the Astros couldn’t string them together to generate some runs, and the Royals bullpen slammed the door on them from there — Collin Snider, Arodys Vizcaíno, and Josh Staumont combined for four hitless innings of work. To add injury to insult, the Royals added four runs in the eighth inning to put away a 6-0 win.