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Yankees Rivalry Roundup: Extra-innings bonanza

Several AL contenders needed bonus baseball on Saturday.

Houston Astros v Atlanta Braves Photo by Adam Hagy/Getty Images

Unfortunately, these Rivalry Roundup posts are becoming more and more relevant by the day.

Saturday saw the Yankees take another loss to the Blue Jays. The 5-2 defeat saw Toronto take another game off the Yankees’ lead in the AL East, which is now down to just seven games. While that’s still a decent-sized lead, it’s also more than half the size that it once was.

While we know for sure that one team gained some more ground on the Yankees on Saturday, let’s take a look at the rest of the AL competition in today’s edition of the Rivalry Roundup.

Tampa Bay Rays 5 (64-55), Kansas City Royals 2 (49-73)

A three-run second inning broke the game open for the Rays as they took a lead and never trailed against the Royals. Tampa Bay, led by a two-RBI game from Yu Chang and two-hit games from Yandy Díaz, Harold Ramírez, and Isaac Paredes, knocked Royals’ starter Kris Bubic out in the fourth inning in a fairly straight-forward win.

Meanwhile after taking a perfect game into the ninth in his previous start, Drew Rasmussen took a no-hitter into the sixth. However, not only would be not get his no-no bid past the sixth, he wouldn’t make it past either. The Royals mounted a rally, scoring two runs in the inning, knocking Rasmussen out of the game. Kansas City would then bring the tying run to the plate in the next inning, but they failed to capitalize on that. The Rays would add an insurance run in the eighth and cruised to a win after that.

Oakland Athletics 4 (44-77), Seattle Mariners 3 (66-55) (10 innings)

Despite taking an early lead and even rallying after falling behind, the Mariners couldn’t come away with a win over the A’s.

After going up 2-0 and getting four pretty good opening innings from starter Logan Gilbert, the Mariners coughed up the lead in a three-run fifth inning by Oakland. They then put runners on in the sixth and seven innings, but failed to take advantage. Then in the eighth, a Eugenio Suárez single evened things up and seemingly swung things back in Seattle’s favor.

However after stranding a runner in scoring position in the ninth, the game would go to Manfredball, where those missed chances would come back to haunt the Mariners. Reliever Diego Castillo walked the bases loaded by both intentional and conventional walks, brining Sheldon Neuse to the plate. Neuse would end the game on a play that goes down as a fielder’s choice, and choices were definitely made.

It was a waste of a three-hit game by Julio Rodríguez, who finished with a triple and two singles.

Atlanta Braves 5 (75-47), Houston Astros 4 (77-45) (11 innings)

The Astros held the lead two different times in extra innings, but couldn’t hold on to either as they fell after Travis d’Arnaud’s walk-off single.

Cristian Javier and Spencer Strider had a pitcher’s duel going for a while, putting up very similar lines, both allowing one run in six innings. However, it took until extra innings for this game to get really wild.

In the top of the 10th, Houston took the lead, scoring two runs on RBI hits from Jake Meyers and Yuli Gurriel. Atlanta would answer back scoring two runs of their own, thanks to RBI hits from Michael Harris II and Robbie Grossman. They had a chance to win the game then and there, but they couldn’t plate the winning run, which immediately seemed like it would come back to haunt them. In the 11th, a groundout moved the Astros’ automatic runner to third and then a Jeremy Peña groundout scored to put Houston in the lead.

Down to their last three outs, the Braves had their heart of their order due up. After Austin Riley drew a walk, Matt Olson came through, doubling to tie the game. Following an intentional walk to load the bases and set up a double play, d’Arnaud instead delivered a win, just sneaking through a single.

Other Contenders

  • Boston Red Sox 4 (60-61), Baltimore Orioles 3 (62-58): Thanks to 5.2 shutout inning from Michael Wacha, the Red Sox were able to jump out to a 3-0 lead, thanks mainly to Kiké Hernández’s two-run homer, and never trailed in this one. The Orioles made it close after that, but Boston picked up a run in the top of the ninth, which ended up being the difference as Baltimore’s rally fell short in the bottom half of the inning.
  • Texas Rangers 4 (54-66), Minnesota Twins 3 (62-56) (10 innings): The Twins’ bullpen allowed two runs in the top of the 10th, putting them in slightly too big a hole for their offense to overcome. Despite trailing 4-2 going into the bottom of the tenth, Minnesota scored one run and had the tying run at third, but couldn’t plate it, coming up one run short.
  • Chicago White Sox 2 (62-59), Cleveland Guardians 0 (64-56): Johnny Cueto turned back the clock once again and threw 8.2 scoreless innings to help the White Sox to a win. Cueto allowed five hits and one walks in his outing, but one with two outs in the ninth inning prevented him from finishing the deal, with Chicago opting to not mess around with the winning run at the plate. Liam Hendriks managed to finish things off and preserve Cueto’s gem.