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Yankees Rivalry Roundup: JV approaches perfection again

Rays annihilate Angels; Blue Jays bombard Boston; JV no-hits Twins through six; Mariners make light work of Washington

Minnesota Twins v Houston Astros Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

The Yankees have now won three straight, sweeping the two-game Subway Series over the Mets to get their second half back on track. The pitching has been stellar and the offense is slowly but surely rounding itself back into form. Last night’s win couldn’t have come at a better time, as many of their AL rivals were victorious.

Tampa Bay Rays 11 (67-55), Los Angeles Angels 1 (52-71)

Mike Trout hit his first home run since returning from a month out with a back injury — a blast which also gave him an even 1,500 hits for his career — but that was the only good thing to come out of this game for the Angels. Their starter José Suarez actually held Tampa Bay to three runs through the first six innings, but a shoddy-defense-fueled, disastrous six-run seventh left Los Angeles to suffer another blowout loss.

Christian Bethancourt led off with a home run off veteran reliever Jesse Chavez. He would eventually surrender four runs (though only one earned), enduring a strikeout-passed ball, double, and walk before being lifted for Braves castoff Touki Toussaint. Toussaint would end up walking the bases loaded twice to go along with multiple run scoring hits as the Rays cruised their way to the 11-1 victory behind six innings of one-run ball from Corey Kluber to hang onto a half-game lead over the Mariners for the first Wild Card.

Toronto Blue Jays 9 (66-55), Boston Red Sox 3 (60-63)

The Blue Jays scored eight runs in the third inning without a ball leaving the ballpark. I possess not the mental endurance to recap that crazy frame in verbal format, so I’m just gonna leave this here for your consideration.

George Springer, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette, Matt Chapman, and Jackie Bradley Jr. all contributed multi-hit nights behind another improbably good start from Ross Stripling — six innings giving up one run on six hits against six strikeouts. Red Sox rookie Josh Winckowski gave up six runs in 2.2 innings and on the other side, the Blue Jays are apparently using Yusei Kikuchi out of the bullpen now. He walked three batters, but it mattered not as the Blue Jays had their 9-3 victory wrapped up early.

Houston Astros 4 (79-45), Minnesota Twins 2 (62-59)

Justin Verlander continues to beat back father time as his quest for a third Cy Young rolls on. He pitched six no-hit innings with ten strikeouts against the Twins — the only baserunner coming on a strikeout-wild pitch — before being pulled with his pitch count at 91. He becomes the fifth starter this year to go at least six no-hit innings and get pulled with the bid still in play.

Verlander’s ex-teammate Aaron Sanchez held his former team to one run in four innings before being forced to leave the start prematurely after the umpires ruled that a benches-clearing incident in the fifth counted as an illegal mound visit, which mandates that the pitcher be removed from the game. Alex Bregman provided most of the Houston offense, going 3-for-4 including a two-run blast in the seventh to seal their eventual 4-2 win.

Seattle Mariners 4 (67-56), Washington Nationals 2 (41-83)

This one was shaping up to be a pitchers’ duel, with Eric Fedde battling Robbie Ray. The former held the Mariners to two runs in five innings while Ray one-upped him to the tune of 6.2 innings of one-run ball on two hits against seven strikeouts. Earl Weaver would’ve clearly been proud watching this one, as both teams scored all their runs via the long ball.

Mitch Haniger opened the scoring with a two-run blast in the fourth before Joey Meneses cut the deficit in half with a solo shot in the seventh. Eugenio Suárez quickly responded in the bottom-half, his two-run bomb putting the Mariners up, 4-1. Washington would score a consolation run in the ninth to bring us to our final score of 4-2 as Seattle remains a half-game behind the Rays for the first Wild Card.

Other Contenders

  • Baltimore Orioles 5 (64-58), Chicago White Sox 3 (62-61): AL Cy Young co-frontrunner Dylan Cease had a second straight off night by his lofty standards, ceding four runs on three hits and three walks against just four strikeouts. Most of the excitement occurred in the first frame, with Eloy Jiménez opening the scoring on a two-run home run. Ryan Mountcastle provided the big blast for the Orioles to answer in the bottom-half — a three-run bomb to dead center. Chicago is now four games back in the AL Central for the first time in a month.
  • Cleveland Guardians 3 (65-56), San Diego Padres 1 (68-57): On a night when Juan Soto was a last minute scratch with back tightness, the Padres looked out of sorts all game. Former teammates Aaron Civale and Mike Clevinger battled it out in this low-scoring affair, with the Guardians’ starter allowing just one run in 4.2 innings to Clevinger’s two in six innings. Andrés Giménez and Óscar González each popped a solo blast, while José Ramírez became the fourth player to 100 RBI this year, his eighth inning RBI single finalizing the Guardians’ 3-1 win.