Well we know how the Yankees and Rays did last night, but there was a tonne of action around the American League, with all the Yankees’ playoff rivals in action. New York once again lost a bad, and boring, baseball game (this time 4-0), but we did have a little bit of drama around the league, and a few fun highlights.
Baltimore Orioles 7 (60-55), Toronto Blue Jays 3 (61-53)
The Orioles just don’t quit. A game and a half out of the Wild Card picture, those pesky O’s continued their respectable season with a win over an AL East rival. They put up seven runs every which way, with a sacrifice fly, couple clutch solid hits with men on base, and a long, long Ryan Mountcastle blast:
Once again, Yusei Kikuchi was on the hill for the Jays, and once again, his three-year deal from last offseason looks stranger and stranger. He was hurt by a couple Blue Jays errors, but once again didn’t make it out of the fourth inning, the seventh time this season he’s failed to get that deep into games.
Just about the only solace for Jays fans came from the bat of Vlad Guerrero Jr.:
The Rays have now actually tied Toronto in the AL East and Wild Card standings. So even if Toronto loses again tomorrow, it will be up to the Yankees to beat the Rays to chip away at their magic number of 38.
Chicago White Sox 4 (60-56), Houston Astros 2 (75-42)
This one was bookended by some crooked numbers, as the Astros went up 2-0 in the first inning, off an RBI double and sac fly. After that, the resurgent Johnny Cueto locked the ‘Stros down, throwing eight innings and allowing just six hits on the night, flummoxing a strong Houston lineup. He only struck out three batters, but the results were there, as he lowered his season ERA to 2.78.
That kind of performance gave the White Sox lineup the time they needed for a huge eighth inning. Eloy Jiménez hit a booming double to tie the game 2-2, and Yoan Moncada knocked in the eventual game winning runs with a 2-run single a couple batters later. Liam Hendriks got the ball for the ninth, and you can imagine how that inning went.
Seattle Mariners 6 (63-54), Los Angeles Angels 2 (51-65)
Jesse Winker got things started off in a big way for the M’s:
The Angels answered with a solo shot of their own in the bottom half, an umpire-reviewed Luis Rengifo blast that knotted the game at one early. After those long balls though, it was all about the starters, as Luis Castillo and Shohei Ohtani nearly mirrored each others’ performances — both threw six innings, allowing two earned runs and a single walk, with Castillo just edging Ohtani with one more strikeout. They even threw the same strike percentage, 69 percent of their pitches. Castillo, so far, has been worth every penny (and prospect) the Mariners paid, matching Gerrit Cole and Ohtani in his first outings for the club.
It looked like this one was ticketed for extra innings, before the literal one-two punch at the top of the Mariners’ order got to hit in the ninth. Both Julio Rodríguez and Ty France brought in runs on bizarre fielder’s choice plays, before Winker once again put a stamp on the game with a run-scoring groundout. J.P. Crawford’s single put the game out of reach and the Mariners passed the Jays and Rays into the first AL Wild Card slot.
Cleveland Guardians 4 (61-54), Detroit Tigers 1 (43-74)
Detroit Tigers 7 (44-74), Cleveland Guardians 5 (62-54)
The AL Central rivals played two on Monday, splitting the affair. The Guardians took the matinee, 4-1, as Andrés Giménez led the way with three RBI. The nightcap was a more dramatic outing, as the Tigers added a couple key insurance runs in the eighth to stave off Cleveland’s comeback and win 7-5.
- Minnesota Twins 4 (59-55), Kansas City Royals 2 (48-69): Vinnie Pasquantino continued his strong rookie season for the Royals, hitting a two-run bomb that accounted for the team’s only runs. A trio of RBI singles provided the offense on the Twins’ side, including one from old friend Gary Sánchez. The Guardians’ AL Central lead over both the Twins and White Sox sits at two games.