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Rivalry Roundup: Blue Jays and Astros win thanks to late runs

Toronto and Houston emerged with just one-run wins after some timely late inning hitting.

Toronto Blue Jays v Texas Rangers Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images

The Yankees freefall continued on Friday as they took a 4-2 loss to the Rays, trimming the AL East lead to just 3.5 games.

While the Rays are the team the Yankees need to be most immediately preoccupied with, there’s plenty of other teams they’re getting drawn towards, record-wise. While we know that Tampa Bay gained ground, let’s check in on the rest of the competition in today’s edition of the Rivalry Roundup.

Toronto Blue Jays (77-60) 4, Texas Rangers (59-78) 3

Top Rangers’ prospect Josh Jung got some headlines with a home run in his first career MLB at-bat, but it was Toronto who came away with the victory thanks to Danny Jansen’s ninth inning RBI single. The hit broke a 3-3 tie after the Rangers had rallied to tie things up in the bottom of the eighth.

Toronto had opened up an early lead after scored three runs over the first three innings, and got a solid six-inning, two-run outing from Ross Stripling. However, the Rangers slowly fought their way back into the game, eventually evening things up thanks to a Corey Seager RBI single in the eighth, his second hit and second RBI of the game. However, Jansen came through, and the Rangers ended up stranding the potential tying run in the bottom of the ninth.

Houston Astros (89-49) 4, Los Angeles Angels (60-78) 3

Mike Trout’s fifth consecutive game with a home run got the Angels off to a lead, but a pair of Astros’ ones flipped the score and allowed Houston to come away with the win.

After five scoreless innings, Trout game the Angels a 2-0 lead with a sixth inning home run, but the Astros answered fairly quickly. Jeremy Peña got one run back with a homer in the bottom of the sixth, but Chas McCormick hit a two-run shot that would give Houston a lead they would never relinquish.

McCormick also drove home a run with a bases loaded walk in the eighth, which ended up being fairly important. In the top of the ninth, Taylor Ward homered, but it ended up being too little, too late for LA.

Atlanta Braves (87-51) 6, Seattle Mariners (77-61) 4

Seven different Braves’ batters recorded hits, led by Robbie Grossman with three, as their balanced effort allowed them to get past the Mariners.

The teams traded two-run homers early, with Atlanta’s Dansby Swanson hitting one in the first and Seattle’s Carlos Santana going deep in the second. However, Grossman recorded the first of his two RBI with a fouth inning single, an the Braves would never trail again.

Atlanta went up by as many as three runs, but Santana kept it close with another home run, ensuring that it was only a two-run game going into the final innings. However, an eighth inning walk would be the only base runner the Mariners put on over the final two innings, as Rasiel Iglesias and Kenley Jansen combined to finish things off.

While it’s less relevant in the AL playoff race discussions, the win took the Braves into first place in the NL East for the first time this season.

Other Contenders

  • Baltimore Orioles (73-65) 3, Boston Red Sox (67-72) 2: Gunnar Henderson’s two-run single capped off a three-run sixth inning that allowed Baltimore to rally past Boston. The Red Sox had opened a 2-0 lead in the third, but it was an especially impressive day for the Orioles’ bullpen, who combined to five scoreless innings, allowing their offense to eventually overtake the Red Sox.
  • Chicago White Sox (71-68) 5, Oakland Athletics (50-89) 3: The A’s took a no-hitter through 6.1 innings, but it didn’t end up mattering. The White Sox rallied with five ninth inning runs off A.J. Puk, flipping the result after they seemed doomed to a loss.
  • Cleveland Guardians (71-65) 7, Minnesota Twins (69-68) 6: After jumping out to a 7-0 lead by the fifth inning, the Guardians threated to give it all back as Minnesota came all the way back to get within just one run. The Twins had their chance too, leaving a runner stranded in scoring position in the eighth, as their rally attempt wasn’t enough.