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Yankees Rivalry Roundup: Vladito’s 100th homer leads Jays to win

Recapping how the Yankees’ top AL opponents fared on September 14th.

Tampa Bay Rays v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images

After sleepwalking through most of the second half, the Yankees are suddenly 8-2 in their last 10 games and looking in much better shape. Whoda thunk it? As New York travels to Milwaukee to begin the next phase of their road trip, they can think about how their rivals fared last night. Well, they should actually just focus on winning their own games, but it’s an interesting topic! Here’s what happened.

Houston Astros 2 (93-50), Detroit Tigers 1 (54-89)

The miserable Tigers played seven games against the Astros in 2022 and went 0-7. Way to go, guys! The only surprising note to that fun fact is that Detroit actually played four one-run games against Houston, but when your team is as lousy as the Tigers are, the close ones probably aren’t going to go your way.

Sure enough, that was the case on Wednesday afternoon. Cristian Javier threw six shutout innings, allowing just two hits and no walks, and the lineup gave him support on a Kyle Tucker homer and Alex Bregman sacrifice fly. Javy Báez brought Detroit within one on a dinger of his own, but the Tigers mustered just two singles the rest of the way and that was the ballgame.

Seattle Mariners 6 (80-62), San Diego Padres 1 (78-65)

Julio Rodríguez went deep on the first pitch, Eugenio Suárez launched a two-run bomb, and Mike Clevinger trailed, 3-0, before even recording an out. The Padres are determined to keep the Brewers alive in the NL Wild Card hunt, huh?

Wednesday was all Seattle, as Luis Castillo never gave the Padres a prayer across six scoreless innings and nine strikeouts. Carlos Santana expanded the lead to 6-0 with a three-run missile in the fifth, and that was all she wrote. The Mariners are really going to play in the postseason for the first time in 21 years; there can’t be much doubt of that now.

Toronto Blue Jays 5 (81-62), Tampa Bay Rays 1 (79-63)

The defending American League Pitcher of the Month did not bring his August game into this crucial start for the Rays. Drew Rasmussen surrendered four runs on six hits in four innings, and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. set the tone early with a first-inning bomb, the 100th of his terrific young career.

By the fifth, Toronto had built its lead up to 5-0, and starter Ross Stripling did not allow a run until Harold Ramírez took him yard in the seventh. The former Dodger departed with 6.1 innings of one-run ball, and the Blue Jays put a full game between themselves and the Rays with the win.

Other Contenders

  • Cleveland Guardians 5 (76-65), Los Angeles Angels 3 (61-82): With the score tied at 3-3 in the eighth, the Guardians turned to their franchise player to break the tie, and José Ramírez delivered. Just a couple pitches after swinging at a pitch that hit his foot, he atoned with a two-run shot to put the Guardians on top, and they swept the Angels away to cement their control on the AL Central. LA has now clinched its seventh-straight losing season, all while employing Mike Trout. Gross!
  • Colorado Rockies 3 (62-81), Chicago White Sox 0 (73-70): It doesn’t matter if Tony La Russa or Miguel Cairo is managing — if you have any faint hope of staying in a playoff race, you cannot be getting shut out at home by the Rockies of all teams (and with Cy Young contender Dylan Cease on the bump). That’s a capital “L” loss, Chicago took it on the chin yesterday afternoon thanks to zeroes from Denver’s own Kyle Freeland. The White Sox are now four games back and almost have to sweep all four games that they have remaining against the Guardians to stay alive.
  • Minnesota Twins 4 (71-70), Kansas City Royals 0 (57-86): Minnesota probably would’ve been dropped from the Rivalry Roundup if they fell six games back, but they’re just barely hanging on. Two former Yankees helped them survive this one, as Sonny Gray twirled a seven-inning shutout gem and Gary Sánchez got the big hit (a two-run double in the first).
  • Baltimore Orioles 6 (75-67), Washington Nationals 2 (49-94): Gunnar Henderson took a page out of Gleyber Torres’ playbook and got a Little League Homer of his own due to a César Hernández misplay. That helped the O’s overcome a Luke Voit homer and chip a game off the Rays’ lead in the final Wild Card spot; Baltimore sits 4 back with 20 to play.