The Yankees thankfully made scoreboard watching a little less stressful yesterday, overcoming an early deficit and to power past the Brewers and salvage a game in Milwaukee. Still, the AL East is not yet in the bag, and they’d still like to see their rivals drop some ground in order to put the division on ice. Here’s what happened on Sunday.
Baltimore Orioles 5 (76-69), Toronto Blue Jays 4 (83-64)
Baltimore’s playoff odds are dwindling towards zero, but they can very much still play spoiler, and the Yankees would surely love to see the O’s pester the Rays and Jays. They were able to yesterday, launching a late comeback to win a fun game in Toronto.
Toronto took a 1-0 lead on a Bo Bichette single in the third, and looked to add more, but the Orioles turned the 15th triple play in their history:
Still Vlad Guerrero Jr.’s 29th homer of the year put Toronto up 3-1 in the seventh, and they seemed in line to earn a sweep of this three-game set. Jesus Aguilar hit a solo homer in the eighth, but the O’s still entered the ninth down one, facing All-Star closer Jordan Romano.
But Baltimore went single-single-walk-single to open the ninth off Romano, quickly seizing a 4-3 lead. Aguilar added a crucial insurance run with an RBI single. George Springer doubled home a run in the home half of the night, and Bichette came up with two on and two out, but Felix Bautista induced a groundout to end the game.
Tampa Bay Rays 5 (82-64), Texas Rangers 3 (63-83)
Former Yankee farmhand Glenn Otto started this one for Texas, and the Rays greeted him rudely. Josh Jung had given the Rangers a lead with a solo homer in the second, but Tampa went back-to-back with Christian Bethancourt and Jose Siri in the bottom half:
Hey Siri, play Back to Back pic.twitter.com/IRkIOQV5Wz— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) September 18, 2022
Tampa added two more on a Jonathan Aranda RBI double and a Manuel Margot RBI single in the third.
Corey Seager tried to claw the Rangers back, hitting a solo homer for his 31st of the year in the sixth:
But Texas would fall short, and the Rays would ease to a 5-3 win thanks another night of solid pitching. Jeffrey Springs three runs (two earned) and walked none across 5.2 innings, and Javy Guerra, Colin Poche, Brooks Raley, and Pete Fairbanks combined for 3.1 perfect frames in relief.
Houston Astros 11 (96-51), Oakland Athletics 2 (53-94)
After a brief aberration on Saturday, one in which Oakland shockingly took a game off Houston, things returned to normal, with the Astros continuing to steamroll the AL’s dregs. The Astros hung a five-spot in the third on Ken Waldichuk (traded last month for Frankie Montas) and never looked back in an easy victory.
Yordan Alvarez delivered the big early blow, clearing the bases with a three-run double:
There was a period earlier in the season where Alvarez seemed to be making a case for being the best hitter on the planet, or perhaps 1B alongside Aaron Judge. The latter has obviously moved away from the field, but Alvarez now has a 189 wRC+ on the year, a truly spectacular season for the 25-year-old.
Alvarez would finish with a pair of doubles and four RBI, and Martin Maldonado would chip in four RBI of his own to pace the Houston offense. Framber Valdez was the beneficiary of the outburst, managing six solid innings of two-run ball, striking out seven and walking one.
Los Angeles Angels 5 (64-82), Seattle Mariners 1 (80-65)
Anything Aaron Judge can do, Luis Rengifo can do better. Well, not really, but Judge wasn’t the only player with a multi-homer game, as Rengifo smashed a pair of homers of his own to propel the Angels their third-straight win over Seattle.
Rengifo’s first dinger was a solo job off of Marco Gonzales, and his second came shortly after, a two-run bomb that put the Angels up 3-1:
That was enough for Reid Detmers, who shook off a tough recent stretch with six solid innings, allowing one run on four hits and two walks. Shohei Ohtani was relatively quiet coming off his stellar start on Saturday night, going 1-for-3 with a single and a walk.
- Minnesota Twins 3 (73-73), Cleveland Guardians 0 (79-67): The Twins stopped the bleeding after losing the first three games of this five-game set. Joe Ryan shoved for 7.2 shutout innings, allowing three hits and striking out five. Jake Cave hit his fifth homer of the year, and Luis Arraez tallied two knocks, pushing his average to .317 in what’s now a race with Judge for the batting title.
- Chicago White Sox 11 (76-70), Detroit Tigers 5 (54-91): Andrew Vaughn hit a grand slam, opening up what was a 3-2 game in the fifth. Eloy Jimenez and AJ Pollock also homered for Chicago, which pulled to within 3.5 games of Cleveland in the AL Central. The division race is still alive, if entirely uninspiring.