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Yankees Rivalry Roundup: Gio plays the hero in extras

Two dramatic games in the AL round up our look at the playoff picture

MLB: Minnesota Twins at Milwaukee Brewers Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

We had a reasonably light night around baseball, with the Yankees in action against one of their playoff rivals, and only two other games featuring others. The Yankees took care of their business, beating the Mariners 7-2, but it’s still worth checking in on the rest of the American League (even with the Blue Jays and Rays idle).

Minnesota Twins 5 (54-48), Detroit Tigers 3 (41-63)

This game might be defined less by the results and more concerns around burgeoning Tigers ace Tarik Skubal. After throwing 17 straight scoreless innings, the lefty was taken out five innings into his start in Minnesota, although the cause turned out to be arm fatigue rather than a trade.

A deal for Skubal would have been game-breaking news, but a long-term injury would be worse for the Tigers’ future. For what it’s worth, they were able to outlast the Twins without their young star for a moment, being up 2-0 thanks to a pair of Tucker Barnhart RBIs.

Jose Miranda tied the game in the seventh, driving in two with a single that stood long enough to force the game into extra innings, where Akil Baddoo put Detroit ahead:

However, no matter what year it is, the Tigers bullpen is going to be the Tigers bullpen. Manfred Man Carlos Correa came around on another Miranda RBI single, before our old friend Gio Urshela sent the Target Field faithful home happy:

The AL Central-leading Twins are still idle at the trade deadline as of the time of publishing, though the Tigers made a small sale by sending Robbie Grossman to the Braves.

Boston Red Sox 3 (52-52), Houston Astros 2 (67-37)

The Red Sox have been in terrible straits lately, so naturally, the team held down a very good Astros squad to scoring in just one inning. Yordan Alvarez had a sac fly in the third, Aledmys Díaz added an RBI double off Nathan Eovaldi, and that was all Houston could muster in a 3-2 loss.

Jarren Duran, one of the team’s top prospects who has, as of yet, been a little disappointing on both sides of the ball, was the big difference maker in this one. The outfielder drove in all three Red Sox runs, including the big blow, a two-run shot that gave Boston the lead for good:

The Red Sox are staring down the barrel of a lost season, and the Astros are fighting the Yankees for home-field advantage through the playoffs. I’ll hold my nose and root for Boston for the rest of this series, especially if they can pull another win or two out from under Houston.

On the trade front, Boston will have to press on without catcher Christian Vázquez, who they dealt across the clubhouse to the Astros moments before last night’s game began. Reliever Jake Diekman is also on his way to the White Sox for replacement backstop Reese McGuire, but oddly, Boston doesn’t seem to be purely selling just yet, as they’re also set to acquire Tommy Pham from the Reds. Back on the Houston front, the Astros didn’t settle with just Vázquez; in other reported trades last night, they acquired reliever Will Smith from Atlanta for starter Jake Odorizzi and sent outfielder Jose Siri to the Rays in a three-team trade that brought longtime Oriole Trey Mancini to Houston.