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Yankees Rivalry Roundup: A Balk-off!

Reds beat Rays on walk-off balk; Rangers top Twins in tense affair; Mariners walk off Jays; Houston stays hot in Oakland

Tampa Bay Rays v Cincinnati Reds Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

Thanks to multi-hit games from DJ LeMahieu, Matt Carpenter, Gleyber Torres, Aaron Hicks, and Jose Trevino and sterling relief appearances from Miguel Castro and Lucas Luetge, the Yankees cruised to an easy 12-5 victory over the Red Sox. Let’s see how their other AL rivals did on this baseball-filled Friday night.

Tampa Bay Rays (45-38) vs. Cincinnati Reds (30-54)

With the two teams’ aces on the mound, this one promised to be a tasty pitchers’ duel, and Shane McClanahan and Luis Castillo did not disappoint. McClanahan logged six strong innings, giving up a run on three hits and two walks against eight strikeouts, but was out-dueled by the Reds righty. Castillo tossed seven innings, allowing just one run on four hits and one walk against eight strikeouts as the Reds look to build his stock in advance of the trade deadline.

The Rays opened the scoring in the third on a Ji-Man Choi RBI single but the Reds answered right back in the bottom-half on a Brandon Drury leadoff home run. The scores would remain tied until the bottom of the tenth, and that’s when things got weird. Nick Senzel moved the Manfred Man to third on a sac bunt, and after an Albert Almora Jr. walk, Matt Wisler balked pinch-runner Mark Kolozsvary home to lose, 2-1, in one of the most painful ways imaginable.

Minnesota Twins (47-39) vs. Texas Rangers (38-43)

The Twins jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first after Luis Arráez reached on an error followed by a Carlos Correa home run. They added another in the third on a Max Kepler RBI single and had to feel like this was their game after Byron Buxton made perhaps the catch of the season to rob Marcus Semien of extra bases in the fourth. However, the Rangers said “Not so fast,” and roared back with a six-run fifth, capped off by a Corey Seager three-run bomb.

The Twins clawed two runs back in the sixth on a two-run home run from Ryan Jeffers to knock Jon Gray from the contest, but the Rangers bullpen locked it down from there, combining to throw 3.2 scoreless innings allowing just two hits en route to the 6-5 victory.

Houston Astros (55-28) vs. Oakland Athletics (28-57)

The Astros had no trouble handling the AL West cellar-dwellers, jumping on Oakland starter Paul Blackburn for six runs in four innings. After a stellar start to his season that saw him carry a 2.26 ERA through his first 13 starts, Blackburn has hit a bit of a wall of late, giving up 16 runs in his last 19.1 IP to inflate the ERA to 3.36 on the year.

Houston did the scoring in bunches, putting up three in the fourth and fifth and two in the seventh. Alex Bregman, Yuli Gurriel, Aledmys Díaz, and Jake Meyers all had multi-hit games with Bregman picking up a pair of RBI while Martín Maldonado launched a three-run bomb in the fifth. Another easy win for the Astros, making it ten out of the last eleven and 19 of their last 24. 8-3 your final score.

Toronto Blue Jays (45-40) vs. Seattle Mariners (43-42)

Another pitchers’ battle, though nowhere near the caliber of tonight’s first game. Toronto’s Ross Stripling and Seattle’s rookie George Kirby combined to give up 17 hits in the first 5 innings, but somehow held it to two runs apiece. Lourdes Gurriel opened the scoring in the second with a single — one of three hits on the night. Dylan Moore answered in the bottom half, his double plating Eugenio Suárez. Seattle scored again in the next frame, rookie phenom Julio Rodríguez leading off with a single and coming around to score on a J.P. Crawford double. Toronto tied it in the fifth, Teoscar Hernández plating Vladito after his leadoff double, after which both offenses stalled to send the game to extras.

Seattle had a chance to win it in the 10th... until they did this:

It didn’t matter though, because Suárez would walk it off in the next inning in emphatic style.

Seattle wins, 5-2, making it six straight and putting them within touching distance of the Wild Card pack after a horrid start to the season. The Blue Jays have now dropped seven of their last eight and sit tied with Boston for third, 16 back of the Yankees.

In a weird ‘glitch in the Matrix’ moment, MLB sent out two erroneous notifications at the end of the game:

Very strange indeed.