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Yankees Rivalry Roundup: Jays club after delay, Sox win tight one

Catch up on Monday’s limited American League action here.

MLB: Toronto Blue Jays at Kansas City Royals Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

The Yankees, Rays, Twins, and most other MLB teams were off on Monday night. However, a few of the Yankees’ rivals were active, so here’s what happened in Houston, Kansas City, and Anaheim.

Seattle Mariners (25-30) vs. Houston Astros (35-20)

Both teams broke out the sticks in this one, combining for four home runs in the first two innings. Seattle’s Cal Raleigh was the only one to go deep with men on, a three-run shot that meant the game would stay close despite Kyle Tucker and Chas McCormick’s solo blasts.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, neither Robbie Ray nor Cristian Javier went more than five innings, but both bullpens combined for solid work, limiting the early damage. Seven relievers combined for 7.1 shutout innings after the starter departed, but Héctor Neris broke the chain and allowed some needed Seattle insurance:

Julio Rodríguez is probably the frontrunner for AL Rookie of the Year, and clutch home runs like that are how you build a case. The M’s held on to win, 7-4.

Toronto Blue Jays (32-22) vs. Kansas City Royals (17-36)

Pour one out for Andrew Mearns, last night’s editor, who had to stay up very late indeed for me to submit this story, largely due to a two-hour rain delay that turned this Central Time Zone start into a Pacific Time Zone start.

A pitchers’ duel broke out in the early goings once the game finally kicked off, with the first blow struck in the fourth inning thanks to Bo Bichette:

Bichette got off to a real slow start to the season, but since May 1st is sporting a 143 wRC+ and has shown some pop that eluded him in the first month of the year. This isn’t an uncommon trend across MLB, and I wonder if the ball has been tweaked again, the storage is different, hitters are adjusting their A swings, or the weather’s simply better. Either way, offense is on the rise over the last six weeks, game-wide.

Bo apparently broke the seal, as the Jays began to pile on, scoring in the next two innings on a pair of home runs — speaking of guys warming up, Vladimir Guererro Jr. is looking real good of late, hitting his 13th of the season — eventually taking the series opener, 8-0.

Boston Red Sox (28-27) vs. Los Angeles Angels (27-29)

Speaking of pitchers’ duels, this was a case of first-run wins, where Christian Vasquez’s second-inning RBI single was the only run in Boston’s 1-0 win over the Angels. The Washed, Six Win Mike Trout finally snapped his long, 0-for-24 hitless streak, but that wasn’t enough to get a run across for LAA, who have now lost 12 games in a row.

It was a tough-luck loss for Noah Syndergaard, who continued his solid-if-weird 2022, lowering his ERA to 3.69 despite striking out just three batters. He’s become somewhat of a groundball pitcher since switching coasts, but last night managed just five groundouts against six in the air. Michael Wacha — yes, him — threw the complete-game shutout for the Sawx, just the second time in his career he had accomplished the feat.