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Yankees Rivalry Roundup: Rays, Twins, Astros boosted by deadline acquisitions

Rays outpitch Blue Jays; Twins pitching shuts down Tigers; Astros breeze past Boston

Boston Red Sox v Houston Astros Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

As if the vibes around the Yankees universe couldn’t get any worse following their puzzling deadline day decisions, Gerrit Cole went and gave up six runs in the first inning against the Mariners on a trio of home runs to truly plunge the collective mood into the doldrums. The Bombers ultimately lost, 7-3, to drop their third of five series since the All-Star break. Armed with their trade deadline additions as they make late summer pushes toward the postseason, a handful of the Yankees’ AL rivals were also in action yesterday afternoon — let’s recap how those games played out.

Toronto Blue Jays 2 (58-46) vs. Tampa Bay Rays 3 (55-49)

The Blue Jays added Whit Merrifield from the Royals while the Rays reinforced their ranks with former D’Back David Peralta and Astro Jose Siri. It is unclear when Merrifield will join the Jays given he is still unvaccinated, while on the other side of the diamond Peralta and Siri made their presences felt immediately. Peralta went 2-for-4 with a run batted in while Siri added a hit and made a spectacular sliding catch yesterday.

Teoscar Hernández was responsible for both of Toronto’s runs via an RBI double in the first and a solo shot in the fourth. The Rays scored their other two runs in the third and fourth on a sac fly and RBI groundout respectively. After using Jalen Beeks as the opener, the Rays relievers combined for eight innings (four from Ryan Yarbrough) of two-hit, one-run ball while striking out seven.

Detroit Tigers 1 (42-64) vs. Minnesota Twins 4 (55-49)

Pitching has held an offensively-potent Twins team back to the point that they are caught in a neck-and-neck battle with the Guardians and White Sox for first place in the AL Central. They made a concerted effort to address these issues at the deadline, acquiring starter Tyler Mahle from the Reds and high leverage relievers Michael Fulmer and Jorge López from the Tigers and Orioles respectively, and the latter pair are immediately exerting their influence. Minnesota starter Joe Ryan kicked things off with five innings allowing a run on three hits while striking out nine, Fulmer pitched a scoreless sixth, and López secured the save with a scoreless seven-pitch ninth.

On offense, the Twins scored a pair in the second when newly-acquired catcher Sandy León clubbed a two-run double down the left field line. They also scored one in the sixth and one in the eighth. The Tigers’ only run came in the fifth on a Riley Greene RBI single after a pair of HBPs.

Boston Red Sox 1 (53-53) vs. Houston Astros 6 (68-38)

The Red Sox were surprisingly busy at the deadline, but not in the manner that many expected. Xander Bogaerts and J.D. Martinez will play out their final season with the team. Meanwhile, they acquired Eric Hosmer from the Padres, Tommy Pham from the Reds, and Reese McGuire from the White Sox, but also dealt Jake Diekman back to Chicago while sending Christian Vázquez across the diamond to the Astros. They’ve managed to hold their former backstop hitless, but the same can’t be said about some of the Astros’ other pickups.

Newly-acquired slugger Trey Mancini made an instant impact, sending a two-run home run over the Crawford Boxes in the second inning to make it 4-0 after Houston scored a previous pair of runs in the first via RBI groundout and sac fly from Yordan Álvarez and Alex Bregman respectively. They added another pair in the fifth on a Kyle Tucker two-run double.

Things just go from bad to worse for Boston. They were getting no-hit through the first five innings, and promising rookie pitcher Brayan Bello left the game in the fourth with an apparent injury. In the end, Astros starter José Urquidy twirled seven shutout innings, giving up just two hits while striking out 10. Reliever Will Smith — acquired from the Braves in exchange for Jake Odorizzi — made his Houston debut and was responsible for Boston’s only run on a consolation solo shot by Bogaerts in the ninth. With the win and New York’s loss, the Astros climb back to only two games behind the Yankees for the best record in the AL.