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Yankees Rivalry Roundup: Jays win John Schneider’s managerial debut

Toronto got Schneider the victory in his managerial debut, but a non-AL East team has tied them and Boston in the Wild Card race.

Toronto Blue Jays defeat the Philadelphia Phillies 8-2 Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images

It was more stressful than it probably should’ve been and they needed an assist from both Alexis Díaz and the automatic runner rule, but the Yankees outlasted the Reds in 10 innings, 7-6. The mini-three-game losing streak is over, and if Aaron Boone’s ballclub can solve Luis Castillo tonight, then they can get back on track with another series victory.

Here’s what the rest of the Yankees’ AL rivals were up to.

Minnesota Twins 4 (49-41), Milwaukee Brewers 1 (49-40)

The Twins certainly didn’t have any problems putting runners on during their Wednesday matinee. They got six hits, three walks, and a hit by pitch against Milwaukee starter Aaron Ashby in 4.1 innings, but the only run to score came on a Gilberto Celestino single in the second. Until the last batter of the game, Minnesota was 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position and had stranded 13 men on base.

A Jace Peterson homer off Joe Ryan negated that Celestino RBI, and even though the Brewers had just four hits, they had a chance to take the lead in the ninth with two men on, one out, and Peterson back up to bat. This time though, Jhoan Duran got him in to bounce into a double play, and in the bottom of the ninth, Josh Hader did his part to affirm that — like Clay Holmes on Tuesday — even the best closers can melt down every now and then:

Hader didn’t record a single out, as he walked Jorge Polanco, gave up a single to Max Kepler, and could only watch as as Jose Miranda belted one 396 feet to end this ballgame.

Toronto Blue Jays 8 (47-42), Philadelphia Phillies 2 (46-43)

Toronto took the first game of the post-Charlie Montoyo era, with interim manager John Schneider earning his first career win. Ross Stripling actually made it pretty easy for his new skipper, as he twirled seven innings of two-hit ball with no walks allowed. The Phillies didn’t score until they were already down 5-0, and though they got a two-run homer Bryson Stott, the runs were unearned due to a Bo Bichette error.

Schneider and company benefitted from one of Zack Wheeler’s worst starts of the season. The Blue Jays pummeled him for six runs on seven hits in 4.2 innings, with both Teoscar Hernández and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. taking him deep. Hernández added a second homer later in the night to cap the 8-2 victory.

Tampa Bay Rays 4 (48-40), Boston Red Sox 1 (47-42)

Boy, the Red Sox didn’t exactly build off their late series split against the Yankees from this past weekend. They lost their third in a row at Tropicana Field and are now in danger of suffering a four-game sweep at the hands of a team that began the week trailing them in the Wild Card standings.

Per usual at this point, Shane McClanahan was tough as nails for Tampa, surrendering one lonely run in 6.1 innings of three-hit ball, striking out six along the way. That one run could’ve been more for Boston, but it came on a double-play ball from Christian Vázquez. Instead, that was all Boston mustered, and the Rays’ bullpen hardly gave them much of a chance, either. Although Josh Winckowski wasn’t terrible with three runs allowing in six innings, it wasn’t enough against an ace like McClanahan and no Gerrit Cole for Rafael Devers to pummel.

The Rays are now 1.5 games in front of the Red Sox, Blue Jays, and Mariners at the top of the Wild Card race. Seattle joined the party by sweeping a doubleheader against the Nationals to clinch their 10th victory in a row, matching the similarly-scalding Orioles (also on a 10-gamer), who are two back of that trio of teams.

Los Angeles Angels 7 (39-50), Houston Astros 1 (57-30)

I’ll be honest — even though Baseball Reference tells me that the Angels had won three games against the Astros this season before last night, I almost didn’t believe it. Then again, the victories came back in April, when Joe Maddon was still managing and the Angels were creating some false hope. Those were truly halcyon days.

For one night anyway, the Angels dialed it back to April. Their winning pitcher tonight was the same MVP who got the W in their last win over the Astros: Shohei Ohtani. In fact, his pitching lines weren’t terribly different:

April 20th: 6 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 12 K
July 13th: 6 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 12 K

And of course because Ohtani is Ohtani, he added a two-run triple during the Angels’ rally off Cristian Javier in the second to get on the board. He also drew a walk and came around to score in the sixth after a one-out single helped the Angels tack on some much-needed insurance runs.

Ohtani’s just playing on another planet right now. It’s just too bad that the man is doing it in Anaheim.