Aaron Judge. That’s it, that’s the tweet. A day after he blasted his third walk-off home run of the season, the big man launched two bombs — the second a grand slam — and robbed one at the wall in right. You could say he singlehandedly won the Yankees the first two games of the series, all the more important on an afternoon when three of their AL East rivals lost.
Detroit Tigers 4 (41-60) vs. Toronto Blue Jays 2 (55-45)
There was a scary moment in this game when Blue Jays ace Alek Manoah was forced to exit in the sixth after he was struck in the elbow by a come-backer. Luckily it doesn’t seem to be too serious — Manoah lobbied to stay in the game and is considered day-to-day. He surrendered four runs on seven hits prior to the incident, and the scare seemed to knock the wind out of the Blue Jays’ sales as they would not score another run. Matt Chapman contributed a solo shot in the second and Raimel Tapia an RBI single in the fourth and that would be that.
As for Detroit, starter Bryan Garcia only made it though 3.2, but the Tigers bullpen combined to throw 5.1 one-hit, shutout innings. Victor Reyes opened the scoring with an RBI double in the third. Harold Castro knocked in a pair with a single in the fifth and Willi Castro capped off the scoring with a solo blast in the sixth.
Cleveland Guardians 4 (51-48) vs. Tampa Bay Rays 1 (53-47)
The Rays were no match for Cleveland ace Shane Bieber. He carved through the Tampa Bay lineup for seven innings, allowing just one run on five hits against eight strikeouts. That run came in the bottom of the first on a Ji-Man Choi RBI single. The Guardians, meanwhile, leaned on superstar José Ramírez for the bulk of their offense. After Andrés Giménez opened the scoring in the fourth with an RBI double, Ramírez crushed a two-run homer in the fifth and collected his third RBI on the night with a single driving in Steven Kwan — owner of a three-hit performance — in the seventh.
Milwaukee Brewers 4 (56-44) vs. Boston Red Sox 1 (50-51)
The nightmare continues for the Red Sox, this time running into Brandon Woodruff in peak form. The fireball-slinging righty struck out nine in 6.1 innings while limiting the Boston offense to one run on four hits. This game was actually scoreless through five before Willy Adames broke the seal with an RBI single in the sixth. Alex Verdugo answered with an RBI double in the bottom half to tie the score back up. Milwaukee pulled ahead in the seventh on a Christian Yelich RBI single before putting it to bed with a two-run ninth. The loss drops Boston below .500 — the only team in the AL East without a winning record.
Seattle Mariners 1 (54-47) vs. Houston Astros 11 (66-35)
The big story of the day saw the Mariners trade three of their top five prospects to acquire Luis Castillo from the Reds. They could sure use the reinforcements in the rotation as they got shelled for a double-digit loss at the hands of their AL West rivals. Robbie Ray couldn’t make it out of the third, giving up four runs on five hits while reliever Tommy Milone got torched for a four-run sixth. Their only offense came in the form of an eighth inning consolation run on a Julio Rodríguez RBI double.
By that point, the Astros had scored 10 of their 11 runs. Aledmys Díaz homered twice while Yordan Álvarez and Mauricio Dubón also went yard. The former’s bomb was part of a three-hit night that grew his league-leading OPS to 1.110. Justin Verlander did Justin Verlander things, allowing just one run in 7.2 IP while totaling five punchouts.
Minnesota Twins 1 (52-47) vs. San Diego Padres 10 (56-45)
As the rumors of the Padres emerging as frontrunners in the Juan Soto sweepstakes swirl, they gave us a glimpse of the potency of their offense even without Washington’s Überstar and their own homegrown hero Fernando Tatís Jr. They clubbed Twins starter Joe Ryan to the tune of 10 runs on eight hits in 4.2 innings, with Manny Machado, Luke Voit, Eric Hosmer, Jorge Alfaro, and Ha-Seong Kim all going yard against the embattled righty.
The Twins couldn’t get anything going off Blake Snell, who twirled six innings of four hit, one run, seven strikeout ball. Byron Buxton proved to be the only bright spot, destroying his 25th home run of the year in the fourth to avoid the shutout. With the loss, the Twins’ lead over the Guardians in the AL Central shrinks to a lone game.