The Yankees took care of business, barely, in Boston to open up their road trip. It took extra innings, and all of the insurance runs that they got from Gleyber Torres’ bases-clearing double, but they got the win nevertheless. Also, Aaron Judge blasted two home runs to bring the Yankees back from a deficit twice, so it was an all-around great night. There’s always action happening around the team though, so let’s see what the rest of the league did:
Tampa Bay Rays 4 (79-61), Toronto Blue Jays 2 (79-62)
Facing a short turnaround with a doubleheader today, the Blue Jays opted for an opener in game one. It didn’t go their way, as Julian Merryweather allowed a run in the first inning and then the bulk pitcher Mitch White got tagged for three runs in the third inning. Jeffrey Springs gave the Rays six shutout innings on the other side, and Shawn Armstrong worked into and out of trouble in the seventh. Armstrong came back out for the eighth and couldn’t avoid damage this time around, giving up two singles to start the frame and ultimately allowing both to score, but Pete Fairbanks came in and closed the door on Toronto’s comeback.
Toronto Blue Jays 7 (80-62), Tampa Bay Rays 2 (79-62)
The Blue Jays answered back in game two, however, led by a strong performance from the top of the lineup and a clutch pinch-hit appearance by Whit Merrifield. For six and a half innings it looked like Alek Manoah was en route to taking a tough-luck loss, as he maneuvered through the Rays lineup apart from two mistakes that became solo shots by Ji-Man Choi and Jonathan Aranda.
The latter came in the seventh inning and broke a 1-1 tie, but Toronto had an answer immediately. A pair of walks set the board for the Jays to do damage, and Merrifield responded with a two-run double after entering for Jackie Bradley Jr. (who I didn’t realize had joined the Blue Jays until just now). George Springer provided an insurance two-run blast right after that, and the Jays tacked on two more in the eighth to turn a close contest into a comfortable win.
Houston Astros 6 (92-50), Detroit Tigers 3 (54-88)
Drew Hutchison faced a tall task going up against Houston’s lineup, and they immediately took him to task. Yordan Alvarez launched a ball in the first inning to get the Astros on the board first, and an Alex Bregman single and Kyle Tucker homer added three more runs in the third. Hutchison rebounded decently from there, but the Tigers were going to struggle to get out of even a one-run hole — and Yuli Gurriel added two more with one swing in the seventh off of Andrew Chafin to give Houston some needed breathing room.
San Diego Padres 2 (78-64), Seattle Mariners 0 (79-62)
The Padres won’t be winning the NL West this year, but they’re looking to avoid a late-season collapse and stick in the Wild Card this time around. Seattle’s been a great story and have established themselves as a postseason contender, but they had no answer for Yu Darvish on this night. Darvish carved them up for eight shutout innings, allowing just two hits and no walks while striking out seven. Josh Hader hasn’t been very reliable since coming over from Milwaukee at the deadline, but he kept the shutout intact in this one with just one baserunner allowed.
- Baltimore Orioles 4 (74-67), Washington Nationals 3 (49-93): A back-and-forth first five innings saw all of the scoring, and the Orioles came out on top with a pair of runs in the fifth thanks to Ryan Mountcastle hitting a solo shot and Austin Hays doubling home a run.
- Cleveland Guardians 3 (75-65), Los Angeles Angels 1 (61-81): The Guardians held onto their AL Central lead with a rally against the Angels, scoring in the fifth and sixth innings to take the game. More importantly, they held Mike Trout within the ballpark to snap his seven-game homer streak.
- Minnesota Twins 6 (70-70), Kansas City Royals 3 (57-85): For seven innings Joe Ryan had a no-hitter intact, but he was over 100 pitches. The Twins went to the ‘pen and brought in Jovani Moran, who got through the eighth but lost the no-hitter (and subsequently allowed three runs) in the ninth.
- Chicago White Sox 4 (73-69), Colorado Rockies 2 (61-81): It doesn’t matter that they’re beating weak teams right now — don’t let Tony La Russa back in the dugout, White Sox. They took their 10th win in their last 13 games thanks to an Eloy Jiménez three-run bomb in the first inning and a José Abreu solo shot in the eighth.
- Cleveland now holds a three-game lead over Chicago in the AL Central, and they’re five ahead of Minnesota with under three weeks to go.