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Rivalry Roundup: Rays jump back over Orioles

Tampa Bay took back a playoff spot, while a late home run gave the Blue Jays a win in Toronto.

Baltimore Orioles v Tampa Bay Rays Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images

Last night saw the Yankees pick up a much-needed win, stopping their recent slide, at least for one day. The 3-2 victory over the Red Sox was another heart-stopper, but at least they came out on top this time.

While the win ensured we don’t have to think about what teams gained ground on the Yankees, let’s still look around and see what the AL competition did in Saturday’s action.

Toronto Blue Jays (61-51) 2, Cleveland Guardians (60-53) 1

Teoscar Hernández’s seventh inning home run ended up providing the difference the Blue Jays came away with a win in a low-scoring matchup.

The Guardians will not be happy about this one, as they ended up going 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position, scoring just one run on six hits and four walks. That run came in the first inning too, quickly striking against Toronto starter Mitch White. However, they ended up leaving two runners on base in the first inning, which ended up being the theme of their day.

Meanwhile, Cleveland starter Triston McKenzie had a pretty solid day, allowing two runs on five hits and two walks in 6.2 innings. However, both runs came on solo home runs, and that ended up being too many considering the day his offense was having. Matt Chapman got him on one to tie the game in the fifth, with Hernández then getting the deciding run in the seventh.

Tampa Bay Rays (59-53) 8, Baltimore Orioles (59-54) 2

The Orioles’ brief lead for a playoff spot ended, at least for now, after the Rays beat them to pass them. Baltimore held a lead at one point, but the Rays scored seven runs unanswered to cruise to a win. Seven different Rays recorded at least one hit and five had at least one RBI.

Jose Siri led Tampa Bay with three hits, and would come around to score all three times, while Yu Chang, Isaac Paredes, and Taylor Walls all drove home two RBI apiece. Paredes was the one whose third inning double ended up giving the Rays the lead for good. Meanwhile, Shane McClanahan gave them six solid innings.

The end of this game got a little weird and benches cleared at one point.

The kerfuffle seemed to extend from Rays reliever Pete Fairbanks being upset that Robinson Chirinos was granted time in the middle of his windup earlier in the at-bat. Nothing happened beyond this, but it certainly was a thing.

Houston Astros (74-41) 8, Oakland Athletics (41-73) 0

Lance McCullers Jr.’s return from injury and 2022 debut could not have gone much better for the Astros. He gave them six shutout innings, allowing two hits and four walks as Houston easily dispatched Oakland.

On the offensive side of things, Alex Bregman hit a two-run home run in the first, setting the tone for the Astros early. Kyle Tucker, Trey Mancini, Jeremy Peña, and Chas McCormick would all plate at least one run as Houston ran away with this one.

Texas Rangers (50-63) 7, Seattle Mariners (62-53) 4

Despite jumping out to a 3-0 lead in the second inning, the Mariners couldn’t hang on, taking a loss to the Rangers. After falling behind early and recording just one baserunner in the first three innings, Texas fought back with four runs in the fourth off Seattle starter Marco Gonzales. They would add more off the Mariners’ bullpen.

Seattle did have their chances, but after the second inning, they didn’t really take them. They left two runners on in the fourth inning, and another two were stranded in the sixth. While they handed Rangers’ starter Dane Dunning pretty well, Texas’ bullpen went a combined 4.2 innings, allowing one run on two hits and two walks.

Other Contenders

  • Chicago White Sox (58-56) 6, Detroit Tigers (43-72) 4: Andrew Vaughn’s seventh inning RBI single gave the White Sox the led for good as they beat Detroit. Lucas Giolito didn’t have his best day, but the Chicago offense, led by AJ Pollock who had a home run and two RBI, were able to get them the win.
  • Los Angeles Angels 5, Minnesota Twins 3 (11 innings): Down to their last strike on two different occasions in the ninth inning, the Angels rallied to beat the Twins in extras. Magneuris Sierra tied the game on a wild play that goes in the scorebook as a two-RBI triple that also saw Sierra get thrown out at home to send the game to extras. Two innings later, Taylor Ward won the game with a walk-off home run.