The Yankees are in the midst of a tough stretch, dropping four in a row for the first time this year. Their lead in the AL East is still solid, but they’ve blown almost their entire advantage in the race for the best record in the American League. Let’s check out what happened around the junior circuit after another night of frustration for the Bombers.
Toronto Blue Jays 3 (59-48) vs. Minnesota Twins 7 (57-50)
In one of the more interesting low-profile moves of the deadline, the Dodgers sent solid starter Mitch White to Toronto, with the Blue Jays in search of rotation depth. White made his first start for the Jays, matched up with right-hander Dylan Bundy.
Neither right-hander really showed out, with White managing 4.2 innings and three runs allowed in his debut and Bundy bowing out after four innings and two runs in. This became a battle of bullpens, one which the Minnesota relief corps won. Jose Miranda hit a solo shot in the sixth off Tim Mayza, and Sandy Leon added a sac fly for a 5-2 lead.
The Jays did have a chance late, when Bo Bichette singled home a run in the eighth to make it 5-3, bringing up Matt Chapman with two on, one out. The Twins brought on electric rookie Jhoan Duran, who pumped gas past Chapman and retired Raimel Tapia to extinguish Toronto’s last threat. The Blue Jays remain in second place in the AL East, 10.5 games back of the Yankees.
Tampa Bay Rays 1 (57-50) vs. Detroit Tigers 9 (43-66)
This game started as an unlikely pitchers’ duel, with AL Cy Young candidate Shane McClanahan keeping the Tigers to two runs through six innings, and unheralded 26-year-old right-hander Garrett Hill matching the Tampa ace stride for stride. A 26th-round pick in 2018, Hill managed 5.2 innings of one-run ball to keep Detroit in front.
The Rays sent out McClanahan for the seventh, however, and the Tigers managed to open things up. Detroit put together a string of singles and doubles, ultimately managing a five-spot on McClanahan and Jimmy Yacabonis.
The Tigers padded their lead when the Rays inserted position player Yu Chang to pitch with a six-run deficit in the eighth. Harold Castro smashed a two-run homer on an Eephus to take the score to 9-1.
Houston Astros 1 (70-39) vs. Cleveland Guardians 4 (55-52)
Houston remains right on the Yankees’ heels, but Cleveland did the Bombers a favor and cooled off the Astros just a bit. Cleveland cruised past Houston 4-1 in what was a rather sleepy Saturday affair.
José Ramírez got Cleveland ahead in the first inning, doubling home a run off of Luis Garcia. The Guardians opened things up quickly, with Andres Gimenez singling home a run and Amed Rosario singling home two in the second inning. Garcia settled in from there, allowing those four runs across six frames, but that was enough for Cleveland.
Cal Quantrill shut out Houston over six, with the Astro lineup taking a rare night off. Houston had almost nothing going until the ninth, when a pair of two-out doubles kept the Astros from getting shut out.
Los Angeles Angels 1 (45-61) vs. Seattle Mariners 2 (57-50)
With Luis Castillo in tow, the Mariners have a potentially scary postseason rotation, with Castillo backed by reigning AL Cy Young Robbie Ray and young stalwart Logan Gilbert. Seattle threw fellow youngster George Kirby, however, and flashed the club’s depth. Kirby fired six strong to lead Seattle to the over Anaheim.
The M’s didn’t do much to back up Kirby, but they didn’t have to. Ty France continued his breakout season with a two-run shot off of Jamie Barria in the fourth to give Seattle a 2-1 lead, one that held through the game. Former Yankee farmhand Erik Swanson closed out the game for his third save.
Los Angeles Angels 7 (46-61) vs. Seattle Mariners 1 (57-51)
In the back half of the doubleheader, the story was left-hander Reid Detmers. The 23-year-old shoved for seven innings, striking out six and allowing just one run. Angels manager Phil Nevin trusted his starter, leaving Detmers in with two on and two out in the seventh, despite Detmers having turned over the Seattle line three times and having thrown over 100 pitches. Detmers responded with an emphatic strikeout of Sam Haggerty to end the Mariners’ last threat.
The Angels had built a lead earlier, with Taylor Ward and Max Stassi driving in runs in the third off of Chris Flexen. New outfielder Mickey Moniak chipped in with his third career homer and second since joining the Angels this week. David Fletcher added a two-run homer in the sixth to make it 5-1:
Fletcher also drove in Moniak for an insurance run in the ninth in what as a banner night for two typically light-hitting players.