The Yankees led wire-to-wire in their 8-2 win on Saturday, led by yet another Aaron Judge bomb as well as LeMahieu and Carpenter solo shots (and some atrocious Royals defense). They’re poised to close out the month with a chance at their 70th win of the year, but there are still some teams hot on their trails. Here’s how the rest of the AL hopefuls did yesterday:
Detroit Tigers 3 (41-61) vs. Toronto Blue Jays 5 (56-45)
Toronto jumped ahead in the first inning thanks to a Lourdes Gurriel Jr. single, but Detroit briefly took the lead with a golden opportunity in the fifth inning. Ross Stripling loaded the bases with no outs on back-to-back singles and a hit-by-pitch, and Kody Clemens lifted a sacrifice fly to tie the game. Toronto made a pitching change and Riley Greene greeted Adam Cimber with a booming double, but it only scored one run.
The Tigers added another run in the top of the sixth, but it all fell apart in the bottom half of the inning. Derek Law took over for Drew Hutchison and promptly let two of the first three batters reach before getting a groundball that his defense botched. Given a free out, Bo Bichette lifted a sacrifice fly and Teoscar Hernandez launched a home run to center to put the Blue Jays back up for good.
Cleveland Guardians 4 (51-49) vs. Tampa Bay Rays 6 (54-47)
Zach Plesac managed to generate some whiffs, but he also ran into two big blasts in his outing for the Guardians. The first came in the bottom of the first, a two-run shot from Brandon Lowe to start the scoring, and the second came in the fifth when Yandy Diaz took him deep for another two-run bomb. The Guardians were struggling to make consistent contact against Corey Kluber, but they did tally three runs on an Andres Gimenez homer in the sixth to get within a run. Tampa’s bullpen shut the door from there however, and Brett Phillips added an insurance run in the eighth for good measure.
Milwaukee Brewers 9 (57-44) vs. Boston Red Sox 4 (50-52)
For a while it looked like Boston’s poor April was going to hold them back from competing for the division crown but otherwise be their main blemish in a postseason push. Then July came crashing down on them, and they managed to produce an even-worse month of play. On the cusp of committing to being sellers, they needed to show up here to avoid settling into last place in the division.
The Sox rallied from being down 5-1 in the seventh, scoring three runs via a pair of singles and a sacrifice fly, but the Brewers answered right back with a run in the eighth and three in the ninth to easily get the win. All five of Boston’s pitchers in this game allowed at least one run, including four off of Nick Pivetta in five innings of work.
Minnesota Twins 7 (53-47) vs. San Diego Padres 4 (56-46)
The Twins put this game away with a five-run eighth inning, and it started off with a two-run blast by Carlos Correa. Byron Buxton and Jorge Polanco both reached and then the Padres misplayed a Kyle Garlick grounder to give the Twins a free runner. They made them pay, slapping two more singles to drive home a pair of runs. The Padres made it interesting in the ninth thanks to a Jurrickson Profar three-run shot, but Manny Machado struck out and Eric Hosmer grounded out to end the rally prematurely.
Seattle Mariners 5 (55-47) vs. Houston Astros 4 (66-36)
The Mariners landed their blows in the beginning and end of this one, striking for three runs in the first inning via an Eugenio Suarez single, J.P. Crawford forceout, and an Adam Frazier single. Framber Valdez buckled down from there though, and the Astros closed the gap with runs in the fifth and sixth thanks to Aledmys Diaz singling and homering, respectively.
In the seventh, Jose Altuve doubled home a run and Yuli Gurriel singled to score Altuve, putting Houston ahead. It seemed like Seattle was going to let another game against Houston slip away, but they started the ninth off with a walk and a single to put the tying run in scoring position. Scott Servais made the bold decision to pinch-hit Abraham Toro for the electric Julio Rodriguez, but Toro had his manager’s back and singled to score both runners.